Tips for Finding a Contractor in Los Angeles
There are volumes written telling us, the Los Angeles home owners, just how we should go about hiring a building contractor. However, we must make our own decisions, and then, we must pray to our Angels for their help. Here are some suggestions as to just what we need to do:
- Treat this issue as if you were trying to locate a doctor. After all, a contractor is like a doctor - the distinction here being that a contractor's calling is to cure our homes ills, and not our own.
- We have a directory, right here, to help us to find these physicians of the trade, so this is a great place to start.
- Pick at least three contractors. Three is always a good number.
- Check their references. If they have none, move on. This is a warning signal that something is very wrong. Los Angeles contractors are, for the most part, very reliable, but there is always that one fallen angel. That is why screening these people is an absolute necessity. Always check with the *Better Business Bureau* for their listings.
- Once this is done, choose the best two. Remember, this is like taking a vote, and you cast the final vote!
- Interview these final two contractors. Make a list of vital questions for them. Ask things like, 'This is a supporting wall, and we want it taken out. What would you do?' This means that you need to know the answer before you ask the question. Therefore, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Do not be naive or ignorant. Become an educated client.
- That means?never overlook the small details. If you are wanting fine finished carpentry, perhaps for your kitchen cabinetry, find out who does this for your contractor (He may do it himself). Then ask to see a sample of the work. All quality carpenters show samples.
- Do not go with the cheapest contractor. This is a common mistake. Find out from each contractor just what are the reasons for any additional costs. Look for the highest quality, not the lowest cost.
- Make sure that you like the contractor you choose. Los Angeles contractors come in all flavors, and you are going to have to live with one of them for a minimum of weeks, if not months. If your personalities do not mix well, you may want this person out of your house very quickly.
- Very quickly is not good. It is not the way remodeling works. Just for a kitchen remodeling job, you are looking at three to six months, and longer for added additional rooms. Be prepared to live with a mess. There will be sawdust flying, sheet rock dust, and lots of noise. Even if your contractor is meticulously neat, it is impossible for you to have a quiet, peaceful existence while the remodeling is going on.
- Finally, make sure that your contractor provides you with these three items: 1. Contract: GET IT IN WRITING! Make sure that you read it carefully. 2. Liability Insurance: You do not want to be sued for your contractor?s employee falling off of a ladder on your property. Check with your home owner?s insurance to make sure that you are covered. 3. Building Permits: For any job that can be seen from the street, you need permits from the City. You do not want a City Inspector stopping by, unannounced, just to see what you are doing.
In conclusion: Our relationships with **Los Angeles** contractors can be very rewarding, but only if we do our research and handle our end of the bargain correctly. Good Luck, and may the Angeles be with you!