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Finding the Right General Contractor in Los Angeles for Your Project

trustworthy contractor los angelesTrustworthiness is everything when looking for a general contractor to remodel your home. No doubt you’ve read some generic blogs that follow the same formula about how to find a contractor. This one is different because it focuses on trust and verifying that trust.
Finding a trustworthy contractor in Los Angeles is possible if you do your homework.

Verify the License

A trustworthy contractor in Los Angeles will have a current license. That license proves they have met and maintained specific criteria and standards set by the California State License Board (CSLB). No license means you shouldn’t use that contractor.

Ask to see the contractor’s physical copy of the license and take a picture of it. Then enter the license number on the CSLB’s website. If the license is current and in good standing, you have some level of protection from a contractor performing below par.

(Here’s RWT’s license number, by the way.)

Insured?

A trustworthy LA contractor also must be insured. General liability insurance is a requirement by law. It protects you from shoddy, dangerous, or incomplete work, along with code violations. Ask to see that insurance documentation. If the contractor won’t show you, move on. If he does, call the insurance company. Verify that the policy is current, who the main insured is, when it expires, and coverage limits. Never rely on a contractor that says “Trust me” or “I’ll bring it later”.

Do They Pay Worker’s Compensation?

When they pay worker’s compensation, the contractor is not only protecting its workers from injuries and unnecessary bills, but also protecting itself from being bombarded with claims that aren’t true. It’s also further protection for you from being held liable just in case there is a worksite accident or injury. If a contractor has opted out of workman’s comp, he will have an exemption card. Every employee will then have to have an exemption card. This exemption essentially says you’re not liable.

Conduct a Searching Interview

When you have a contractor in mind, you need to ask questions with good points. Unfortunately, finding a trustworthy contractor in Los Angeles falls squarely on your shoulders. You need to do some legwork to ensure a company is right for you. Considering how much money you will be spending, you need to act like a manager of a company that is interviewing a new employee because that is essentially what they are going to be. Some things to ask include:

  • Do you handle permits and paperwork for them?
  • Do you inspect each phase of construction?
  • How much do you pay your employees?
  • Do you run a drug-free environment?
  • Do you use outside trades or are they all in-house?
  • If outsides trades, do you make sure they’re insured/licensed?

You have rights. Ask as many questions as you need.

Real References

A simple way to find a general contractor that is trustworthy is by getting a client list. Every contractor worth his salt should have no problem providing an unfiltered list of past clients that you are allowed to contact and visit. If they don’t, that should send up a red flag.

Reviews and Complaints

Narrow your search for a  trustworthy contractor by researching the credible online resources like Google My Business, Yelp!, Consumer Reports and Angie’s List.

Add it all up and you should have a very strong picture of a contractor’s trustworthiness.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to RWT Design Construction.

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