Hosting Hell: 10 Things That Will Go Wrong - And How to Prevent Them »
If you want to avoid entering the hosting hell dimension, here are 10 potential entertaining glitches, and how to avoid them.
If you want to avoid entering the hosting hell dimension, here are 10 potential entertaining glitches, and how to avoid them.
No matter whether an accident involved a freshly licensed teen or an experienced driver, knowing what to do (or not do) is essential to bouncing back.
All it takes is a little preparation to get your car winter-ready and to keep from getting into an icy situation.
I have been to see Blake Harris a number of times over the past several months. Overall my experience has been top notch. Here is a breakdown (no pun intended) as to why... My initial impression: Most auto places you go to are pretty grungy. Grease stains, dirty floors and grimy bathrooms are par for this industry. If you are lucky you get a cup of burnt coffee and a gruff unintelligible grunt from some grease monkey behind the front desk acknowledging your presence. When I first walked in to Harris I expected the usual. Instead I was pleasantly surprised. Harris auto is CLEAN. Maybe this has something to do with being a new building, but they have been around long enough (over a year) to acquire the coat of grime so ubiquitous to auto repair joints. This is the kind of well-kept-well-maintained kinda clean you see in a medical office. I was greeted shortly after walking in by Blake Harris who I later found out was the owner. He gave the impression that he was happy to see me and eager to help a new customer. He was dressed in the usual coverall, a oil stain here or there, but it was obvious that it had seen a washing machine in the not to recent past. In fact, I swear it was ironed. But just because the guy knows how to maintain his office and uniform clean doesn't mean that he knows how to maintain a car. But I digress.... Within about 5 minutes he had my car up on stilts. Within about 45 he delivered the bad news. "Your car needs a new oil pan gasket and because of the way your car is designed the repair is kind of labor intensive". What he didn't know is that I already knew this. I had taken the car to another place, who told me I needed a slew of new parts that added up to over 3K in work - (DONT go to that place!) I had also taken it to the dealership who had correctly diagnosed the problem as a leaky oil pan gasket. The price Blake gave me was fair and the total install cost significantly less than what the dealer had quoted me. I had one very minor issue post install, I brought it back and Blake fixed it in about 5 minutes flat. No charge of course. Now I bring both my cars to Harris. I have been in about 6 times for oil changes and other issues over the last 9 months. I feel like I can trust him to do the work and shoot straight with me. He and his staff treat me like gold when I come in. Which I like - I mean I am the customer so should be treated well right? it also feeds my ego which is always hungry. The only negative comment I have is that he uses powdered creamer for the coffee. DISGUSTING. If you serve coffee use real creamer for goodness sake!
My car was hailed on 10 days after I bought it in May. She had 132 miles on her that day... I was nervous about getting PDR done. I wanted my car to be fixed up as well as possible, with the least amount of hassle possible, and without getting screwed. I shopped around a little bit. Finally, after 3 months of procrastination, I saw an Intellident flyer. I looked up the reviews for the company and was pleased. A BBB A+ rating is unbeatable. I called, and after a couple of easy questions, I had an appointment to drop off the car. When I did, I barely had to touch a pen. It was as simple as signing my name a couple of times. I was provided a rental car at no cost to me even though my insurance plan does not include rental reimbursement. Nicholas, apparently the manager, was great. He didn't seem like a salesman. I really feel like he had my best interests in mind. He told me that it would be about 5 days. Sure enough, it was exactly 5 days. I mean exactly! I dropped off the car at 9:15 am and I picked it up today at 9:15 am. My car looks perfect. I got it washed on my way home. Minus a couple of rock chips, it is exactly how it was the day I bought it. This place is truly amazing. Every single moment of my experience was perfect. I have plans to bring my wife's car to Intellident to get it taken care of. I will be referring this place to everyone with 100% confidence that it will be the best experience they can possibly have with a hail repair company. As a side note, I live in Midwest City. It was worth the drive to Edmond.
