It’s finally time to tackle that big home Concrete Contractor Northridge CA project you’ve always wanted to do. Or, you may have waited so long, now you NEED to do the project. Which leads to your first question – “Where do I start?”
Well, the truth is… some jobs are simply too big, too complicated, or require too much time to handle on your own. Whether it’s remodeling a kitchen, installing gutters, or electrical rewiring for your business – you’ll likely need an expert.
A contractor, or subcontractor, can be your ‘knight in shining armor’ when it comes to completing your project. But, wait… you’ve heard so many horror stories connected with “shady contractors” that you’re starting to re-think this re-model. But statistics show that the huge majority of contractors out there are honest and hard-working professionals. Most people are happy with any improvement project they undertake.
“Fine,” you say. “How can I protect myself and make sure I find a great contractor?” I’m glad you asked. Here are some standard tips you can follow to make sure your repair, remodel, or installation goes well:
o Got License? Most states require that a contractor have a license to operate in that state. Once you find a contractor (referrals from friends, the Yellow Pages, or you can click here at https://www.glendaleconcrete.com/northridge/ to find an expert), you should check to see if he or she has a local contracting license to do the job.
o Check References – get at least three references from satisfied clients. And if you want to get really fanatical, go to the contractor’s current job site. See if the site is messy. Are the workers taking care of the property?
o Get Bids – if you have the luxury, get multiple bids from several contractors. Don’t always assume that the lowest bid is the best, because that contractor may be desperate for work or might cut corners on the job. But if you get contractor’s from several sources, you could get a really great deal.
o Get it in Writing – the days of the “handshake deal” are far behind us. Get a detailed contract together and throw everything in (even if the project doesn’t involve the kitchen sink!) The more you clarify, the fewer headaches you’ll have if things go wrong.
o Do You Take a Check? Don’t ever pay in cash. Can you say, “Proof of payment”? I thought you could… Keep logs of all payments (for example – 10% down, 20% by one date, another 20% by another date, final payment when work is complete, etc.) and pay with a check or credit card only.
“Wait a minute!” you protest, “That sounds like a lot of work!”
Sure it does. Because it is a lot of work. If you think a renovation or remodeling job is expensive, imagine having to pay for it twice! Do your homework and you’ll avoid being one of the horror stories.
“Are there any warning signs of a bad contractor?” you ask. Boy, you sure do ask a lot of questions. And that’s good. Always ask a lot of questions. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to handle the unexpected.
Okay, these are signs a contractor might be one step away from going to jail:
o If required by the state, your contractor doesn’t want to show you his or her license. Or won’t give you references. Or you two don’t get along. Keep in mind: this person may be in your home, working side-by-side with you, for several months – you’d better get along!