1. In the State of California, persons doing work on your home must be licensed and in good standing with the California Contractors State License Board. You can review a company’s license status and past history by going to the Contractors License Board website at www.cslb.ca.gov. You should avoid hiring a contractor with a mark against his license.
2. Ask if the contractor is a member of the Better Business Bureau. Review the company’s performance and how any issues were resolved at www.sandiego.bbb.org. If there is a history of numerous issues, this may indicate how the company conducts business.
3. Ask for references that include past and current clients, particularly those with projects similar in scope and size to yours. Speak with current clients. Past work is important, but today’s work is what you will be experiencing.
4. Make sure the contractor is fully insured with liability insurance, which covers property damage, and workers’ compensation insurance, which covers personal injuries on the jobsite. Don’t risk hiring an uninsured contractor whose employee could be injured working on your home.
5. In the remodeling industry you get what you pay for. If you’ve been meeting with contractors and the prices you are being quoted vary significantly, beware! Business and building costs do not differ that much.
6. When meeting with different contractors, trust your instincts. Are they listening to your wants and needs? Do they follow through? Are they responsive to your calls and questions? Which one can you work with for several months?