On the back of the Golden State Theatre in historic downtown Monterey is a wonderful old mural of cypress trees on an idyllic Central Coast beach with the caption “The Monterey Peninsula – Playground of America”. The mural is in need of repairs and restoration, but the caption is as true today as it was in the last century when passenger trains brought visitors to the grand Hotel Del Monte in Monterey and the Methodist campsites in Pacific Grove.
Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to the Monterey Peninsula for golf tournaments, classic automobiles, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, motorcycle races at Laguna Seca, and Monarch butterflies, and fall in love with the area’s charm and scenic beauty. Many vacation homes have been purchased in Monterey, Pebble Beach, Carmel, and Pacific Grove after visits to the Monterey Peninsula. Just ask local Realtors! But what do you do if you live in San Francisco, Palo Alto, or Los Angeles and you need a contractor to remodel the bathroom in your Carmel Comstock cottage, the kitchen in your Pebble Beach home near the Monterey Peninsula Country Club, or renovate your classic Victorian in Pacific Grove? It can be a daunting task to embark upon a large home improvement or repair project, but to do so when you live hundreds of miles away from your second home can be a real challenge. What do you do? Here are some suggestions…
Start with a web search!
It’s easy, costs nothing, and can be done from just about anywhere. Look at the Contractors’ websites. A website should be current, easy to navigate, with up to date content and photos of recent projects.
Check Online Reviews
Check online reviews from Yelp, Houzz, or other websites to see what has been said by clients about the Contractors both in the past and recently. The more reviews the better, as you can see patterns of consistency.
Check the standing of a Contractor’s license through the California State Licensing Board website. The website allows for searches based upon license number, and will show any complaints, as well as their Bond and the status of Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
Call Contractors to Discuss Your Project
Do they have an office and a staff to answer the phone? Do they respond to your calls timely? Are they engaging and interested? First impressions are important, and will help you to determine if a particular Contractor may be a good fit for you and your project. Some Contractors specialize in serving clients that live outside their service area, and utilize web based applications such as Builder Trend, that allow their clients to view and participate in the management their projects from far away.
Finally, Ask a Contractor for References!
Specifically, references from clients that live outside the area. A Contractor’s past clients that have had both good experiences and challenges are usually quite willing to discuss their past projects with potential clients.
At Bakker Construction, we firmly believe that if you own a vacation home on the Monterey Peninsula and are in need of a Licensed Contractor, by following the five suggestions above, you will find some excellent and well qualified candidates. Of course, if you’re pressed for time, feel free to call us directly at (831) 998-7113!