Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much should I give for a down payment?
A: 10% of the overall price of the contract or up to $1000 whichever is less.
Q: How many days do I have for a full refund of my down payment if I chose to cancel the project before it begins?
A: Seven (7) days from the date of the down payment.
Q: How are block walls calculated when estimating?
A: Block walls are calculated by linear foot. So a 50' L block wall is multiplied by the price per foot. Example: 50' L x $ = $X
Q: How is concrete flat work (ie: patio slabs, driveways, etc.) calculated when estimating?
A: Concrete flat work is estimated in square footage. So a ten foot by twenty foot slab is calculated by the following example:
10' x 20' = 200 sq ft x $ per sq ft = $X
Q: If I already have the material, can I hire a contractor to install it?
A: Yes. You can hire a contractor for labor only, but you must ensure that you have all the material needed for the project plus 10% extra.
Q: Can I hire a contractor on a "per hour" or "per day" basis at wages?
A: No. Doing this you assume the role of an employer not a client and you may be subject to California state employment laws. The contractor should give you an estimated time of completion and an estimated price for general labor.
Q: Before actual construction begins, what should I do to prepare my property?
A: Make sure that "all" personal items of yours are removed from the area. This includes: tools, children's toys, patio furniture, household pets, potted plants, etc. Do not assume that these items will be safe from damage or from theft.
Q: Who should obtain permits for my project?
A: You may obtain permits yourself as an "Owner Builder" for most projects on your property that require permits. Though it is always best to have the contractor pull permits. This ensures that the contractor is aware of any special regulations and or engineering requirements the city or county may have.
Q: I am ready to have a block wall built on my property line. What should I know or do before accepting bids?
A: Here is a brief list of things to do before scheduling an estimate.
- Check with your neighbor to see if they are okay with constructing a wall on the property line.
- Ask your neighbor to see if they are willing to pay some or half of the cost.
- Inquire with the city or county government, whichever has jurisdiction in your area, about block wall requirements in your area.
- Call DIG ALERT by dialing 811 or visiting the website at www.digalert.org This service is free. Dig Alert will send out local utility companies to your property to check if there are any underground utility lines in the area of proposed construction.
- Visit your local material yards to see the latest block and cap designs and colors. The type of material you chose may effect the overall price of your wall.
- Most importantly, measure your proposed walls linear distance. Without this information, most contractors will be unable to answer basic questions over the phone or email when you first inquire with them about scheduling an estimate.
NOTE: Make the right choice based on your budget and intuition. Ask the contractor for their years of experience and whether they are a family business or come from a long line of builders. You can sometimes get a feel right away for whether a contractor takes pride in his or her work or whether they are just in it for the financial gain and could care less for you as a customer.