Tips

These days, two widespread trends are converging into a new phenomenon.

On one hand, Americans of all ages are logging onto the Internet in record numbers. The very fact that you are here reading illustrates this point. The release of the Star Report on the Internet demonstrated the power of the Information Highway, as the medium is often called. Millions around the world gained immediate, "real-time" access to a document several hundred pages long. The Internet has become a mainstream tool for travel, shopping, stocks trading, news gathering, and, mainly, research.

On the other hand, the Los Angeles remodeling scene is more complex than ever. Reduced property prices on one hand that are presented with some of the lowest interest rates seen in decades on the other, couple to make remodeling a very attractive option, as compared with moving. But, weakness in the new construction segment of the industry mean a lot of builders are looking for work in remodeling, in which they have no experience. Properly researching any candidate for your project is therefore a must. 

Even with depressed property values, due to high and ever rising utility bills, the benefits of green remodeling options and tjhe rewarding life-style outcomes help in keeping remodeling a viable and worthwhile option.

With the remodeling market so 'crowded' it is harder than ever to find competent and reliable home builders in Southern California. While he or she was always obscured by the masses of under-financed, poorly managed, and barely qualified contractors, the good Los Angeles building contractor is as hard as ever to identify these days - it is also priced more competitively than ever. So what can be done to find the right Los Angeles home builder for your upcoming project?

The internet, of course is a primary tool. In fact, almost all homeowners thinking about remodeling are now using the Internet to search for and screen potential contractors. In addition to finding contractors for remodeling or home construction, Los Angeles residents are also going online to expand their horizons by learning more about the projects they want done, more about green remodeling and more about green products..

Because of the enormity of the Internet, it will be impossible to list all the relevant sites to visit. Some sites, however, do stand out from the crowd and may prove to be a good starting point.

The Contractors State License Board (the state agency in charge of contractors) has an excellent web site that may just be the perfect place to start your search. You can get there by pointing your browser to CSLB. This web site allows you to enter a contractor's license number and "run" a check of its status. The license status, along with the company's complaint history, can reveal a lot about the company you are considering. Note: you need to contact the CSLB in writing for a complaint history. Complaints are not typically posted in its site.

Another great site to visit is the Better Business Bureau. Nationally, visitors to the site can look up a report on the companies they are checking out. Look for the BBB's highest rating of 'AAA' in anyone you wish to engage with for your project.

We have maintained a web presence for close to two decades (since the early 90's). Initially, it was mostly a vanity item. There was no indication that our clients, or anyone else for that matter, was investigating our web site. This is not the case however, however as more and more homeowners and clients are referring to our site. In addition, we have been interacting with homeowners and clients by e-mail and text messaged for some time now (our e-mail address is formyhome@megabuilders.com). In fact, e-mail and text messaging have become the de-facto and primary mode of communication these days. But don't worry, we still use the phone as well :)

When you are looking at a contractor's site, try to get a feel for the types of projects they are most comfortable with and do the most. Look through their web site for current and recent projects, and see if these fit the kind of project you have in mind for your home. Remember that not all general contractors are fit for all multi-trade projects. If you are remodeling a kitchen, look for specific experience in the caliber of kitchen you are considering. If, on the other hand, your home has been damaged by rare, heavy winter rains that every few years hit Los Angeles, water damage restoration experience will be more useful for you. If you are interested in green remodeling options look for pertinent experience and corresponding certification in green construction. Los Angeles has but a few companies with the necessary qualifications. Mega Builders is at the top of that list! 

 

If you find projects with likeness to yours, and everything else about that company checks out (their license, their insurance, their record with the BBB, and so on) and only if you feel that the persons you are dealing with are fully trust worthy and you enjoy a good sense of rapport with them, then ask to speak with past clients. Do not settle for one or two, nor for old clients. A company that might have done well in years past, might not be doing so well at the present time. So try to interview recent and/or current homeowners regarding their experience with that firm. Nothing will tell you more about a company than this exercise. Insist on talking with a few and seeing at least two or three projects.

When you have actually done all of the above (making short-cuts in this process is a prescription for trouble), take the time to develop, in concert with your contractor of choice, a fully articulated work description and specifications, that everyone understands and agrees to. Than settle for the best price possible. Once all the above is accomplished, and you are fully armed with patience and good will, you are ready for your project to commence.

Once your project is underway, keep using the internet to explore product offerings, educate yourself on various options, shop for fixtures and appliances and evaluate input received from your project team-members. The more you know, the better captain you could be for that project. It is after all your home and your money that is at stake.

Think no company could provide you with all above and more?

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