Hiring A Contractor: What You Need To Know

April 19, 2011

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Do you know what you need to know before hiring a contractor?

Hiring a remodeling contractor is a big step for a lot of consumers. Many of them have a lot of questions: What risks are involved? What do I need to know, legally speaking? How can I make sure I hire a reputable, licensed contractor?

At CAGE Design Build, we want to make sure all our clients have a good experience and get all their questions answered. A really good source of vast information is the Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board. They offer insight, tips and all the details when it comes to hiring a contractor:

Here are a few snippets of articles on the site we think are especially helpful:

What should I look for in a contract and binding agreements?
In California, there must be a written contract for all home improvement projects over $500 in labor and materials. A contract should contain everything agreed upon by you and your licensed contractor. It should detail the work, price, when payments will be made, who gets the necessary building permits, and when the job will be finished. The contract must also identify the contractor, give their address and license number. A good contract also has warnings and notices about the right to cancel, mechanic’s liens, and allowable delays.

What Kind of Contractor Do You Need?
In California, anyone who contracts to perform work on a project that is valued at $500 or more for labor and materials must hold a current, valid license from the CSLB. You can verify the license on-line or call 1-800-321-CSLB (2752). General building contractors usually oversee projects and coordinate the specific licensed subcontractors for a job. Specialty or subcontractors are usually hired to perform a single job.

Understanding Mechanics Liens
Contractors, subcontractors and suppliers can file what is called a mechanic’s lien on a homeowner’s property if they don’t get paid. Property owners need to be aware of the process so they can avoid the financial and legal pitfalls that can occur. This section describes a mechanic’s lien and the steps that can be taken to avoid them.

We pride ourselves on clear communication and expectations with our clients, and one of the reasons we’ve been successful has been because we strive to be upfront and honest in all our contracts, regulations, timelines and more. Are there any specific questions you have that we can try to help answer? Feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.

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