10 tips to avoid a contractor nightmare

Posted at 4:59 PM, Feb 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-02 19:59:59-05

(KGTV) — Planning your personal piece of paradise can be met with a storm of anxiety, especially for those diving into the process for the first time. 

Finding the right contractor for your job can be daunting for many home owners -- and that's only the beginning.

An Internet search of San Diego's best contractors turns up various levels of expertise, experience, pricing and project scheduled. Knowing who to pick can be daunting.

How do you know which one is right for you? 

Here are 10 tips from the California Contractors State License Board: 

  • Hire only state-licensed contractors
  • Check a contractor's license number online here or by calling 800-321-2752 
  • Get at least three bids
  • Get three references for each bidder and review past work in person
  • Make sure all project expectations are in writing and only sign the contract if you completely understand the terms
  • Confirm that the contractor has workers' compensation insurance for employees
  • Never pay more than 10 percent down or $1,000, whichever is less* Don't pay in cash
  • Don't let payments get ahead of the work
  • Keep a job file of all papers relating to your project, including all payments
  • Don't make the final payment until you're satisfied with the job 

*There is an exception to this rule for about two dozen contractors who have filed a blanket performance and payment bond with the Registrar. This information is noted on the contractor's license detail page on CSLB's website