How to Find the Best General Contractors in Marin County CA
General contractors in Marin County CA might perform as anything from custom home builders to commercial construction contractors, and they may also take on the role of job foreperson or construction site manager.
If you're in need of a local builder, it's time to find good construction companies in Marin County. The following independent research by The Prime Buyer's Report lists the best general contractors in Marin County and issues related to hiring them and that affect cost, including design/build contractors and custom home builders in Marin County CA.
Updated October 17, 2019
How to Find the Best General Contractors in Marin County CA
The state of California requires general contractors in Marin County to have the B license for general contractors or the A license for general engineering contractors that allows them to perform work in any industry specialty or construction project, whether residential builders or commercial building such as builders of office buildings, medical buildings, malls and other retail construction.
But the state license for builders is no guarantee that any particular local general contractor in Marin County CA is doing business honestly, delivering value, or satisfying customers.
This makes it all the more significant that all residential or commercial construction companies in Marin County CA that bear The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten® symbol have been cleared by our research staff as passing all the requirements for The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten status, such as survey phone calls to previous customers to verify high satisfaction, good complaint record, verified state license, verified worker's comp and liability insurance, hiring only employees legal to work in Marin County and the U.S., and more.
Understandably, not all general contractors in Marin County can be equally experienced in every specialized area of construction. So find local general contractors in Marin County based on the specific type of work you need done. Some general contractors specialize as custom home builders in Marin County CA, design/build contractors, commercial contractors, or for municipal construction. Regardless of the particular construction services you need, there are good general contractors in Marin County who can perform the kind of construction you want done.
Some General Contractors in Marin County Are Better Than Others
We've identified some of the best general contractors based on customer satisfaction, efficiency, and affordability. The Prime Buyer's Report lists these general building contractors in Marin County: Marin Master Builders Inc. Fairfax CA, Harkey Construction, Inc. Windsor CA, Integrity Construction Maintenance, Inc Sebastopol CA, Boesel Design & Construction San Anselmo CA, Mares & Dow Construction Concord CA, Dream Builders Santa Rosa CA. Other construction firms and general contractors in San Rafael CA that might still be in business include: Kapranos Construction Novato CA, James Enright Construction Inc Novato CA, Legacy Builders / Joe Sherer Contractor Mill Valley CA.
Questions To Ask General Contractors in Marin County
Step 1: Describe The Construction Work to the General Building Contractors in Marin County
When you talk with local builders in Marin County, explain what type of construction you need. Be consistent so each of the construction companies can submit an estimate based on the same information.
Step 2: Ask Questions and Take Notes
Before you create a list of possible general contractors for your construction project, ask each contender some important questions about their technical abilities, history, and the specifications of your construction job. When the Marin County general contractors ask you questions, take notes on their concerns. They may reveal some aspects of the construction that are new to you.
Ask the general contractors in Marin County and near you the following questions about their experience, abilities, and methods:
• How long have the general contractors been building homes or commercial buildings in Marin County?
• How many other projects have they done that are like yours?
• Can the local general contractors give you names and numbers of clients that you can call as references? (All local general contractors bearing the Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have had client references called by our research staff.)
• How long will it take the Marin County general contractors to prepare a written bid?
• Do the general contracting companies carry workers' compensation and liability insurance? (All general contractors in Marin County bearing the Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have already had proof of insurance verified by our research staff.)
• Can the Marin County CA general contractors prove that all their workers sent to your property are legally allowed to work in the U.S.? (All builders in Marin County bearing The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have signed an agreement to only hire documented workers.)
• How do the local general contracting firms determine pricing?
• Will the Marin County general contractors in San Rafael and your area provide you a written contract that details the exact brands of products, model numbers, and materials to be used? Failure to include those in writing is one way that cheap general contractors falsely underbid others to get projects. Either you're getting inferior materials or you request better materials once the job is ongoing and the cost goes up accordingly.
• What type of warranty does each of the good general construction companies provide, and what are the terms?
• Will construction permits be needed? If so, will the general contractors be responsible for getting those permits? Failure to pull permits is another way cheap contractors in Marin County are able to underbid legitimate ones. Unfortunately, unpermitted work can prevent you from selling the property and even subject you to hefty fines and repair fees to get it to code.
• Will the Marin County general contractors be hiring subcontractors for your project? If so, what are those companies' names? You will want to verify insurance, license, and other information for each of those companies for your safety and the safety of your property and assets.
• How often and when will the general contracting firms in Marin County and your area clean up the construction site?
When you've chosen the best general contractors in Marin County for your specific needs and priorities, make sure they are licensed in good standing with an A license for general engineering contractors or B license for general contractors. (All construction companies in Marin County bearing the Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have already had their license verified by our research staff.)
Tips About General Contractors and Construction Companies in Marin County
Take Care Choosing Among Good Local Builders
There are many good builders in Marin County. So you'll want to have more than one conversation with potential candidates before jumping in and hiring one. When you make the time to properly outline your job and carefully match the right local general contractor to your needs, you'll be happier with the end result.
Write a Description of the Job for the Marin County General Contractors
Write up a paragraph or two (depending on the intricacy of the job) about the job specifics prior to contacting construction companies in Marin County. Since each local general contractor will see the same description, you can be sure that you are comparing responses on a fair and equal basis. Then you can better judge which Marin County construction company gave you the best responses to your consistent description.
