5 Elements to Consider in Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor

By Marty Morse

Securing and hiring a remodeling company can be a cumbersome task for any homeowner. Finding accurate answers to questions you may have can be difficult to sort through with the amount of information found on the internet. By breaking down the nuts and bolts of this endeavor, I was able to define 5 important elements to consider when hiring a contractor to work on your home. They are as follows: License and Insurance, References of Past and Current Projects, Quality, Detailed Estimates, and Communication.

In this Morse Monthly, I will focus on License and Insurance, and References of Past and Current Projects:


License and Insurance: The first and most important element is to check the status of the Contractor’s License and make sure they are current with their Worker’s Compensation Insurance, or have on file that they are sole proprietors and do not require Worker’s Compensation. This can be checked at the California State License Board’s website www.cslb.ca.gov .


Another important factor to consider is liability insurance. Many contractors do not maintain a liability insurance policy. This type of insurance covers the contractor and your home should a flood, fire, or damage to the project occur during the course of the construction project. I would also recommend you check with homeowner’s insurance to make sure you are covered should something happen during the course of the construction during the project.

References of past and current projects: This one is simple. Get in touch with customers that the contractor is currently working with. If the contractor is not currently working for a customer, that could be a bad sign. Good contractors typically keep themselves busy with projects. I truly feel that this is one of the most important aspects when considering hiring a contractor for a project. Ask the hard questions from the acquired references.


Was the project finished with the expected finish date?

Was the jobsite maintained and kept clean and orderly?

Would you hire the contractor again for a similar project?

Was the project finished without additional costs or added work to the scope that you felt should have been included?


Posing these questions to recent clients of the contractor is one good way to see how the contractor is working in the current market. Additionally, you can check third party applications such as Houzz.com or Google reviews for additional feedback pertaining to the company.

Next monthly, I will share insights related to Quality and the importance of Detailed Estimates. Until then, Design, Build, and Enjoy!

Accessible Shower Renovation


This MCH&R design build project entailed renovating an existing bathroom to accommodate the bathing requirements of the client’s disabled son, but also provide a tasteful renovation and upgrade to the existing fixtures and finishes throughout.



BEFORE: The original standard bathroom with vanity, toilet, and 60” bathtub with a shower surround created many obstacles for bathing the client’s disabled son.


DESIGN: Attention to the details included measuring the wheel chair to make sure accessibility would not be an issue. Also, the finishes were selected to brighten up the bathroom and laid out for proper installation for ease of use.


DURING: The bathroom was gutted down to the studs and the concrete slab was partially removed to accommodate the relocation of the toilet and allow for a curb-less shower entrance.


AFTER: The hexagonal floor tile seamlessly connects the bathroom to the wet bathing zone, and allows for the use of a wheel chair into the shower area.


A shorter length toilet was specified to allow more room to wheel into the bathing area. A decorative stone mosaic border tile throughout the bathroom provides a stylish finish and elegant cap to the tiled wall throughout.


AFTER: The finished bathroom provides a functional and stunning shower for universal use.

Design, Build, and Bring on the Showers!


Design, Build, and Enjoy!








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