If you’re planning to embark on any type of home renovation project in Los Angeles, you’ll probably hire a general contractor to help you out. This is the person responsible for taking your vision and making it a reality, managing every facet of the project. With so much of an influence on the process and the final result, it’s essential that you hire a reliable, trustworthy general contractor who will function as your partner in achieving your dream renovation.
Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, or San Diego with reliable residential contractors, we speak to homeowners every day about planning for a residential renovation – here’s everything you need to know to find the best general contractors in Los Angeles.
What is a general contractor?
A general contractor is responsible for managing and overseeing construction projects from start to finish. General contractors require a broad range of experience and skills. While specialized contractors may have more specific expertise, a general contractor’s role includes coordinating and communicating with subcontractors, obtaining necessary permits and licenses, sourcing and purchasing materials and equipment, and ensuring that the project is completed within budget and on schedule.
Some examples of projects that general contractors are usually more qualified to handle than other contractors include:
- Renovations and remodels – If you’re remodeling your entire home, including structural changes and extensive HVAC, plumbing, and electrical work, a general contractor will be the best choice for the job.
- Custom homes – General contractors are well-suited to oversee every aspect of building a custom home from the ground up, from design to completion.
- Coordinating subcontractors – For a big project, you may need to hire subcontractors from multiple specialties and trades. A general contractor can coordinate their work to ensure the project goes smoothly and is completed on time.
- Obtaining licenses and permits – Building in Los Angeles requires you to have the necessary permits and licenses. A general contractor is usually the one responsible for this, as well as ensuring all work is in compliance with building codes and regulations.
- Design-build projects – A general contractor may specialize in managing both the design and construction phases of a project, helping provide a single point of contact throughout the entire process.
What makes someone a top general contractor
Of course, you won’t just want to hire any general contractor. In order to achieve the best result, it’s important to seek out the best renovation contractor you can find in your area and within your budget. Here are some qualities to look out for that make someone a top general contractor.
- Experience – The longer a contractor has been working in the construction industry, the more likely it is that they know how to manage a project, anticipate problems, and find creative solutions.
- Technical know-how – A great general contractor must have a deep understanding of construction materials, methods, and codes.
- Communication skills – At the end of the day, a general contractor is providing you with a service, meaning that their customer service and communication skills are key. Seek an effective communicator who can convey information to you clearly and take feedback.
- Leadership – As a manager, a general contractor should be a strong leader who can successfully motivate and manage a team.
- Attention to detail – When it comes to construction, the devil is in the details. It’s important to hire a general contractor who is highly organized and detail-oriented and can ensure that all tasks are completed to the highest standards.
How to find the top general contractors in Los Angeles
Now that you know what a great general contractor looks like, you might be wondering where you can find one. Here are the steps we’d recommend taking to locate a great home contractor in Southern California.
- Referrals – A great place to start is to get in touch with any friends or family who you know have worked on a remodel project recently. They can share their general contractor’s information, as well as provide valuable insight as to their experience working with them.
- Associations and licensing authorities – If you want to narrow your search to reputable contractors, consider doing a search with the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety or a professional association such as the National Association of Home Builders or the Associated General Contractors of America.
- GreatBuildz – The process of looking for contractors can be incredibly time-consuming. If you’d prefer to skip the hassle, reach out to GreatBuildz to get matched with a trusted contractor in the Los Angeles, Orange County, and Ventura County areas.
How to vet general contractors
Once you’ve found options for general remodel contractors you potentially want to work with, it’s important to go through a process of vetting them to make sure they are reliable, trustworthy, and well-suited for your project and remodel budget. Here are the steps we recommend taking when screening general contractors.
- Check for proper licensing and insurance – Verify that the contractor is licensed in your state and has adequate insurance coverage to protect yourself from possible damage or accidents that could occur during the construction process.
- Review their portfolio – Each general contractor you’re considering should have a portfolio of completed plans and projects. Take a look to assess their quality of work and style and make sure their previous projects align with the type of work you’re looking for.
- Check references – One of the most important things you can do is request references from the general contractor. Make sure to follow up and ask about their experience working with the contractor including costs, timeliness, and overall satisfaction.
- Communication and rapport – Last but not least, it’s crucial that you find somebody who you like working with because you’ll be working together a lot throughout your construction project.
For help finding general contractors you know you can trust to do a fantastic job, contact GreatBuildz by calling (818.317.3567) or visiting our website. We’ll connect you with one of our pre-vetted professionals perfect for your project.