What to Know About: General Contractors »
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
4111 Home AveSan Diego, CA 92105
1601 B StSan Diego, CA 92101
151 Ymca WaySan Diego, CA 92102
6060 University AveSan Diego, CA 92115
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
This is our second year at Carmel Mountain Preschool and we are still loving it. Our son is just turning four and loves going to preschool, which speaks volumes. I am impressed with CMP for a number of reasons. First, they really care about your child as an individual and there is a genuine feeling of family throughout the school. They call me or email me regularly to update me on the progress of my son, or just events that are happening at the school. Our son's teachers are Miss Triana and Mrs. Chrystal and are incredible. There is nothing better than to see your child hug his teacher and say, "I love you" at the end of the day as it confirms he is in the right place! Plus, the educational experiences are top-notch! In the past few months they have had an African-drumming performance, a Hullaballoo band performance, a field trip to the pumpkin patch, an interactive book performance (the kids acted out the scenes in a book as a play), and a SNOW FOAM DAY where they played in snow made of Dr. Bronner's soap, and more. This school embodies what I call "Whole Child Learning." They have an incredible core curriculum that explores all the areas of traditional learning where they experience reading, math and rad science experiments, but they also incorporate music into lessons, visit the art studio regularly, practice fitness every week, and learn about social skills daily. There is an amazing art studio, a nature lab, and a garden called "The Glenn." Additionally, CMP cares about the health of your child and feeds my son wholesome organic snacks. They seem to be constantly thinking of how to incorporate new ideas, better educational products, and fun experiences into every day. You just can't go wrong with this preschool!I feel 100% confident that CMP is establishing a love of learning within my child, which is linked to future success in school and later in life. As a parent I am so grateful for the foundation it has set for our son.
Our now 2.5 year old started at CMP in February after spending his previous days with Grandma. We toured several day cares in the area but somehow overlooked CMP in our initial run. Luckily, we were referred by parents at our neighborhood park and made the great decision to check it out. It was a rough start for our little guy with all the unfamiliar faces and surrounding, but his teachers in the toddler class (Ms. Ellen, Ms. Maya, Ms. Marguerite) were very patient, kind, and loving in helping him get adjusted. While the drop offs were rough for the first few weeks, with him not wanting to be put down and crying when me or mom turned to go, he gradually warmed up as he became more comfortable. I'll never forget the day when it all changed and he walked over to play with one of his new buddies. It has been so encouraging to see his development really take off under the guidance of the teachers in his toddler class, and now with a few new teachers in the 2 year old class (Ms. Ariel, Ms. Lisa). We love how he will start singing songs he's learned at school, and he loves talking about his friends and even has named some characters in books at home after the teachers at school. He now gets excited in the morning when its time to go and will grab his lunch box and head out the garage door. They keep the kids engaged with a ton of different activities, time on the playground, storytime, messy art at the glenn, nature talks with Mr. Joe, time in the campus garden, and more. Our favorite thing about the school is the community of teachers that are involved in his life. From the his own teachers, to teachers in parallel classes, to the administrators at front, they all show that they are personally invested in building our son up to be a confident, curious, and happy toddler. With an upcoming move out of state, we can only hope to find a new school that offers everything as CMP. We will definitely miss it and know our son will too.
I am excited to write this review about Recht G A Construction. Let me start by saying Gary is my cousin, but I felt like this review is defnitely warrented. Gary is awesome, great follow through. Excellent work, truly he's a dream if u know any one that ever needs a contractor he's the one to call. When Gary came out to my house he strategized on how to design our tiny crummy kitchen, making it bigger and making the space more user friendly for our family, taling about colors, and flooring, and granite. We had agreed on a price which he stayed with in. His guys were so nice they would not only show up, but they were considerate about the noise, since I work from home sometimes, and my neighbors have small sleeping babies. They showed up when they said they would, and cleaned up everything. Our kitchen looks absolutely incredible, the special touches that shows you not only does Gary really care about the quality of the job, but you can see his heart was in the work. We are considering selling our house and having a newly remodeling kitchen is very attractive to the new buyers, but man, we don't think we want to leave now, not sure about that. I have seen other work that Recht G A Construction has done and it's always really good. I feel very blessed to have an amazing contractor in the family, someone as talented and creative. Seeing our kitchen before it was awful, and it gives me great pleasure to brag, and write this review. I would never use another contractor for a project like this. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
My 3 year old son started with Carmel Mountain Preschool three months ago and we couldn't be happier with the set up. He had been with a full time nanny since he was three months old, but we wanted him to have more integration with other children so decided to enroll him for half days when he was 2. We were pretty nervous about the whole thing and visited a lot of preschools. With most of them we walked away feeling a bit disheartened. Carmel Mountain Preschool has great energy and the grounds are beautiful. There is so much space and such a variety of things/places for the kids to explore. We don't feel he's been cooped up in a little classroom all day which is how we felt about other preschools we visited. We walked away from our tour feeling like we would love to have our son attend this preschool. Our experience so far has lived up to our expectations. Our son loves going and always has stories to tell us about the fun things he's done - bounce houses, fire trucks visiting, planting seeds, etc. His classroom posts pictures once a week, so we get to see what he's been up to all week and talk to him about it. He's established a close bond with his teachers which as a parent, you love to see. He was partially potty trained when we enrolled him and delayed in his speech. He's made big strides in his language skills since he started and is also completely potty trained which is huge. We love Carmel Mountain Preschool, and plan to keep him here until he's ready for kindergarten!
