Dealing with Contractors

“My contractor took all my money and didn’t do any work!! Help!!”

So often we hear nightmare stories about contractors. Homeowners are bewildered, wondering what went wrong. Let me help you demystify the process for you – and hopefully help out both you and your contractor. Unfortunately, most of the stories we hear are when something goes wrong, not the millions of stories of how great things went. Most of the time the horror stories could have been prevented, had the homeowner done their due diligence. It takes some effort, but in the long run, it will save you time, and money.

Types of Contractors

First off, the term contractor is often used interchangeably with carpenter, handyman, project manager, etc. , so let’s discuss each.

Licensed Contractors

Licensed contractors are just that. Each state has their own laws and regulations when it comes to contractors, learn yours. Some states require all contractors to be licensed. Others require that only residential contractors be licensed, and other variations. In California, where I am licensed, you must have 4 years experience in order to take the test to become a licensed general contractor. However; there are many classifications of contractors, and each much have a license. Should I want to do something not covered under a General Contractors License, I would need to have a separate license for that specialty, or sub contractor classification.

Think of it like this. The General is the one that usually oversees the army of subcontractors on the job. Oftentimes the general is the one that is also tasked with being the project manager, overseeing choosing subs and trades, scheduling, etc. However; it’s not always the case. An owner of a property can choose to act as their own general contractor, and do all of those things too, or come to an …read more