How To Choose the right contractor for your next construction job Part 1
Undertaking a construction project on your home or commercial property can be a stressful and unpleasant experience, if you choose the wrong contractor for the job! Construction projects are often complicated enough, without adding to them the uncertainty and complexity of dealing with inexperienced or dishonest contractors. Before you hire a construction company, do some due diligence in order to make sure you are moving forward with the right team, at the right price.
Here at Weinstein Construction Corporation, we are committed to your success, and as such, have put together a two-part blog containing the top 14 “Pro Tips” on how to hire the right California construction company for your next important project!
We have framed these Tips in the form of questions, which you should ask each contractor you interview for the job!
Below are the first 7 Pro Tip Questions, and come back next week to read the next blog and get 7 additional Pro Tip Questions!
- How many years has the construction company been in business? You will find that many construction companies have been around for just a few years, and as such, they do not have sufficient experience to do the job right. We recommend that you hire a contractor with at least 10 years of experience in undertaking the type of project you are interested in.
- How many home and/or property inspections has the construction company done? How many clients have they serviced? You will find that some construction companies are reluctant to tell you how many inspections they have performed, and how many clients they have serviced on any particular type of project. This, of course, is because they have very little experience in that type of work! You should only hire a contractor that has done many thousands of inspections in the Greater Los Angeles area, as well as thousands of successful projects!
- Is the construction company licensed? When a contractor is licensed, this means that he or she has met a certain set of requirements, competencies, and tests, as set out by the State of California, in order to provide consumers with construction services. For obvious reasons, you should only hire a contractor who is licensed by the State of California! You can always check to see whether a Contractor’s License is valid by accessing the California Contractors State License Board (“CSLB”) website.
And while you’re at it, check to see whether the CSLB shows any complaints lodged against the owner of the construction company, the business, or the license!
- How many years has the construction company operated under the same name and license number? You will find that many construction companies change their name every couple of years, especially after they get into trouble! Also, many of them aren’t even licensed, which is illegal! You are taking a huge risk if you hire an unlicensed construction company, or one that has only been operating for a couple of years!
- Is the owner of the construction company also the owner of the license, or is this a Responsible Managed Operation (“RMO”) situation? You will find that in many construction companies, the owner of the company is actually not licensed to do the work! In such situations, the owner of the company uses the license of someone else in order to keep operating (for example, using the license of a retired contractor, who gets paid for “renting out” his license). Needless to say, this is not exactly a good situation for you, the client. You should only hire a construction company where its owner is the license holder!
- Is the construction company bonded and insured? A bonded contractor is one who has purchased a “surety bond”, which protects the consumer from possible losses that result from incomplete work, damage to property, or other failures in pursuing the work. As a consumer, if you are damaged by the contractor, you can file a claim and receive compensation for your losses from the “surety” (the insurance company) which issued the contractor’s bond. We always recommend for consumers to make sure that their licensed contractor also is bonded!
When a contractor is insured, it means that he or she has purchased various insurance policies which protect the contractor from insured losses, and thereby protect the consumer as well. We always recommend for consumers to hire only insured contractors, as they are more secure and can do a better job at managing risks to their operations!
- Does the construction company have a “bricks-and-mortar” office, staffed with office workers and an office manager? You will find that many construction companies have no office, have no office staff, and are merely “fly-by-night” businesses that contractors operate out of their basement using only a P.O. Box and voice-mail. Don’t fall into that trap, insist on hiring a contractor that has an actual office in the Greater Los Angeles area, and then go there for a visit – inspect the premises to see if it’s a legitimate business!
At this point, you must be wondering how Weinstein Construction Corporation stacks up against all of the questions above! Well, rest assured, our family-owned Los Angeles business has been in continuous operation under the same name and state license since 1977! Our president, Mr. Itzcik Weinstein (himself a local homeowner) has provided more than 72,000 free inspections to residential and commercial property owners, as well as successfully completed over 8,000 projects in the Greater Los Angeles area! Our company is definitely licensed, bonded, and insured, and you are welcome to visit our “bricks-and-mortar” office in Van Nuys, and speak in person with Mr. Weinstein or our office manager, Angela! Don’t delay; call Angela today at (800) 862-6582 for a free inspection and review of all your construction needs!