Finding a few local general contractors might seem simple, as there are plenty of contractor list sites that all have a seemingly never-ending list of ‘highly rated’ general contractors near me. However, I want to share with you two statistics that might convince you that finding a quality contractor this way may not be ideal.
First, just in Los Angeles County alone, there are over 20,000 licensed General Contractors, and that doesn’t include plumbers, electricians, roofers, etc. With that many options, it may no longer feel so simple to find the best ones from a list.
Second, in a recent survey, over 50% of homeowners who renovated reported having a negative experience with their contractor or remodel. This shocking number confirms the importance of finding the right general contractor!
Here at GreatBuildz, we speak with clients every day who are looking for the best general contractor for their remodel or construction project. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable, pre-screened general contractors, then provides ongoing project support to ensure a stress-free experience.
Give us a call at 818.317.3567 or visit our website at www.GreatBuildz.com to learn more and discuss your project.
How To Find General Contractors Near Me
A good way to find a reliable general contractor for your project is to ask friends, neighbors, or coworkers to recommend someone they’ve used and liked. You can also usually find a list of general contractors recommended on social media sites like Facebook and Nextdoor.
Beware: if you ask for recommendations on these kinds of sites, you should only trust suggestions from your ‘real life’ friends. Other contacts on these sites are often biased (they’ll recommend their cousin who is a contractor, etc).
If you don’t get any quality suggestions from people you personally know and you need to find a list of general contractors elsewhere, start with services that do the most intensive contractor screening and offer personalized introductions to quality contractors (like GreatBuildz).
The worst option is just going online and sifting through a long list of general contractors on a review site. Because there are so many general contractors and because most of them seem to have a 4- or 5-star rating, there is really no way to tell the good ones from the bad ones at first glance.
Who are the best general contractors near me?
As I mentioned, it’s easy to find a list of general contractors, but it’s much harder to sift through that list and narrow it down to the real quality general contractors in Los Angeles.
Often, the companies with the biggest ads or the top listing aren’t necessarily the best; they just spend the most on marketing. And quite often, that also means they are going to be more expensive than some others. Although it’s hard to tell from a contractor’s ‘profile’, general contractors come in distinctly different forms – let’s call them small, medium & large. Let’s discuss the pros & cons of each type.
Different Types of General Contractors Near Me
The best general contractor for you really depends on your project and budget. If you have a small project like flooring or painting, a small contractor might be a good fit for you.
These kinds of general contractors often have very few staff which keeps their overhead low. Therefore, they can be very cost-effective for customers with a project under $20,000.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you have a very large or major project like building a new home or major second-story addition ($400k+), you’ll probably prefer a large contractor.
Although a large contractor has substantial overhead and will therefore be more expensive, they will also have the manpower, resources, and management in place to keep a large project moving according to plan.
Finally, a medium-sized general contractor is ideal for most other home renovation projects like bath/kitchen remodels, additions, ADUs, pools, etc. A mid-sized contractor shouldn’t have a huge overhead but still will have the manpower and resources to take on multiple projects simultaneously. Usually, with a midsized contractor, the owner of the company manages all the projects so you will communicate with them directly.
If you want to determine the size of the contractor you’re considering, ask them how many staff they have and how many projects they take on at once. Also, if you notice they do lots of online or offline advertising, they are probably a large general contractor. Conversely, if the owner works alone or with just a few employees, they are a small contractor.
For a majority of home renovations, I suggest that medium-sized contractors are the exact right fit because they have appropriate manpower but not the tremendous overhead costs from marketing, etc. Here at GreatBuildz, we’ve screened and vetted a large number of contractors, and recommend only those that pass our 10-step screening process.
Let me share a few examples of the contractors on our list and why we think they are great.
Curtis is a good example of a ‘medium-sized’ contractor. He has one project manager, Cory, who is his ‘second in command’.
Curtis or Cory personally meet all potential clients and prepare the bids/estimates. They have a crew of employees who do a majority of construction work, and they can take on multiple large projects at one time. Curtis never has to advertise because he gets plenty of jobs from referrals from his previous clients.
He’s got nearly 20 years of experience in construction, has no complaints against his license, and carries both General Liability and Workers Comp insurance. Finally, he’s a terrific contractor because he truly cares about the project quality and his client’s needs.
Another example of a stellar GreatBuildz contractor is Chris, who is also a medium-sized contractor. Chris works together with his wife who helps their clients with project design and material selection. Chris also has a great deal of construction experience and never has to advertise. Past clients rave about Chris’s responsiveness, patience, and attention to detail.
Curtis and Chris are just two examples of the many, many exceptional contractors out there. The problem is it’s really hard to find the best ones when you’re looking at a list of hundreds or thousands of general contractors.
It’s also extremely important to properly investigate your potential contractors to make sure they’re one of the good ones. At GreatBuildz, we use a thorough 10-point screening process when reviewing contractors to add to our network, so only the best of the best qualifies to work with us and our clients.
Other things to look for in the ideal contractor
1) They should be local or semi-local. If you hire a contractor from outside your area, you run the risk of project delays. You’ll likely find that contractors won’t want to come to your job as often if it’s a long drive for them.
2) They have lots of experience with your specific project. If a contractor mostly does bathrooms, you can expect they are extremely knowledgeable and efficient in remodeling another bathroom. But they may struggle a bit more if you want them to do your kitchen, etc.
3) They aren’t too busy to take on your project. If the contractor tells you they are swamped with work and can’t take on your project for a few months, don’t ask them to fit you in sooner…you will be disappointed in the result. You should either wait for them to free up or choose a different professional.
GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego 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