Q: Do you limit your services to specific types of projects?
A: No, we work on projects of all types and sizes. Most of our contracts are for jobs around $20,000, but we’ll definitely work on larger or smaller projects, too.
Q: How much will my project cost?
A: That depends on numerous factors, including the type and scope of work, outside costs that are imposed by permitting and code restrictions, and plans drawn by architects or engineers. We’ll walk you through all these potential costs before any work begins.
Q: Does my project require a building permit? Can it be done within the building code?
A: We have a lot of experience with the permitting process in localities throughout the Bay Area, so we can help you determine the specifics of your building permit and alert you if your project runs into potential setbacks or restrictions.
Q: What’s the best way to avoid change orders?
A: We’ll take a good look at your property, identify any areas that might cause problems (vegetation, drainage), and either include them in our scope of work or make sure they’re taken care of before we start. We always make sure our customers understand and agree with the exact details of our plans.
Q: Do you provide free estimates?
Q: Find a contractor with experience that’s relevant to your specific project.
A: Many building contractors aspire to broaden their experience and capabilities by taking on jobs outside of their comfort zones, but in order to get the best results from your construction project, it’s best to only work with highly experienced craftspeople that possess specific skill sets. When it comes to hiring a contractor, make sure you determine exactly what you want before making a final decision. “A good contractor will be able to account for all your needs and wishes in the initial design plans,” says Rob Buckle, co-owner of BB & B Builders Inc. in San Anselmo. “Don’t overlook this part of the process—even if you perceive a task to be simple and straightforward, it may have subtle implications that only an experienced professional can recognize.”
Mr. Buckle points to deck construction as an example of a project with numerous variables that should be handled by a professional with specific experience. “There are two types of decks: on-grade, which means on the dirt, and raised,” he explains. “Even if you like one more than the other, the choice might not be entirely up to you. If your house is on a slab, for example, you probably can’t have a raised deck because it can’t be higher than the grade of your house. If you want an on-grade deck, you need to consider factors such as drainage, surface texture, and materials like concrete slab and brick. It’s not a simple job, so if you want a product you’re going to be happy with for 10 years or more, you need to work with a good contractor who has experience dealing with these types of variables.”
After verifying a potential contractor’s state license and insurance coverage, it’s a good idea to ask for references that are directly related to your type of project. All references should be relatively recent to reflect current staffing and capabilities. Try to visit a current jobsite to get a close perspective on how the company works and to confirm its quality of workmanship.
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