Renovating your home can be a daunting and expensive experience, but many people still choose to renovate because the final product is worth all the effort. People who have renovated in the past will generally tell you they either had a great experience or a miserable one, and this is usually based on the home renovation contractor they hired for their job. Quite literally, the most important decision you’ll make in your remodel is which company you hire to perform the work.
Here at GreatBuildz, we speak with clients every day who are looking for a quality home renovation contractor. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, pre-screened contractors in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego, then provides ongoing project support to ensure a stress-free experience. In this blog, we’ll share some ideas and resources to help guide you in finding the best home renovation contractors.
How hard is it to choose a Home Renovation Contractor?
In Southern California alone (Los Angeles, Orange County & San Diego), there are over 30,000 licensed home renovation contractors. On a positive note, that sure provides plenty of companies that can perform your renovation project. But, on the other hand, how can you possibly choose the right renovation contractor when there are so many options.
Having spent many years vetting, choosing, and hiring contractors, I’ll give you some insights and tips on how to choose the best ones.
Is there a list of home renovation contractors near me?
Finding and selecting a home renovation company would be a lot easier if you could get a shortlist (3-5) of reputable, local companies that are experienced, affordable, and available to do your project. Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist. Although you can go online and sift through a long list of contractors in your area, you won’t know anything about their quality, service, costs, reputation, etc.
Your ideal contractor would be local, experienced with your scope of work, and a good personality fit. You’ll also want to make sure the contractor’s rates fit your budget and of course, ensure they are fully licensed, bonded, and insured. Alas, no list of contractors that you find online would perfectly match your parameters and desires. For a complete resource on how to narrow down your contractor search to the best few, check out this blog about how to find the right home renovation contractor.
Since there is no good list of “good home renovation contractors” out there, there are a few things you need to know in order to track down a reputable company. Let’s start with the things you need to beware of.
Lots of home renovation companies are really sales companies that happen to be in construction. Their goal is to sell you on the project. Once they do that, they sell your ‘information’ or hire another contractor to perform the work…and they keep a part of the fee. Other companies have a large staff of salespeople and they run ads in magazines, send you junk mail, and even go door to door offering their services. As you can imagine, these types of home renovation companies are not ideal because their goal is to bring in as much business as possible with less emphasis on customer service.
Finding Good Home Renovation Contractors
Although it’s not always simple or straightforward, finding and choosing a reputable contractor is possible. Let me offer you a few tips and things to look for.
- Make sure you are talking to the owner of the company. There is nothing wrong with meeting with a salesman or project manager, but you should be able to speak to the owner of the company before you hire.
- Make sure the company has a license that’s been around for ideally, at least 3 years. You can also check to see if the owner is affiliated with other companies that we’re previously closed. If so, check the reviews of these companies.
- Ask for their references and call them. People are generally truthful about their experience and won’t give you a glowing reference if the contractor did a poor job. We like to ask them how their contractor handled issues during the project – this is an excellent way to distinguish the good from the bad contractors.
- Check online reviews and the BBB website. You can assume not all good reviews are legitimate, but bad reviews likely are. Contractors are not perfect and a small number of reviews about ‘missing an appointment’ are not uncommon, but if you see more than a couple of negative reviews about communication or quality of work, that’s a red flag.
- Spend some time with the contractor over several meetings. Although they will be on their best behavior because they are trying to sell you on their services, spending an extended period of time with them will give you insights into their personality.
- Keep track of their responsiveness. Although contractors are very busy right now and can’t always respond right away, someone that responds in 3 days is certainly better than someone that takes 2 weeks to get back to you.
How to find a good kitchen renovation contractor
Home renovation contractors are usually experienced in doing kitchen remodels, but you want to make sure the company you’re considering has done more than just a few kitchens.
Although a kitchen isn’t necessarily a complicated remodel, you’re much better off working with a company that has the experience and access to a multitude of styles and options of cabinets and countertops. Kitchen remodeling specialists often have deep relationships with cabinet and countertop makers and might get better pricing or quicker turnarounds for these products.
Do home renovation contractors do bathrooms?
Most home renovation companies remodel bathrooms, although some won’t take on a single small bathroom remodel. So, make sure to ask upfront whether they take ‘smaller jobs’? Bathrooms are reasonably simple, quick remodeling projects.
But, selecting the wrong contractor can lead to project delays and most people don’t like living with fewer bathrooms than normal. A good home renovation contractor can often get a small bathroom remodeled in 2-3 weeks.
What kind of projects are right for a home renovation contractor?
As discussed above, these companies certainly do kitchen and bath remodels. And depending on the contractor, they might also do full house remodels, home additions, garage conversions, flooring, paint, windows, and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Really, every company is different and they each have their own specialty.
Ideally, you don’t want to choose a kitchen specialist to build your ADU and you wouldn’t want to hire an ADU specialist to build your pool. Thus, by doing your research and asking the right questions, you can quickly filter your options down to the best candidates for your project. Alternatively, give us a call and we can match you with the right contractors, specifically for your project needs.
When it comes to finding the best home renovation contractor in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura or San Diego – GreatBuildz is simplifying the contractor search. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, thoroughly screened general contractors and provides project support from start to finish.
Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com