Congratulations, you’ve decided to remodel your home!
The excitement and anticipation of a better-looking house are almost too much to bear.
As you’re aware, the single most important factor for making this vision a reality is hiring a reliable general contractor.
With the numerous options available in Chatsworth, CA, it can be tough to find the right one, so we’ve put together this guide to help you do just that.
Things to Do Before Hiring a Contractor in Chatsworth
1. Create a plan.
You need to make a list of the things that need to be done to your house and the level of urgency.
When making the list, take into account the things that are necessary and those that can wait until later.
It’s important to note that the planning stage should not terrify you because the contractor will still refine these plans.
These experts can help you with anything from budgeting to deciding on the best building materials for the job.
However, personal planning is still required to accurately convey what you want right away and prevent making too many adjustments in the midst of the project.
2. Decide on the budget.
Before you scout for and interview contractors, sit down and write how much money you want to spend on this home improvement — the more detailed, the better (for example, “I want to spend no more than $600 on a new cabinet,” or “I’d like new hardwood flooring throughout my first floor”).
Then add 10-20% to account for contingencies and alterations.
A budget can help you keep on track and avoid getting swayed by every new idea that arises.
It will also spare you the guilt of having overspent when the task is finished.
3. Choose a design.
It’s essential to have a clear idea of the design you want.
Please note that you are not restricted to what other folks did in their homes.
Do some research to determine what best suits your preferences and budget.
4. Research the materials.
You’ll be given options for flooring, countertops, kitchen cabinets, appliances, and other features.
Take the time to study these things ahead of time to know precisely what you want and which possibilities you can afford.
5. Establish a timetable.
Setting a deadline for your project is critical because you want to ensure that you can fit it into your calendar and prepare accordingly.
It would help if you also were realistic about how long the remodeling will take.
If you don’t, you can find yourself overwhelmed with a project that takes longer and costs more than you intended.
Qualities to Look for in a general remodeling contractor in Chatsworth
There are many home remodeling contractors in Chatsworth, CA.
Some of them are good while others leave a lot to be desired.
It is therefore important to know the qualities that define a good contractor so that you can choose the one who will do the best job for you.
License and insurance
This is the absolute minimum requirement for even considering hiring a contractor.
A license certifies that they have completed the required coursework and passed a test on local building codes.
Bonding will protect you against contractor theft or damage, while insurance will protect you from liabilities resulting from accidents on your premises.
The California Contractors State License Board website lets you look up a license number to determine if it’s authentic and active and if it’s been subjected to any disciplinary measures.
There is nothing as terrifying as hiring a contractor with a bad reputation and ending up with shoddy workmanship or being conned out of your money.
Do some online research on your potential contractors and read reviews on independent websites such as Angie’s List and Yelp.
You can also ask other people who have done remodeling projects recently whether they had a good experience working with their contractors because word of mouth is quite reliable when it comes to assessing someone’s reputation.
A good contractor pays attention to customer needs and responds to any concerns that their clients have promptly.
Ask your friends and family for references of contractors they worked with.
Additionally, visit the websites of your potential contractors and read the testimonials from satisfied customers.
Previous job portfolio
The ideal home improvement contractor will have a portfolio of previous successful projects.
This will provide you with an indication of their abilities and likelihood of completing the work effectively.
Check the references to ensure they are authentic, as some contractors may be inclined to offer incorrect information about prior clients.
You must review many types of references, the most significant of which is that of prior clients.
When a candidate sends you a list of previous customers, it is recommended that you call and confirm at least three or four of them.
References from material suppliers and financial organizations are also worth checking.
Experience and expertise
This is self-evident, but in today’s DIY culture, you want to be sure you’re hiring a true pro rather than someone who is “good at it.”
Although a license will automatically weed out inexperienced contractors, don’t forget to inquire about a contractor’s range of expertise.
Check that the applicant is familiar with building codes and standard construction practices and that they understand how to install items appropriately and safely to avoid difficulties later on.
Consider inquiring about the number of clients a contractor is currently serving.
Having several clients is a positive indicator since it suggests a great demand for his services, but don’t hire someone who is overly busy because he may not be able to dedicate enough attention to your project.
Creativity and versatility
You may have a notion of what you want, but it may be impossible to achieve, given your current layout or budget.
Look for a renovation contractor that can direct you toward more achievable ideas, ensuring that you receive the most pleasing possible result regardless of any constraints.
Before beginning the job, make sure you and the contractor are on the same page regarding cost and schedule of payments.
You don’t want any surprises once the job starts, which is often the case when communication isn’t clear from the start.
A reputable general contractor may need a modest downpayment, but be wary of those that want full payment before beginning work.
Relationships with relevant organizations
A qualified remodeler will also be a member of professional organizations such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) or the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
These organizations contribute to improving the renovation sector and maintaining high standards for their members.
Excellent communication skills
You want a contractor that will pay close attention to your designs and aspirations for the space.
An excellent applicant will be sympathetic and appreciative of your goals, but he will also not be scared to share his views.
Make sure that when he discusses the project and his suggestions, he does it clearly and understandably.
Finding a Reliable General Contractor in Chatsworth – Conclusion
These are all qualities you should consider when hiring a general contractor.
It is important to find one that will give you the quality of work you deserve and will be honest with their estimates.
If possible, it’s good to meet with more than one contractor and compare their proposals.
Trust your gut and make sure to do your research on the company before signing any contracts.