$31. 8 trillion is the total value of homes in the United States. While this figure may be mind-boggling, it shows the consistent growth in the construction industry. As the industry expands, the number of general contractors has also increased two-fold. 

If you’re about to begin a construction project, you may be spoilt for choice. But narrowing down your search to the most dependable general contractor isn’t always that easy. You may need to undertake due diligence to avoid disappointments.

Are you looking for a reliable general contractor in the Los Angeles area? Here are eight ways to find one super-fast!

1. Know What You Want

It would be best if you prepared adequately for what lies ahead. Part of this entails knowing what you want. Make sure you have an understanding of what you are looking for before reaching out to a contractor.

It would help if you considered factors such as the expected square footage. This may be useful information when deciding on the experience you are looking for in a contractor. Other factors, such as the light fixtures you need, should also guide your decision on your best fit.

Knowing what you want will also ensure that you have a more accurate estimate of the project. If you have a clear plan and ideas on how to go about the process, you can then seek referrals. 

2. Ask Around for References for Suitable General Contractor

There’s no better way to know your potential contractor’s capability than to ask around. People in your neighborhood who have had previous successful projects will always offer reliable testimonials. Word of mouth provides consistent feedback on experiences, which you can use to determine whether a particular contractor can deliver.  

Consider as many referrals as possible. Then use these referrals to narrow down your search for a reliable general contractor based on certified quality delivery and affordable costing. 

3. Go Online 

The internet is a critical source of information on general contractors. Most of these specialists advertise their services online with evidence of past engagements and their pricing range. You can, therefore, also access critical information on potential general contractors online. 

Most of these companies have websites where you can access client reviews and testimonials. You can also get to ask fundamental questions about your potential general contractor on their online live chats. Once you have assessed the various options available to you, it’s time to narrow down your choice. 

4. Narrow Down the Search with an Interview

After you have established a few potential general contractors you can rely on, it’s time to plan for an interview. An interview will help you ask direct questions to get to know each specialist. Ask as many questions as possible about their past works and their success rates.

Make sure you take at least three suitable bids from the interview based on quality delivery. You’ll get to learn a lot from the meetings about your project and the expected completion. Use the meeting as a basis to get to know how each potential expert determines their quotations.

One thing you must always consider is cost. While it may tempt you to acknowledge the lowest bidder, you must also ensure that you don’t compromise on the quality. However, the interview stage should never be a platform for negotiations.

5. Ask for a Formal Bid or to Estimate 

You’ll often come out of the interview with a suitable prospect(s) for your project. Before jumping into an agreement with a general contractor asking for a formal bid is a critical step. The bid allows you a chance to assess the estimates of the project from among the finalists. 

The bidding process allows the chance to negotiate. You can compare the expected level of quality delivery vis-à-vis the bids before making a final decision. Question the general contractor on the number of successful projects they have delivered with the specific bids.

6. Pay Attention to Licensing    

Every contractor must be fully licensed before undertaking a home development project. The procedure for applying for a general contractor license may vary from state to state or municipality to the next. You must request to see the general contractor’s licensing and membership with the Associated General Constructors of America. 

You must also be willing to go that extra mile to conduct due diligence before taking the risk. Ensure that your prospective general contractor’s licensing is up-to-date. Such pre-agreement confirmations seek to ensure that you deal with a company that is above board.

Further, involving a professional body such as the Associated General Contractors ensures that you get to learn about any misconduct. Such information can guide your decision-making process. Having conducted such due diligence, you’re safe to proceed.  

7. Ask About Any Requisite Permits and Insurance 

Before you finalize the deal, you need to consider other binding legal issues. All general contractors need to secure specific permits for the project. You need to ensure that your preferred general contractor’s company has these permits ready. 

But the licensing varies from one state to the next. The general contractor license California may not be like other state’s licensing requirements.

You also must consider other insurance-related requirements. Such regulations are useful in case of any unforeseen risks. If you search online for a general contractor near me, ensure that they are conversant with the municipal and State laws within your area before signing a contract.

8. Draw a Detailed Contract 

You must be ready to break ground by now. Not so fast, though, drawing up and signing a detailed contract is the last bit. The agreement must reflect your aspirations and the general contractor’s expected standards of delivery. The information must include the budgets, timelines, materials, and details of subcontractors.

Ensure that you agree with the terms and conditions of the contract before appending your signature.  If everything within the contract is agreeable to both parties, you can proceed to sign a deal. 

The Quality of Your Project Depends On the General Contractor 

You may have the financial capacity and the right materials but end up with a shoddy job if you don’t find a reliable general contractor. Take your time and consider each of these eight steps because quality delivery depends on finding the right general contractor.

Are you looking for remodeling and home improvement services in the LA area? Please contact us.