How to Select a Contractor

What to Know Before You Hire a Contractor

Hiring a contractor, whether it's for a remodel or full-home construction, is a large personal expense, and it can be risky if you don't hire an ethical contractor. There are steps you can take to ensure you're protected. At Lisac Construction, we want to make sure you have complete peace-of-mind before you work with us. Therefore, we recommend the following:

  • Anyone in California who contracts for bids on a construction project valued over $500 must have a current Contractor's License through the Contractor's State License Board (CSLB).
  • Ask to see your contractor's state license copy and verify that the contractor is in good-standing, either by calling the CSLB at 1-800-321-CSLB (2752) or by visiting the website: www.cslb.ca.gov.
  • Interview at least three contractors and get bids from all before you hire a contractor.
  • Make sure you check the references on all of the contractors.
  • Have the contractor provide you with a written contract. Don't sign it until you are clear on the terms.
  • Make sure the contract clearly states when the work will start and end.
  • The contract should have a detailed description of the work to be done, the materials used, and the equipment to be installed.
  • If you are required to pay a down payment, the down payment can't exceed 10% of the total cost or $1000.00 — whichever is less.
  • If there is a schedule of payments, you should only pay the amount requested. You should never pay in cash.
  • Any changes to the contract should be approved with a change order, which should be in writing and signed by both parties.
  • As a homeowner, you waive your three-day "right to cancel" if you sign a service and repair contract. This is different from a standard "home improvement" contract.
  • Make sure your contractor acquires the appropriate building permits before any work begins.
  • Your contractor should provide you with a Notice to Owner, which is a warning notice describing liens and ways to prevent them.
  • If you have a complaint against your contractor, you can find free forms at www.cslb.ca.gov or by calling 800-321-2752.

At Lisac Construction, we invite you to request references and research our reputation. We are proud of our reputation, and we stand behind our work.