Get Three Separate Contracting Estimates for General Contracting Services in Marin County CA
It's okay to get a few separate estimates for comparison from more than one good local contractor. But remember, price should not be your only determining factor. Cheap contractors in Marin County are usually not the best ones, and cheap bids often turns out to be more costly due to unforeseen cost overruns or poor work that has to be repaired or done over by someone else.
Get All Promises from Local General Contractors In Writing
It is always better to be safe than sorry. Ask builders to give you everything in writing to prevent confusion down the line. For the purposes of documentation, ask the general contractors to provide you with a written description of the construction work, pricing and a time frame for completion.
Do Your Homework Before You Sign an Agreement with a Local General Contractor
Before you officially agree to any work, be sure to check for contractors license, workers' compensation and liability insurances, as well as any other relevant credentials. General contracting services in Marin County and your area should be happy to provide you with their license number and proof of insurance, and you can verify license holders online and see any recent infractions, complaints, or judgements against them.
Maintain Great Communication with Your Contractor During Construction
This is an often overlooked skill with general contractors. But in order to maintain a successful partnership, both parties must make a concerted effort to keep one another informed. Don't jump to conclusions, and call and ask your builder if you have doubt about how the construction job is going. There may be a reasonable explanation for changes or delays. There may also be decisions that you can make that will help the construction go more smoothly.
Agree in Advance to do a Walk-Through Upon Completion
After the job is completed, return to the agreement you signed before the construction work started. Walk through your project area with the most senior staff member at the Marin County construction company and compare the results to the details stipulated in the agreement. Bring up any work that differentiates from what has been agreed upon.
Know Your Rights When Hiring Marin County General Contracting Firms
Consumers do have special rights, depending on where they live. You're dealing with general contractors in Marin County, so you can learn about applicable laws at the California Department of Consumer Affairs Web site.
Good General Contractors in Marin County Use The Best Brands of Building Materials
Good construction companies in Marin County CA know which brands are suited to each building situation, whether they're general contractors for commercial construction or residential building projects. Brands are important to you, too, because some building materials are more durable or better protected by manufacturer warranties.
Familiarize yourself with the good brands of construction materials used by residential builders and commercial builders in Marin County and be sure to ask your local general contractor for details about which brand and grade of materials they'll be using on your construction project. They should also be willing to specify on the written invoice the brand, model, number, and grade of materials used. Additionally, all manufacturer warranty details should be given to you so you can keep the records in case you have to claim the warranty for defects or problems.
Some brands you may find Marin County CA general contractors use include the following:
Nevamar, Owens-Corning, Corian, CHI Overhead Door, Dewalt, Bosch, Eldorado Stone, CertainTeed, Grohe, Master Halco, Heat-N-Glo, Pergo, Wilsonart, Hartco, Tyvek (Dupont), Lennox, Toto, American Standard, Georgia-Pacific, Tyvek, Thermador, Wausau Tile, Martin, Hanson Roof Tiles, Plops, US Gypsum, and more.
Resources About General Contractors in Marin County
Associations & Licensing for Good General Contractors in Marin County CA
ABC Associated Builders and Contractors (http://www.abc.org/)
AGC of America Associated General Contractors of America (http://www.agc.org/)
ASA American Subcontractors Association (http://www.assaonline.com/)
BBB Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.com)
CBIA California Building Industry Association (http://www.cbia.org/)
CSLB Contractors State License Board (http://www.cslb.ca.gov/)
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)
HBANC Home Builders Association of Northern California (http://www.hbanc.org/)
NAHB National Association of Home Builders (http://www.nahb.org/)
General Building Contractors Media & Web Resources
Building Design and Construction
California Home & Design
Environmental Design and Construction Magazine
Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine
Home & Design
New Old House
Old House Journal
This Old House
Western Interiors and Design
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the Top Ten General Contractors in Marin County within the following zip codes:
94942, 94912, 94977, 94964, 94938, 94963, 94914, 94979, 94933, 94957, 94973, 94978, 94950, 94971, 94929, 94948, 94966, 94976, 94915, 94913, 94924, 94940, 94970, 94945, 94903, 94901, 94920, 94965, 94974, 94949, 94939, 94960, 94937, 94956, 94904, 94947, 94930, 94946, 94925 and 94941
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the Top Ten Construction Companies in Marin County within the following cities:
Bel Marin Keys, Belvedere, Belvedere Tiburon, Black Point, Bolinas, Corte Madera, Dogtown, Fairfax, Greenbrae, Ignacio, Inverness, Kent Woodlands, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marin City, Marinwood, Marshall, Mill Valley, Muir Beach, Muir Woods, Nicasio, Novato, Point Reyes Station, San Anselmo, San Marin, San Quentin, San Rafael, Santa Venetia, Sausalito, Stinson Beach, Strawberry Point, Tamal, Tamalpais Valley, Terra Linda, Tiburon, Dillon Beach, Forest Knolls, Lagunitas, Mission Rafael, Olema, Ross, San Geronimo, Tomales, Woodacre, Almonte, Lucas Valley and Sleepy Hollow