General Contracting

Find a general contractor near Los Angeles, CA

Find a general contractor near Los Angeles, CA

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Top 10 General Contractors near Los Angeles, CA

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How do you hire a general contractor?

You can use Thumbtack to find local general contractors, read their customer ratings and get cost estimates. First, read the written reviews to learn about their professionalism, paying attention to photos for evidence of their workmanship. You should also verify their license, insurance and other credentials.

For more tips, read our guide on how to hire a contractor.

How do you choose a commercial general contractor?

A commercial contractor provides similar services as a residential general contractor but specializes in working with large-scale projects for businesses, schools, nonprofits, governments and development firms. When researching commercial general contractors, review their portfolio of work and confirm they have ample experience working in the area you need. For example, if you are building a small strip mall, ask if the contractors have experience successfully incorporating all the needed elements such as a parking lot, meeting ADA requirements, accessing the proper permits, and completing work on time.

Once you’ve identified several qualified candidates, request bids for your project and then compare the scope of work with your needs and budget. Your commercial general contractor should oversee design, permitting, construction, materials purchase, and adherence to building code and zoning regulations, as well as sticking to an agreed-upon budget and schedule. It’s important to establish clear communication with your future commercial general contractor, as this will mean a smoother process for everyone. For all these reasons, it’s also especially important to follow a few smart hiring practices when it comes to finding a general contractor.

What does general liability insurance cover for contractors?

For contractors, general liability insurance is an important part of protecting businesses and contractors. This type of insurance will vary in its details and scope, but it can generally be expected to cover damage to the property and injuries. Here’s how you can verify a pro’s insurance.

What is a general contractor?

When starting a home remodel or new construction project, you will probably hire a general contractor. A general contractor is a professional who is qualified to take a set of building plans and construct them as outlined. The general contractor may help perform the day-to-day building, or they may just hire workers and oversee all the work activities. In either case, the job of the general contractor is to see that your project gets built.

When you have a building project, ask for bids from various contractors. The bids tell you how much each will charge and what their scope of work will be. Once you have selected a bid, you sign a contract with that general contractor outlining the specifics of the project and the milestones during the project when they will receive payment installments. Once the contract is official, the general contractor will bring in their crew to begin construction. The contractor will manage the workers and subcontractors (anyone who doesn’t work directly for their company but that they need to outsource, like a marble installation pro), order all the materials, obtain work permits, and confirm that all the workers and subcontractors are completing their projects as planned. They typically handle all the payments to the workers and subcontractors, and send you invoice. For all these reasons, it’s also especially important to follow a few smart hiring practices when it comes to finding a general contractor.  If you are organized and competent to oversee construction projects, and are able to make sure everything is being built properly and meeting code, it’s possible you can be your own general contractor.  

What do general contractors charge?

If you’re doing a home remodel, building a new home or embarking on a commercial building project, you’ll hire a general contractor. A general contractor is a professional who is qualified to oversee and execute construction projects. Each construction project is unique; even two duplicate homes built on lots next door to each other could have different construction costs due to factors like different excavation costs when building the foundation. Since each project is unique, many general contractors make bids on potential construction projects. These bids can then break down to a per square foot cost that encompasses the labor of all the workers needed for the job, materials, the scope of work, and any equipment needed. Materials and finishes make a major difference in your cost per square foot. For example, choosing standard kitchen tiles at $3 per square foot will result in a lower total project cost than imported marble tiles that cost $63 per square foot. Where you live will also affect how much general contractors charge, as labor and the cost to do business can cost less in many regions than in high-cost areas like New York or San Francisco. Here are some examples of average costs general contractors typically charge in various regions:

  • Home addition in San Francisco: $250-$270 per square foot.
  • New home construction in Knoxville, Tennessee: $100-$200 per square foot.
  • Kitchen remodel in Tennessee: $40-$80 per square foot, depending on finishes.
  • Bathroom remodel in Vancouver, Washington: $110-$170 per square foot.

Be sure to check out our smart hiring practices when it comes to finding a general contractor.

What kind of jobs can a general contractor do?

General contractors can complete all types of projects, from small home repairs and new construction, from building a new home to landscaping an entire yard. General contractors may specialize in plumbing, framing, electrical, foundations or roofing projects, and they can work on commercial or residential buildings. 

