10 Quick Steps
1. Hire only licensed contractors.
2. Check the contractor's license number by calling 1-800-321-CSLB or doing a license check online.
3. Get three references, and review past work.
4. Get at least three bids.
5. Get a written contract and do not sign anything until you completely understand the terms.
6. Pay 10% down or $1,000, whichever is less.
7. Don't let payments get ahead of work. Keep records of payments.
8. Don't make final payment until you're satisfied with the job.
9. Don't pay cash.
10. Keep a job file of all papers relating to your project.
Things You Should Know
Considering what's at stake with any major construction project. Did you know most room additions will run between $150.00 to $250.00 dollars per square foot? The cost of most custom homes runs between $350.00 to $450.00 dollars per square foot.
Compatibility with your contractor is important, too, because you will have a close working relationship for your project's duration.
When the bids come in, don't make price your only criterion for selection. Reliability, quality of work, and on-time performance are very valuable. These factors are best determined by interviews with the contractor's references, so do not shortchange this process. Ask to see photographs of some projects. If possible, make a visit to one of the sites; examine the workmanship; and ask questions about the professional's work practices, punctuality, and cleanliness. These may seem minor before the project begins, but they can quickly become major issues when you are in the throes of construction.