How to Find a Design-Build Contractor You Can Trust in San Diego


Your home isn’t simply a house secured with a set of locks and keys, it’s a safe haven where you and your family get some space to relax, away from the outside world.

So when hiring a contractor, you need to find one who understands your needs and gives you space and privacy you need. The million dollar question is how to find a design-build contractor you can trust.

After all, this is a stranger you are inviting in your home and may be around for weeks or months. Quite stressful, isn’t it?

First, you need to define why exactly you need a contractor. Then do a little research, interviews, and follow your intuition in picking the best. In this case, making the right decision goes a long way to having a great experience.

What is a General Contractor?

Generally speaking, a company with a General Contractor’s construction license who is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of a construction site and the management of its vendors, materials, and people is a general contractor. In home remodeling, however, a general contractor can also be called a design-build company if they also offer architectural design services. These days the best home remodeling contractors have in-house designers.

Successful Tips on How to Find a Trustworthy Design-Build Contractor

Knowing how to find a trustworthy contractor can save you a fortune in time, money, and heartache. Here’s how to do it.

Determine the Contractor’s Level of Experience

In an industry that has seen a rapid rise and fall of contracting companies, you need to ensure you are working with an experienced contractor. Check that they have been a reliable business through good and bad economies. Check that they hire reliable and skilled subcontractors for the job. And most importantly, hire a company that has handled a project like yours before. Contractors deserve a chance to gain experience but you might not want to be the guinea pig.

Conduct Thorough Interviews

Now that you have selected a few companies that have stood the test of time, it’s time to get to know them better. If you haven’t interviewed a design-build contractor before, start by asking them to define their remodeling process to you. The design-build process is complex and you should hire a contractor with a clear plan, otherwise, it could be a stressful journey.

Request the contractor to outline their project benchmarks in terms of scope, time, and budget. It helps you determine whether they will complete the project within your desired timeline and budget. If the contractor’s benchmarks don’t match yours, you may need to dive into the details with them to understand why, or just continue looking until you find one that fits your schedule and budget.

In your interviews, it’s important you plan face-to-face meetings at the location you’re having the work done. This creates a sense of familiarity and helps the contractor understand what they are working with. After the interview, the contractor should be able to translate your ideas into estimates and a ballpark quote.

This face-to-face meeting should also give you a good sense of their trustworthiness.

Review The Contractor’s Past Work and Testimonials

Take your time to review the past work by the contractor to see what materials they used, what size projects they worked on and how detailed they were in their finishes. You may want to ask the contractor about the difficulties of their past projects and how they handled them. Ask them what details they could have improved upon.

Confirm the contractor’s skill level on all aspects of engineering, plumbing, design, etc., before moving forward with your decision.

Check References

The contractor might have satisfied your questions on timeline and budget, but how well do they handle the day-to-day tasks? Request at least three references and inquire whether the contractor showed up for work every day. Ask how punctual they were, whether they had the right subcontractors and how they went about their work each day?

There’s a close relationship between how well the contractor handled previous projects and how they will handle yours.

Confirm Availability of License and Work Permit

Before you hire someone to remodel and design your home, you have to confirm that he has the required state, city, and county license. You also need to check the availability of a proper work permit.

Also confirm that their previous projects were inspected and cleared accordingly. Any past work handled by the contractor must have been done according to the city and state’s code of inspection.

Being licensed means that the contractor has met the minimal requirements for his line of work, if not all. Before getting the license, the contractor must show proof of insurance, but it doesn’t hurt to ask to see their paperwork.

Working with an insured contractor is necessary in case an accident occurs during construction, then you, as the homeowner, are protected. Also, in case a problem arises after the project is completed, the insurance will cover the cost of the damage.

If you are nervous about hiring a licensed general contractor, it’s probably a good thing since you are embarking on a large project.

How Well Does the Contractor Handle Your Privacy?

The contractor and his team will have access to the most private places of your home including the bedroom and bathroom. For this reason, a contractor must portray a high level of integrity. They need to assure you that they will respect your home and ensure that you will not lose anything.

Hire Someone Whose Language You Understand

Like any other industry, the design-build industry has its share of technical jargon. Make sure you hire someone who can explain all these technical terms in layman’s language. In fact, this is one of the signs that the contractor understands the complexity of your project and will deliver as per your expectations.

Take Advantage of Our Experience and Skills

Planning the process of designing and remodeling your home can make you feel nervous and uneasy, but our team of friendly and skilled professionals will guide you through the remodeling process step-by-step and ensure you understand every detail.

We take pride in the high standards of our organization and the transprency by which we operate. Now that you know how to find a design-build contractor, give us a call or email us and become a Lars fan.