Renovation5 tips for how to hire a qualified general contractor in 2021?

Basically, based on your project complexity, you choose to work with a general contractor. In general, if you have a medium-size project in which your home doesn’t require any structural change, you will need a general contractor.


When you want to hire a general contractor (GC), you should follow these steps:

  1. Interview with contractors
  2. Compare the quotes
  3. Verify their licenses, insurance plans, and permits


You could read this checklist to find how to hire a general contractor.

We, in this article, explain guidance to help you for hiring the right professional who organizes and executes your remodeling home project in Irvine, Orange County, CA.



Get Recommendation from People Around for remodeling contractor

You can start asking your friends, colleagues, and family. Make a shortlist from the recommended general contractors and check them in with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry members in your area. Tom Sílva, “This Old House,” the general contractor, says that you could also ask from an inspector as s/he works with the contractor who routinely follows the code requirements. Besides, you can ask local suppliers or real estate agents because they see orange county remodeling contractors regularly and know them better. If you can’t get any personal recommendation, searching on the internet is another way to look for a local general contractor. Read the reviews and check the rate of them on the web. Having a professional and up-to-date website is always a positive point.

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Do Phone Interview to Find the Proper Remodeling Contractor

Based on your initial research, make a robust list of 10- 12 contractors to call. During a quick call, go through these questions:

  • If they did take a project on your size before?
  • If is it possible to give you the list of their previous clients?
  • If they do many projects simultaneously? How many projects at the same time?

You can evaluate the reliability and the availability of listed contractors. It also shows how fast your project will go. Make sure you get a good feeling for the contractor while you are talking on the phone.  It would be best if you focused on the manner they speak during your conversation. It is important that they answer you with respect and professionally. Another important point is that if they answer your question directly or do they give you the run-around? Don’t forget to put a pen and paper near yourself to write down whatever they say. Your final decision to meet an excellent contractor in business with good customer service will depend on these words. Find more critical questions here.


Set a meeting with your selected general contractors in Orange County

Now it’s the time for a face-to-face interview to estimate and further discussion. Pick three or four contractors to meet according to your phone interview. They should be able to satisfy you with their answers to your questions. Your communication is crucial at this point because this person will work in your home for a time. Below, there are questions to ask during your meeting. You should write down the answer just like what you did during the phone call.

  • How long are they working in the business?
  • Are they licensed to work in your area?
  • If they are insured? And what kind of insurance they have?
  • Ask the number of projects like yours that they completed last year.
  • What is their permanent business address? (It may be possible some good contractors give you residential address as they work from home)
  • Ask them to provide you a quote and any reasoning for the price?
  • Are they flexible for payment schedules?
  • Ask to see one of the projects they are currently working on.

As you finish the meeting with the general contractors, start to review your notes. Then decide which of them you would like to work with. Now arrange the second meeting with the selected one. This time you could ask more specific questions and request a paper copy of insurance and licenses. It would be nice if they provide you a sample copy of the contract. It is also helpful to contact the Better Business Bureau to know the probably received complaint. Call up the former clients and see if the general contractor encounters the complaint professionally and quickly solves it.


Negotiating payment and set a schedule with your selected general contractor

Your next step is negotiating price and payment once you have decided on a contractor. You can’t find any standard for specific amounts on payment plans. Even each contractor offers a different plan. Generally, there are two basic options for payment:

 1. Cost-plus flat fee:

There is an agreement between the contractor and homeowner, usually 13 to 20 percent for management and coordination. The estimated costs reveal at each stage. It is mentioned in the contract that the general contractor will provide all receipts and accounting at regular intervals.

This option is more flexible, but it is hard to find the total estimation.

 2. Bid basis:

You will ask the general contractors to break down the cost of materials, labor, profit margins, and other expenses. Typically, 40 percent of the total cost is dedicated to materials; 15 to 20 percent covers the profit margin. You and the contractor agree upon a payment schedule, which the details will mention in the contract. Generally, this option is more attractive.

The best way of paying for small projects is by check or credit card. Paying with a credit card is a better choice because if things go wrong with your GC, you would have more legal recourse options.


Put the contract with your general contractor in writing

Now, it’s time to draw up a contract that contains every single step of the project:

  • Contact information
  • Payment schedule
  • Detailed plan about all stages of the project, including any electrical and plumbing
  • Start date and completion date
  • Specific products and materials that must be used
  •  All information about warranties and who will cover them
  • A guarantee that GC files for all necessary permits
  • All the names(name of workers, names of companies, suppliers’ names)


It is essential to keep detailed records and accounts during the project to ensure that reality is clear according to the contract you and the general contractor agreed on.

Browse our webpage to find more details about FBR construction services.





Homeadvisor, 2021 Guide on How to Hire a General Contractor – HomeAdvisor


Homeadvisor, How to Hire a Contractor – A Complete Guide by HomeAdvisor


This Old House, 8 Pro Tips on How to Hire a Contractor


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