Choosing a Contractor
Your choice of contractor can mean the difference between experiencing a smooth, satisfying home renovation and falling into a vortex of unanticipated headaches.
In California, all contrators are required to be licensed and are governed by the Contractors State License Board (the "CSLB"). This branch of state government maintains records on contractors, handles complaints, and serves as a resource for homeowners. They also regulate the profession, and have drafted numerous laws that protect homeowners from unprofessional and unscrupulous contrators, which, unfortunately, are out there.
There are several things that homeowners can do to make sure they are choosing the right contractor for the job. First, make sure that you ask these twelve questions. Second, know your rights: the CSLB website contains a wealth of information regarding what must be included in all construction contracts and what cannot be included; we have summarized these requirements here. Finally, select a contractor that makes you feel at ease — the best results come through close collaboration between all parties.