Before hiring a general contractor, make sure the contractor holds the proper licenses, registration, insurance and certifications required by your city or state. 

How much do general contractors charge per hour?

On average, a general contractor will charge around $50 per hour for their services. However, the range of their fees varies between $30 and $85 per hour, depending on your geographical location and the type of project they’re undertaking. 

You can get a better idea of how much it will cost to hire a general contractor by requesting free estimates from contractors near you.

How much does it cost to remodel a bathroom?

Nationally, the average cost of bathroom remodeling is $14,000. Bathroom remodels can vary widely, from standard makeovers to luxurious master bathroom revamps. The factors that affect your bathroom remodeling cost are the finishes you choose (marble tiles can cost 20 times as much as standard subway tiles), the square footage of the project, regional labor rates in your area and the scope of work. Changing the layout or size of the bathroom will also raise costs. Moving electrical wiring and plumbing lines will also dramatically increase costs, as you’ll need to hire plumbers and electricians to handle the work. What’s happening behind your walls and under your floor will also affect bathroom remodeling cost: Rot, damage or mold can lead to additional work and charges. Overall, bathroom remodeling may offer great return on investment and also improve your daily life. Here are some examples of average bathroom remodeling costs:

  • 6-foot by 6-foot bathroom remodel: $3,500, including labor and materials.
  • Standard renovation: $6,500-$10,000. Price includes labor and materials the customer has purchased. Labor may include taking out the shower and shower pan, installing new shower pan and shower, and installing new door, new vanity, new mirror, new bathroom fan, and all new fixtures.
    • Price variation depends on the quality of the finishes.
  • 10-foot by 6-foot bathroom remodel: $7,200, including labor and materials.
  • Mid-range renovation: $12,000-$15,000. Price includes labor and materials the customer has purchased.
  • Upscale renovation: $35,000 and up. Price includes labor and materials. Items might include digital displays for fixtures, multiple shower heads and custom showers.

For more on how to remodel a bathroom, what it costs to remodel a bathroom, what bathroom brands to consider and more check out The Complete Thumbtack Bathroom Remodel Guide.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a general contractor during the COVID-19 pandemic?

To set up a consultation or appointment with a general contractor during the COVID-19 pandemic, start by performing an online search for local professionals near you.

Message the contractor, and see if they are willing to set up a video consultation call instead of an in-person site visit. With video chat, the contractor may be able to assess the scale of the project, give you better information on what needs to be done and perhaps provide an estimate. Be sure to discuss virtual payments, as well as general strategies for staying safe.

Can I use digital payments to pay for general contractor services?

Currently, many general contractors are using common digital payment services like PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash, Zelle, Google Pay and more. And more will likely adopt these and similar platforms as coronavirus continues to force companies to take on digital capabilities.

Contact general contractors beforehand to discuss whether they accept digital payments, and take all necessary measures to meet social distancing recommendations. You can also compare general contractors side-by-side online to see which ones accept digital payments.