These guys are great! Took my wife's car to them after the Chevy dealership diagnosed the problem as a bad alternator and quoted over $1,000 for the repair, saying it was so high because the steering column had to be removed to get to it. Called around for competitive quotes and they were close, but a little cheaper, agreeing that it was very difficult and time costly to get to the alternator. However, I'd heard they do good work and always stand behind it, so I took it to them and left it. They could have fixed it and charged what they quoted, but they discovered the Chevy dealer had mis-diagnosed the problem, turned out the alternator was ok. They did the (proper) fix and I ended up paying around $300! These days it's hard to find trustworthy businesses to deal wih when the need arises, but the owner, Blake Harris and his team is tops in both skill and integrity! Their business doctrine, instead of going after the quick buck/easy gouge, is to do excellent work at a reasonable and fair price, and the business will prosper accordingly. Wish we could clone their attitude for other service oriented retailers, it'd be a better word! I highly reccomend them, they'll do ya right!!
This auto center is OUTSTANDING!!! They do GREAT WORK! Their prices are MORE THAN REASONABLE! They are FAST but Thorough. Our Story: We had a tire almost fall off our car. The 1st place we took it said it needed one wheel stud installed but could not do the repair. We brought it here with the stud and when they took it apart it actually needed all 5 studs replaced and a new rim. My wife was going to drive it home and they said that it was too dangerous. The holes in the rim were so big and the studs & lug nuts were so bad they were afraid the tire was going to fall off before she got home. We found a new rim and purchased the rest of the parts and within 2 hours we were ready to go. The price was so low that we couldn't believe it! We appreciate everything they did for us and I am extremely grateful they did not allow my wife drive the car home in that condition. In my opinion, if you need work on your car performed by a reputable reasonably priced repair shop,that has integrity this is the place to go!
I have been taking my cars to CBA for the past 2 years and have NEVER had a bad experience. It is such a blessing to have a local company you can get to know the owner and staff, trust them with your car and know that they are honest, fair priced and back their work. I have had my 2005 Silverado and 2 Saturns (1997 and 2000) there for minor repairs and some not so minor. Every time without exception they have bent over backwards to make sure I have been happy with the service and work. I won't go to anyone else for my cars. I would encourage any one to stop in and get to know these people. They are Christian, they are GOOD people and it shows in everything they do. I am blessed for being geographically close to their location. I hope you will check them out. Tell them I sent you!!
We've eaten there a LOT since discovering this little gem. Like the last person said, the location is very unassuming but once you're inside, you feel like you've stepped into a Chicago pizzeria. Especially after taking one bite of the yummy, buttery, flaky, crispy pie. I don't usually eat the crust but finish off every morsel of this pizza. Well, I mean I would...IF I could. My husband and I are big eaters and always wind up taking half of it home because it's just SO much food. The wait staff is friendly and my glass never even got empty. Come to Humble Pie and discover a real food find right here in Edmond, OK. Karen
We brought our VW to Christian Brothers mainly because they are convenient to our apartment. We were thoroughly impressed with the experience from step one through to the end. Pleasant, exceptional customer service from the front desk to the mechanics and owners. No runaround, no shiftiness, no unnecessary up-selling, and most importantly, a great amount of trust established. I would recommend them to anyone with any type of car, but most especially, if you have been burned by a garage before, give Christian Brothers a try. I promise you won't regret it
Want first class customer service?Is getting your vehicle in and out the same day important--not a week from now? Look no further. Christian Brothers will schedule you the same day, and in most cases, get the problem fixed by the end of the business day. Staff is always polite and helpful--never pushy, rushed, or rude. Problems are fixed right the first time and stay fixed. If a problem arises, they will address it immediately. I am very confident Christian Brothers will continue to help my family keep our vehicles running smoothly at an economic cost.
