If you need to hire a contractor in Los Angeles there are some things that you need to know. Make sure you follow these steps to protect yourself and hire the right contractor for the job!
Check that they are licensed, bonded, and insured.
Ask to see the contractor’s license. All contractors working on a construction project in California must be licensed. If a contractor claims to be licensed, you can verify this information by visiting the Los Angeles city business website.
Check that they are bonded and insured. You should ensure that your contractor is properly bonded and insured before hiring them. A bond protects you in the event that your contractor fails to fully pay their subcontractors or suppliers, or leaves the job site with an unfinished project and unpaid bills from subcontractors and material suppliers (for instance, if they go out of business during the course of your project). Liability insurance protects you from any accidents on your property for which the contractor is at fault (e.g., if one of their workers falls off a roof and hurts themselves). Workers’ compensation insurance protects you in case one of their workers gets hurt while working on your property; without this insurance, they could sue you for damages!
Do not accept bids over the phone.
- Do not accept bids over the phone.
It’s important for contractors to visit the site of your project before giving you a bid because there could be hidden costs that they can’t see from just talking with you. Once a contractor has had an opportunity to do an in-person assessment of your home and its foundation, they’ll be able to give you a more accurate estimate.
- Don’t sign on the spot.
Even if you feel like a contractor is giving you a good deal after inspecting your property, don’t feel pressured into signing any contracts immediately. High-pressure sales tactics are often used by scam artists who prey on unsuspecting homeowners. If someone tries to push you into signing something right away, it’s best to walk away and think about it instead of making an impulsive decision that might come back to haunt you later on.
Research how long they have been in business.
Do a little research to help you find out how long they have been in business. A quick check of the Better Business Bureau website can be very useful in getting a sense of their reputation. If they’ve been in business for years and have an A rating, that’s good news. Some other things you can do to learn about their experience level is search Google for their company name, look on their website (if they have one) and see if it mentions how many years they have been in business, search Yelp, and/or check Angie’s List.
Ask for references or at least check out their Yelp page.
The next thing you should do is ask for references. If the contracting company does not want to give you a list of references, then they are not trustworthy. Throw them out and move on. If a contractor provides you with references, actually follow up with those people and ask how the contractor did on their job. Did they meet deadlines? Were they able to stick to a budget? Did they complete all of their work correctly? How were they as people? The answers to these questions will tell you everything you need to know about whether this contractor is right for your project.
Another way to find information about contractors is by looking at their reviews on Google, Yelp, or other review sites. Hiring someone just because they have good reviews is not enough though; it’s important that their work aligns with your needs as well.
Get a detailed written estimate that includes all costs and fees.
If you want to avoid going over budget during your home improvement project, then get a detailed written estimate that includes all costs and fees. A good contractor will not only give you this estimate but will also provide it in writing. It should include both the start date and completion date, as well as any clean-up costs. The contractor’s estimate will also include materials and labor costs for the job.
Ask friends, family, and acquaintances for recommendations.
Asking for recommendations from people you trust is the easiest way to find reliable contractors in Los Angeles. People who know and care about you will have no reason to lie to you about their experience with a contractor. They’ll also be more likely to tell you the negatives of working with a certain company, while reviews can only be submitted by those who are satisfied.
When it comes to hiring contractors it’s always best to do your research first.
Before you hire a contractor, it is crucial to do your research. You don’t want to hire someone who is not qualified, or worse – someone with a criminal record. Here are some tips on how to ensure you hire the right person:
- Ask for reviews and referrals. The best way to find out if a contractor is qualified and has a good reputation is by asking for referrals from people who have worked with them before. Ideally, ask about ten of their most recent clients for references. What kind of work did they do? Were they happy with the job? What problems did they encounter during the project? If your friends and family can’t recommend anyone good, try asking coworkers or other contractors in your area.
- Check their license and certification. Make sure that the contractor you plan on hiring has an up-to-date license and all appropriate certifications for their field of work (plumbing, electrician etc.). These days this information is easily accessible online through various licensing boards across California, so there’s no excuse not to check before hiring someone new!