Reviews for Los Angeles general contractors
Erica C.
When I first reached out to Smart Homes, I received a phone call from Josh in a span of a couple of hours. He was friendly, upbeat and easy to talk to; all signs you want to see when establishing contact with a general contractor company. The following day, I met one of his colleagues, Gal, who happened to stop by my property to go over some of the projects I was interested in pursuing. Gal was exceptionally professional but also very personable. He talked at length about his process and shared advice on how to approach the renovations. The conversation felt smooth, easy and most importantly, collaborative. Obviously, as a layperson, I have no clue on how renovations/construction works. I just have an idea on what I want the final product to look like. That said, Gal does a great job of bridging his expertise and experience with what you want without condescending to you; a story that I have heard all too often from other friends with their contractors. I was quite impressed at the length of time he spent with me. He showed me photos from several projects from several stages to help me conceptualize how my project would unfold. Not once did our meeting ever feel rushed nor did I get the feeling that he was too busy to answer my questions. What really struck me the most was the fact that he was very upfront about how communication and respect was very important to him; that it’s incumbent for both parties (homeowner and contractor) to be able to work with one another in a professional manner. Gal made it clear that it doesn’t matter how much money is being offered to him to do a project. If you’re the type of person who is going to micromanage and create an environment that makes it difficult for him and his crew to do their job effectively, it’s not worth it to him. The point being, Gal made it clear that Smart Homes is based off of building relationships and selectively choosing projects that are a good fit for his team and of course, the homeowner. He’s not going to take a project for the sake of taking a project because of the money. I respect that as it is a core trait I look for in a contractor. My wife and I ended up moving in a different direction with our interior renovation. However, we’ve got an ADU project lined up in the near future. Given this company’s experience and expertise with ADU construction, we absolutely intend on reaching out to Smart Homes to potentially help us build this unit! Thanks Josh and Gal for a positive experience. I am sorry that we were unable to work together on this particular project but I am hopeful that perhaps we can collaborate on the bigger ADU project.
Jonathan S.
Working with Danny was an absolute nightmare. He’s an incompetent, deceitful contractor who wasted our time and money and brought so much unnecessary stress, complication and difficulty into our lives. It’s hard to explain how badly he mismanaged our garage-ADU conversion and electrical projects, how much he misled us along the way or how many things he did wrongly. We’ll go into detail below, but his work across the board was poor, not up to code, incredibly slow, and in many cases had to be properly fixed by someone else after we fired Danny. We're now working with new electricians, plumbers, HVAC contractors and architects who are re-doing Danny's work after city inspectors told us that it was unacceptable. He failed numerous inspections from DWP and Building and Safety. Danny fails in almost every respect as a general contractor, and proved to be unprofessional, neglectful, dishonest, rude, combative, way in over his head, and unable to communicate even the simplest matters. This is not just us saying that - several people involved in the garage conversion and electrical projects we undertook with DMI told us that our contractor did not know what he was talking about or doing, made countless careless mistakes, cut corners, and neglected to address corrections. After we fired Danny and replaced him, we truly realized how badly he had messed up and complicated the process, how much he lied to us along the way about his experience, and how many costly, amateur, avoidable mistakes he had made. The details: It took Danny 9 months, and he was still unable to finish a standard garage-ADU conversion project. Workers would not show up for days or even weeks at a time. Things that should have taken days took months. He left our property an absolute mess - trash strewn about and things not cleaned up for months. When we asked Danny why his team wasn't working to finish the project, he'd yell at us, and then give us a rambling, incoherent, defensive answer. It was like dealing with a child. We would leave conversations more confused than when we entered: no one involved in this project could ever get any straightforward answers out of him. Danny would tell us that he’d had conversations with DWP - but when we'd call the departments, representatives told us that these conversations had never taken place, or that Danny was just wrong. Danny also threatened us - when we asked for documentation that a step was complete and up to code before sending payment for that step (this was after it had become clear that Danny couldn’t be trusted and had botched many things along the way), Danny immediately threatened to put a lien on our house if payment wasn't made by end of day. We'd made all our payments on time up to that point. And for the record - we made payment that day, and, of course, found out that the tasks we'd asked Danny to confirm he’d finished turned out to be incomplete. Most recently, Danny assured us that our garage was ready for final inspection - but when the city inspector came, there were almost 20 (20!) outstanding corrections, some almost 2 months old, that Danny hadn't addressed. Danny said that we were at the 1 yard line, but when we spoke to the city, we learned we were far from it. Phone conversations with Danny were incredibly frustrating - we could never get a straight answer from him, he would get very combative, and it was impossible for him to clearly explain what was happening. At one point, when I told him that DWP had said that his work was incomplete and inaccurate, he started screaming that he'd been secretly recording my phone conversations with him. Is that a way for a contractor to treat a client? When I told him that was illegal, he simply denied having ever said that. His emails were impossible to understand, and he and his team would often contradict themselves in the same chain. He lied to us many times over the course of the project, and on a basic level, told us that he had experience with HPOZ, DWP and Building and Safety - but as the project went on, it became clear that this was far from true. He made mistakes with these department at every step. He installed the wrong smoke detectors and A/C unit (violating city codes), without even knowing he was making a mistake, and shockingly told us that compliance forms from the city were invoices for things he'd bought. He never itemized bills, expenses or invoices, and our requests to provide a simple rundown of what he'd completed was met with a firm, rude refusal from his team. This request couldn't have been more straightforward, but Danny and his team refused to document or detail their work. And the quality of some of his work was poor - already, doors are sticking, windows don't open smoothly, caulking looks shabby. An unbelievably terrible guy to deal with, someone to be avoided at absolutely all costs - we regret we didn't fire him earlier.
DMI Construction Inc.DMI Construction Inc.
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