Car Accident Aftermath »
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.
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.
It’s time to bring long sleeves and long pants out of storage, prep your home and car, and contact the cool weather home/yard contractors.
On Time Construction was one of three contractors that gave us a quote for our Full Kitchen remodel. We went with On Time based on there presentation and past jobs they did. I must say they did a great job on our Kitchen. The price was fair, David(owner) help us out a lot on the design ideas and small problems we found during the project. They demo our kitchen down to the studs and redesign the entire kitchen layout. They even open up the ceiling to give us extra ceiling height. The kitchen look so much larger now! The new tile floor looks great!! They replace all our light fixtures with smaller but brighter ones, and we love it. When they install the cabinets we was worried on how it would come out with the new layout and design but I must say it came out just like the design David helped us finalize. It just was a great team effort all the way around! Thank you guys! We plan on having them remodel our bathroom August 1st. Great Job!
I got the greatest deals on my tires from TireRack.com. They have the best prices on tires. And the greatest new service is that my tires that I ordered online, were sent the the shop of my choice....Epic Auto Care in Jersey City. I never "laid a finger on my tires". The tires were delivered in one day. Then Epic Auto Care contacts you upon receiving the tires and schedules an appointment. You will never get this kind of service going to a tire shop such as Sears, Firestone, STS. First of all, they rarely have your exact tire in stock, and they charge you a fortune, and they'll try to get you into a "no name" brand. Epic Auto Care was my choice, because they are clean, precise, and very knowledgeable. The location was convenient for me, the Light Rail Station was one block away. It's a plus for NYC commuters like me.
On Time Construction did an outstanding job remodeling my kitchen and bathroom. It need work from top to bottom and I had a lot of requests on how I wanted it to look. My kitchen was entirely too small, all of my appliances were outdated, and my counters and cabinets were ugly, chipped, and falling apart. My bathroom had only a small shower and tub that I could barely fit in and ugly green tiling that I hated. They worked their magic on both rooms, Knocking down a wall in my kitchen and expanding the space, then installing all new cabinets, a large countertop, and custom appliances for me. The bathroom they completely transformed as well, installing a new shower, toilet, sink, and the works. Every detail of their work is flawless and they are definitely the best at what they do.
On Time construction had fierce work ethic and a great crew that was very prompt and professional from the beginning to the end. They came out and gave us an estimate on gutting out our kitchen and bathroom entirely. The process only took about an hour and a half to do a thorough inspection on our kitchen and bathroom to give us a fair estimate. The price they gave us was a bottom line price. They never ended up adjusting it later on with any hidden fees or unexpected surprises. They showed up to the work site on time and finished refurbishing our home within 5 days. This was quicker than we anticipated and would recommend On Time Construction for all home improvement needs.
After breaking down in Orange, NJ we had the car towed to Pep Boys. Huge Mistake! They charged me $103 just to look at it. Then they were going to charge me $917 for a job that A One quoted me at $450! In the end, my car was in worse shape than originally thought and I didn't have enough to cover it. I ended up donating it and Gabriel made sure to hold it for me until the ADA could pick it up on Mon or Tues. (I live in MA and had to get home on Sun. and the car was towed to A One on Sat!) With Gabriel's caring nature and superb work ethic,along with the receptionist's excellent customer service, it made the death of my car easier to take.
I’ve been going to Able Auto Works (Formally A One Auto Works) for the past year or so for all my engine work. This is one of the few honest repair shops around. Their prices are very reasonable, and the turn around time is faster then any shop I’ve been to. My daily driver is a 1972 Gran Torino, and it is no easy task keeping a 41 year old car on the road. They’ve done everything from a partial engine rebuild to tuneups and electrical work. The work they’ve done is incredible, and I can drive anywhere without having to worry about breaking down. The staff is friendly, and I recommend them to anyone whether you drive and early or late model car.
I took my car in to be inspected and have the oil changed, granted pretty basic stuff. The staff was polite and efficient. I dropped off my car and came back after work (they called in the interim to say the work that been done). I wasn't overcharged and everything seems to be running nicely. This is the second time I took my car there for inspection; both times the experience was a good one. I'd return if I needed something more done. PS I've gone to Pep Boys because it's convenient, and both times they kept the car overnight for a basic oil change and they kept "forgetting" to call me to give me an update.
On Time did a complete kitchen remodel for us. The price was good, the end result was good. But they took too long, often in the early going then for a period later on they were busy with other jobs and nobody showed up for ours. Also some subcontractors would show up not knowing what they were supposed to do. In other words, project management was a weak point. But the main person who did a lot of the work was very good and took responsibility for directing things, overstepping his actual role I think. All's well that ends well but I don't recommend them that strongly.
I drove to Speedys from Norfolk, VA to buy a 2.3 Suzuki Areo engine off craigslist. I spoke to Raphael about it over the phone prior to buying it. When I arrived, Raphael greeted me and took me to the storage facility annex to his shop where the engine was located. What a deal, although it was a 4.5 hour drive, well worth it. I save $1000. The engine was installed in our customer's car, and runs perfect compression at 150, no leeks. Keep up the good work guys. :)
On Time Construction had great customer service over the phone and in person. They were able to supply us with brand new room designs for the most affordable prices we were able to find. David the owner was very accommodating and made an honest effort to schedule the completion of our project as quickly as possible. The rooms took about a week and a half to finish, but they make our house look brand new from the inside. We recommend On Time Construction with confidence!
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.