Fantastic fantastic fantastic. The manager there is absolutely amazing. He is extremely knowledgeable about vehicles, very professional and polite. The new employees seem to take there job much more seriously than the last bunch of guys in there. Honestly I was scared to go back. But when I heard about the new manager from a good friend of mine I gave them a chance and im so glad I did they worked with me and took care of me 100 percent ask for the manager he is great
Johnnie's is an Oklahoma City classic, serving up the best charcoal-cooked hamburgers in the area. It's such an OKC mainstay, it was repeatedly referenced in the recent TNT series set in OKC, "Saving Grace." Johnnie's has a variety of burgers, from the basic lettuce, tomato to those topped with shredded cheese, Johnnie's special sauce, Caesar salad and more. Don't miss the onion rings or fries. Top it all off with a slice of coconut cream pie!
There has perhaps never been a better tool for do-it-yourself home handymen than the internet. With detailed instructions and videos explaining how to perform a number of common maintenance and renovation tasks around a house, an untrained homeowner might be surprised at how much he or she can accomplish with a quick search online. But even with all of this information, there are still many jobs that lie far outside the scope of most DIY enthusiasts. General contractors are there to fill in this gap.
A general contractor specializes in seeing a home remodel or repair project through from start to finish. To do this, the contractor works with the client - whether they are a homeowner or business - to nail down the scope of the work. Then he or she will turn to one or more subcontractors for specific tasks, like equipment operation, design, electrical work or whatever else is needed.
In essence, general contractors could be thought of as middlemen between a homeowner or business owner and any number of specialists. To get their money's worth, many assume they should just "cut out the middleman" and hire specialists directly, but this often proves more difficult in practice. General contractors won't be completing an entire project by themselves, but should have a long list of dependable experts who can work together and accomplish any task. They might also serve as the manager on the site of a construction project, overseeing workers and providing guidance and assistance when needed. For larger projects, though, the contractor might only handle administrative matters and employ a foreman or other professional for on-site supervision.
There are many general contractors who also specialize in certain tasks themselves. There is usually at least one general contractor on hand to organize the construction of an entire home, for example. But general contractors could also help a homeowner add an additional bedroom, build an in-ground pool or complete a major landscaping project. They could also work with a business to add or improve office space, whether that means making more room or converting a commercial building from a nail salon to a restaurant. Basically, if it's a job that involves building or repairing, a general contractor probably knows how to get it done.
No matter what the exact job may be, a contractor will probably need to accomplish several other essential tasks in pursuit of the ultimate goal, which may include:
Every general contractor performing any kind of work on a project must be licensed to do so in their state. The guidelines for the specifics on licensing vary from state to state. Some states might only require registration of contractors, which is different from licensing. Registration typically means that there must be a written record of what work is being performed and by whom, but it does not guarantee professional knowledge. Licensing, on the other hand, involves an examination process to assess professional competence.
Whether your state requires licensing or registration of contractors, there should be a record of most professionals willing to complete certain projects in your area. Check your state or county website for more information. In states that require licensing, every licensed contractor's contact information is available online or from another public source.
Not every project needs to be completed by a licensed or registered contractor. If it's just a minor job that won't take more than a day or two, and will cost less than a few hundred dollars, it's likely not necessary to find a licensed or registered contractor. However, anything bigger or more expensive, or a project involving plumbing or electrical work, needs to be completed by a licensed or registered professional.
General contractors also must be covered by an insurance policy. This should include liability coverage for any property damage that could be inflicted in the course of a job. It should also include a worker's compensation policy in case anyone is injured on the job. Before hiring a contractor for anything, ask for written proof of this insurance to see exactly what is covered.
A number of trade associations for contractors in the U.S. exist. Some of the biggest include:
Most trade associations for general contractors will provide references for anyone looking to hire a contractor for a specific project. They may also provide a number of benefits for their members, including assistance with licensing, training, insurance and business development.
No matter what you need accomplished, you want to choose a contractor who can get the job done right at a reasonable price. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but there are a few steps you can take to ensure you find a trustworthy general contractor.
