Check with the Better Business Bureau first. That's a good start. Be very careful who you hire. A good friend of mine is a wonderful Master Craftsman carpenter and cabinetry builder. He has told me some horror stories about, in particular, Montecito projects which have gone on forever, with shoddy construction. This ineptitude is mainly due to that fact that many contractors have no idea of how to supervise and organize because they really have no clue how to build anything.
My friend says it is all too easy to get a contractor's license and you can get this license without ever really knowing how the heck to build a house!
Peter Elliot is a good local guy, a general contractor, who has had a company here in Santa Barbara for decades. 646-4214. Giffin and Crane have an excellent reputation but are very, very expensive. If it were me, I would find houses that I like, newer ones, and go ask the owners who built the house and what their experience was with their contractors. Bare in mind, though, that the owners aren't builders. They may not even know that their home has construction problems until years on down the line.
I'm not joking. With some of the stories I heard, I wanted to run right over to the owners and tell them just how badly they were being taken. To the tune of 100s of 1000s of dollars. It's a real shame.... more
Hi Maria, The answers preceding mine are all very good. There are also some hidden gems of Santa Babara that are often overlooked. I have lived here since 1971 and worked in the real estate business nationwide. Santa Barbara has so many desirable areas.... more
Hello, I too am looking to build in Santa Barbara and what costs would be, how to find a reliable builder, what to look out for, problems that can be expected during the process and whether or not we would have to be/should be living in the area during the building process. We have available a 2+ acre lot in the Hope Ranch area but currently live in Florida.... more