My daughter has been attending Carmel Mountain Preschool for 6 months now. She started when she was 18 months old in the toddler program. She absolutely loves it at school. She’s learned so much already – letters, numbers, colors, shapes, counting, etc. Her vocabulary has grown tremendously. Every day and every week there is something new on the class schedule. The school hosts lots of fun events such as the Hullabaloo concerts, police car and fire truck visits, snow days, bubble days. There’s just so many to list. The school has a garden where the kids can do hands-on activities and learn about life science. They also have an outdoor art studio where the kids can get messy and a musical garden where the kids can try out some cool instruments. There are separate playgrounds for each age group which is wonderful so you don’t have to worry about the older kids overpowering the little ones. This school has so much to offer to keep your kid engaged with fun learning activities. The staff genuinely cares for your child like their own. The teachers and staff are just awesome and they all do such a great job with the kids! The tuition may seem high but it is well worth it. Although this is a large preschool with many students, the staff is very personable and treats you like family – very welcoming. We plan on enrolling my youngest when he’s old enough.
5 stars. Without a doubt. We moved here from out of state and had no idea as to the preschools in the area. Upon our first visit to CMP we had no doubt that this was the preschool for our three boys. The facilities are amazing, including multiple, age-specific playgrounds, The Glenn, where the kids learn about gardening, The Studio, where kids learn art with CMP's Master Artist, and even a soccer field. Music classes, hip-hop dance, Spanish, yoga, ballet, gymnastics and PERK classes are all available to CMP students...and the kids love it!The CMP staff is beyond dedicated to each child and to keeping children's families up to date about all things going on at CMP; we love the fact that the teachers email us pictures of our boys and their friends playing and learning together throughout the week.As one would expect, a school this dedicated to an amazing learning environment leads to kids who receive an unbelievable advantage when they move on from CMP. Our now eight-year-old son graduated from CMP and moved on to his elementary school and it quickly became apparent that he and his CMP classmates were VERY well prepared for strong success, with exceptional reading, math and social skills.As you can tell from the above, we are big fans of CMP and we highly recommend it to anyone looking for a preschool that stands out among the rest!
I write this as a grandmother and speech pathologist. I have worked for 40 years with children and for the past 20 years with the preschool age population. As a speech pathologist assessing many children each year, I visit 1-2 preschools a week to observe a child I am testing. I’ve seen the best and the not so best! When the time came for my daughter to look for a preschool for my 18-month old granddaughter, I was somewhat stressed, knowing what I hoped she would find. Carmel Mountain Preschool is it! The BEST! I have seen my granddaughter thrive! She is a wealth of preschool knowledge these days! Katelyn knows pre-academic skills such as letters, colors, numbers and shapes and more importantly she is developing all those learning to learn skills that she will need throughout her education. I have met several of the staff members at Carmel Mountain and everyone has been kind and enthusiastic about working with this young population. It’s not an easy task! I particularly love the pictures of Katelyn that are sent to her parents which are forwarded to me! Seeing her actively engaged and so happy truly warms my heart. Communication is essential between parents and teachers and it doesn’t get any better than at Carmel Mountain. I feel blessed that my granddaughter is able to participate in this amazing program.
Get a supporting, Christ-centered education. Begin and end each class with prayer (either teacher or student led), reminding students that all their gifts and strength come from God. Small teacher-student ratio--the teachers get to know your kid fast and know their capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. Teachers make themselves available to tutor during lunch if your student needs it and is willing to talk to parents when necessary on short notice. Teachers have a close relationship with students...they know them so well they can tell when something is wrong, if they are having a bad day, are sick, or even having trouble understanding the lesson! Sports are an important part of MCS to our family. Our son has the opportunity to play any sport he wants. The coaches care about our kids tremendously and support them personally, in school, and of course athletically. They are great mentors with kind, Christ-centered hearts. The girls in the front office are always helpful and greet you with a smile, willing to do what they can to help. There are plenty of opportunities for fellowship and volunteering--a great way to get to know the MCS Community. There is a constant desire to excel, exceed and always "do more!" We love MCS!
I’m a mother of four boys ages 10, 7, 6 and 5. My oldest son started pre-school at The Vine Learning Center (TVLC) when they first opened 7 years ago (formerly known as Kings Kids Center). Seven years later, I’m in my final year there (that says a lot!). My experience at the Vine has been a very good experience!! TVLC staff has guided my boys through their first years of pre-k. I use the term “guide” because I feel the teachers provided much more than just classroom instruction to their students. They serve as a mentor to their students and inspire them to “love” learning as much as they do. I have witnessed them engage with the students in a deep and meaningful way, while providing a structured classroom environment. Their dedication and love for their job shine through everything they do. Above all, TVLC staff exemplifies a passion for teaching and a sincere commitment to our children’s success in and out of the classroom. I highly recommend the center to any family in need of a childcare facility with an awesome staff, great curriculum and low rates. Parents with small toddlers, TVLC staff helped potty train all my boys (BIG ++++ in my books, especially with a busy work schedule like mine).
We love being a part of the CMP family! We've now been at the school for almost two years. When a work promotion gave us only a few weeks to move, our biggest concern was finding just the right place for us. As soon as we walked onto the campus at CMP, we knew we had found a school unlike any other. The staff was warm and welcoming from the very beginning. We loved all of the amenities available to the students. Over these past two years, we have enjoyed field trips, family concerts, Snow Days, and other special events. What I love the most (and my son too!) are the gardening, science and music programs in the Glenn as well as Messy Art activities. We have never been part of a school that is so well-rounded, not only academically, but offers such amazing opportunities for the kids to explore nature, science and art. I love that the school’s snacks are organic and that they use all natural soaps and cleaning products. These things are very important to us in our home, and it’s wonderful that at school we don’t need to worry about exposure to harmful chemicals. Thank you CMP for being an extension of our home and providing our son with a loving, nurturing environment!
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.