The first, and perhaps most reliable, way to find a general contractor is to ask friends and family members for a recommendation. If you know anyone who has had major work done on their home, particularly if it's a similar job, ask them who they hired and if they were pleased with the result. You could also ask neighbors about who they've hired if you notice work being done on their house. Many remodeling contractors post signs in front of homes to advertise their services. As a general rule, it's rarely a good idea to hire a contractor who solicits work by going door to door.
If you are considering hiring a contractor without a personal recommendation, ask the contractor for references from past clients, and do as much background research on them as possible. Look for any complaints (or compliments) online to get a better idea of their track record. There are a number of websites specializing in connecting contractors with people or businesses who need work done. These sites may also allow past clients to submit their own reviews of the contractor.
Before hiring a contractor, make sure you are both in agreement on the project's budget. It's normal for most contractors to charge clients a premium not only for the labor expenses and zoning expertise, but for acquiring the materials as well. Be as clear and concise as possible regarding what you'll be purchasing yourself and what you will be paying the contractor to complete. Homeowners may be able to find a better deal on raw materials when they purchase these directly, but they first need to be sure they aren't buying the wrong things.
Don't forget to discuss how the project will be finalized and what will be done about cleanup. Plans for how the work site will be cleaned at the end of each day as well as at the conclusion of work need to be put in writing. An experienced general contractor should make every effort to keep the workspace clean and prevent dirtying or damaging any other area. Even so, talk with the contractor about the daily schedule, the logistics of transporting workers and equipment, and how cleanup will be handled.
As previously mentioned, you need to make sure to follow any state and local regulations regarding construction work, which includes hiring a licensed or registered general contractor. Ask the contractor for proof of their certification before signing anything, as well as their proof of insurance. You should also check your homeowners insurance policy to see if they offer coverage for contracted work. You may want to call your insurance provider and ask for more details on what your plan will and won't cover.
Perhaps the best way to feel safe about a contractor and the work being done is to hire a contractor you trust. This is why relying on personal references from friends and family is so important, and will often provide a great deal of peace of mind. If you aren't able to obtain a reference, work to conduct extensive research on the contractor as well as the work you are hiring them to perform. This should bring everyone's expectations into alignment and result in a safe work environment.
Before any money changes hands, there should be a contract to sign. Make sure the specifics of the work to be done and all costs are listed in the contract, right down to the most precise details. If you forget to have something included in the contract after signing it, there's rarely a chance of recourse.
Once the specifics of the job are nailed down, be sure to discuss the payment schedule with the contractor. This is important because paying too much up front offers the homeowner minimal leverage if the quality of work does not meet expectations or contractual specifications. Try to establish a reasonable pay schedule with the contractor, such as paying 10 percent of the total cost for each 10 percent of the work that is completed. It's a good idea to include this payment plan in the contract as well.
Finally, look into getting a lien release signed before work begins. If there is ever a dispute regarding payment over the course of the project, a contractor or subcontractor could place a payment claim, or lien, on your property. This can trigger a long legal process that may be frustrating. To avoid this, ask the contractor to sign a lien release, which is a legal agreement that states that any payment accepted is final. This can come in handy if a contractor has his or her own payment issues with their subcontractors. Signing a lien release form certifies that any payment made by a client to the contractor is enough to pay for any goods or services rendered. A lien dispute could also be prevented by performing due diligence prior to picking a contractor, as any contractor with good credit and a long track record of satisfied clients should have no trouble paying for materials and labor once all contract conditions have been met.
Once work is underway, it's never a bad idea to check up on the progress of the job, either by staying in touch with the contractor over the phone or visiting the site in person. If you work with a trustworthy professional, it's probably best to keep your distance and allow everyone to stay busy. If you want to keep an eye on things, make sure workers wear the right safety gear and that everything looks to be moving along according to schedule. Finally, once work is finished and you are satisfied, be sure to thank your contractor and tell friends or family members about your experience.