- Meghan Turner-Patel
5 Tips for Hiring a General Contractor During the Pandemic
Updated: Aug 27, 2020
Through this tricky time, construction must go on. Finding the right general contractor in Los Angeles is key to a safe, successful remodel.
Life for the foreseeable future will look different, and that’s why the proper precautions are essential. Home remodeling is no exception. As South Land Remodeling continues renovating homes across Los Angeles, we’ve built a plan designed to keep the work progressing, all while protecting our clients and crew from COVID-19.
If you’re planning a home remodel, here are five crucial tips for finding the right general contractor during the coronavirus pandemic.
1. Rely on Contactless Research
Do as much online research as you can to limit the number of contractors you need to meet in-person. When Google presents you its massive list of general contractors in Los Angeles, pay particular attention to the contractors’ photos and reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, Houzz, etc. Beyond the star rating, read what people say about their experience working with that GC. Additionally, feel free to ask any contractor for references so you can directly speak to their clients about their home improvement projects.
Finally, it’s important the remodeling company is licensed, insured and bonded. You can even double-check their license number is still active by searching your state’s contractor license database. Click here to search the California license database.You'll want to make sure your contractor has all the proper documentation, especially for major home construction projects, such as a kitchen remodel, room additions and a complete home remodeling job.
2. Nix Unnecessary Meetings
Narrow down your GC prospects to your top five and then reach out for a phone call or video chat instead of an in-person meeting. During the call, you’ll discuss the project(s), budget, timeline and more. A qualified GC will be able to give you a ballpark cost estimate simply by viewing your home via FaceTime, Zoom, etc. Or, you can email/text images and videos of your home. This way you’ll quickly know if their skills and cost align with your needs. After you pinpoint your top two to three contractors, you can set-up a socially distant face-to-face meeting to get better acquainted, discuss more project details and get a formal bid.
3. Ask the Right Questions
We understand discussing sanitation and social distancing isn’t exactly a fun conversation, but it’s the new normal. Protecting your home is of utmost importance. To do so requires asking general contractors the right questions. A Q&A session like this will paint a clear picture of how the day-to-day of your renovation will unfold in light of the coronavirus.
Important questions to ask:
· Will every member of the crew wear a mask?
· How will they keep a healthy distance from you and your family?
· Will they have access to sanitizers?
· Do they clean the job site every day?
· What else do they do to help safeguard your home from COVID-19?
Feel free to ask all these questions and any others that will help you be better protected during a remodel.
4. Get Clear Answers
Gauging the remodeling contractors’ responses is just as important as the questions themselves. In short, the GCs should give direct, straightforward answers. Their attention to detail is key. Any reputable general contractors and construction companies will already have a COVID-19 plan in place to better protect clients. So, discussing it should be easy and natural for them. More importantly, their crews are already trained on how to implement those precautions. Consider it a major red flag if a general contractor is either fumbling for answers or has no answers.
5. TrustYour Gut
After your research, meeting and cost/contract review, you should have a solid read of your contractor’s professionalism, capability and integrity. Trust your intuition, particularly regarding anything that doesn’t feel quite right. In the end, you’ll be partnering with your GC, project manager and his/her general contracting team for what could be months (depending on the project). Trusting them to appropriately manage the remodel day in and day out is critical not only to your health but to the overall success of the remodel.
Looking to work with one of the top general contractors in Los Angeles? Contact South Land Remodeling today for a free project evaluation and quote.