Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Resources to finding the right general contractor

Finding the right general contractor can require a lot of research, reference checks, and be generally very time consuming.  Unfortunately, the risk of not finding the right contractor can be even worse.  Ending up with the wrong general contractor cause further headaches and even result in litigation for incomplete work.

The key is to find contractors that are both reliable as well as willing to work with you to create your dream home.  Besides the general contractor serving as the individual whom you coordinate your project with, a good general contractor also serves as your business partner, consultant, and advisory board.  You should feel comfortable bouncing your ideas off the general contractor and he/she should proactively guide you along the process.  A good general contractor will advise you along the way and giving you input where necessary to help you avoid problems.  The more experience the contractor has in your field of work, the better the result will be.  Remember to look for a general contractor that has a lot of experience in the type of work you wish him/her to perform.

Since remodeling and/or building a custom home is such a large and long term investment, being cheap in the near term may create problems later on.  Building your dream home is a lot like getting LASIK.  There are many cheap offers out there but it's better to spend a little more and be sure your getting the procedure done right.

A good place to start will be the Better Business Bureau.  They are a great resource for someone new to the business to quickly find out if the contractor is legitimate, as well as if there are any compliant filed against the company.  For more information please click here.

In addition, you want to make sure you are working with an individual licensed to work in your area.  There are individuals out there soliciting your projects that have never taken the exam and been certified by the California State License Board.  Some other individuals may have let their license lapse.  You want to make sure that the license of the contractor you are planning on hiring have the most up to date credentials.  For more information please click here.

Avoid businesses that require you to deal with multiple project managers, as many items can be forgotten or lost in translation.  End of the day, the general contractor you choose will be working with you for the next 12-18 months to complete your custom home/remodeling.  Because of this, personality match will be important as well.  Generally you will want to work directly with the owner/general contractor, as he/she will be the individual who can exert the most influence on the outcome of the project.