Finding the Best San Diego Contractor for Your Home
Finding the best San Diego contractor to remodel your home, build your new ADU or complete your home improvement project can be a challenge in the best of times. When you consider that working on or around your home, likely your most valuable possession, which houses your family, certainly your most important consideration, is an invasive, lifestyle-altering, intimate, personal experience in so many ways, it’s important to consider the person or company you are entrusting them to. Indeed, working with the right contractor can make the experience somewhat enjoyable, while working with a not-so-right contractor can rapidly turn your dreams into a nightmare.
In my 30 years of experience, I’ve found that most of my client’s needs are pretty simple – they want an honest guy at a fair price that will take care of their home and, by extension, their family. They would like their project to be completed in a reasonable amount of time on a reasonable budget. They would like to be informed of what’s happening or not happening and consulted on important decisions. It doesn’t sound that hard, does it? While I’ve made it my business for 30 years to meet those basic goals for my clients, others might not have the same priorities.
In the interest of helping with your selection process, I’ve compiled a brief list of some of the most important things for you to consider when searching for your San Diego general contractor:
- Workload: How many projects does your contractor perform at one time? How much time will he have to commit to you and your project? Will you be handed off to one of his employees/managers or will he be working with you personally?
- Efficiency: Will your contractor work on your project continuously or will he peck away at it a little bit here and there? Will he provide you with a projected schedule and timeline along with regular updates for your project completion?
- Budget: Is your contractor quoting you a fair price in keeping with similar projects in your region or does the price seem too good to be true? Remember, there is no such thing as cheap, expert tradesmen or sub-market value building materials. The good guys and materials are worth every penny. The bad ones are not even worth a phone call.
- Communications: Does your contractor return your calls, messages, and texts in a reasonable amount of time? Does he provide you with the answers you’re looking for? Better yet, does he reach out to you occasionally with updates, questions, and/or reminders?
- Plans, contracts, and permits – Most of us don’t like paperwork. But, in as complex a project as most remodels, custom homes/ADUs, and major renovations are, they’re a necessity. Does your contractor seem to have a handle on being able to produce drawings, scopes of work, details in writing, and all the myriad paperwork needed to make sure everyone is on the same page and the project is properly permitted, scheduled, and managed?
- Experience: Has your contractor been working in your area for a while? Does he know your type of construction? Has he been in the trades for years and experienced the multitude of issues that come with residential renovations and remodels? Does he know where to find the answers to those tricky issues that seem to occur on every project?
I like to believe that most contractors are honest guys – and, they are. However, just like in any other walk of life, not all contractors have the same priorities, experience, sense of urgency, or organizational skills as others. Think about the items that fit your project needs and lifestyle and find the guy that checks off those boxes. And, happy building!
Sheen Fischer is the owner of Specialty Home Improvement, a completely family-owned Design/Build remodeling contractor that has been improving and building homes and properties in San Diego County for 30 years. Sheen and SHI’s bespoke process of developing full-color, realistic designs for each project and working one on one with each client to ensure their visions and ideas are fully implemented into the final build means we can only work with a limited number of clients at a time. Give us a call soon for a consultation on your new project!