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.
1105 Northville StHouston, TX 77038
From Business: Welcome to Barnier Building Systems Inc.! rnrnBarnier Building Systems, Inc. is a full-service general contractor with the ability to provide quality general contracting services. You can do nothing great without a great team. We have completed many design/build projects including, but not limited to churches, schools, fac…
11745 Jones RdHouston, TX 77070
Great communication, excellent response time, good quality work, showed up on time and on budget. No hassle. Will definitely use again!
1120 N Memorial FwyNederland, TX 77627
From Business: Basco Construction Inc. is a reputable Construction Company that offers a wide range of services to both the commercial and residential market. Typically our work involves larger commercial projects. Basco Construction Inc. is a customer-focused company that has over a half of a century's experience in general building and…
1007 S De Leon StVictoria, TX 77901
From Business: Our Mission is to deliver your superior construction project on-time, on-budget, and with the highest possible return on investment. We are veterans of the high-production multi-family construction industry, having built thousands of apartment units, in addition to hundreds of other diverse construction projects in the Hou…
707 Whippoorwill DrMissouri City, TX 77489
From Business: We are a locally owned and operated company that values honesty and integrity and treats your home as if it were our own. We offer a variety of general contractor home improvement services that are customizable to each individual project. We specialize in additions and kitchen remodels, but also offer a wide range of exper…
100 E Nasa Rd 1 Ste 201Webster, TX 77598
Your salesmen (Otis Durrett) flat out lied to me, he checked with his boss and said under my American Home Shield policy the charge for termite treatment would be $200. Signed up, got the 45-minute treatment (07-24-17). Then you send me a bill for an additional $866. "What a scam!!!"
7941 Katy FwyHouston, TX 77024
From Business: Please give us a call today and let us know how we can help with all of your roofing needs. Most roofs are completed in three days or less
7780 Harwin DrHouston, TX 77036
From Business: Tri State Professional Services is your "go-to" construction/contracting/building contractor for just about any service you need. Whether it's plumbing, roofing, electric, or just general building needs - we've got you covered!We have crews ready to handle your job throughout the state. All our crews are of course insured …
Houston, TX 77049
From Business: The electricians at Greater Texas Electrical has served Greater Houston for over 23 years with 24hr emergency service and an electrical work guarantee. Greater Texas Electrical is an electrical contractor for commercial, industrial, retail, restaurants, warehouses, residential and more. Experts in electrical troubleshootin…
9597 Jones RdHouston, TX 77065
I'm a supremely satisfied customer. JC is a consummate professional with a delightful personality. Throughout my project, I could see that my trust in his services was well-placed. His clear intention was to offer advice only in my best interest; he didn't try to "up-sell" me on unneeded repa…
8300 W Little York RdHouston, TX 77040
From Business: Braband Building Systems, Ltd. is a Houston based design build general contractor with over 35 years of commercial construction experience in the Houston and Harris County area. Our reputation is based on repeat business and referrals.
3636 W 12th StHouston, TX 77008
From Business: Founded in 1968, Superior Building Systems offers a range of design and build solutions for commercial and residential clients. The company has constructed more than 2,500 projects, including complex industrial parks, office facilities and warehouse buildings. It has expertise in the development of engineering plans and sp…
711 Old Genoa Red Bluff RdHouston, TX 77034
From Business: General Contractor serving the needs of private industry, municipal, state, and federal construction in the Gulf Coast area. We offer competitive proposals on a lump sum, unit price or negotiated basis on all types of industrial and heavy engineering construction, specializing in pile driving, concrete, marine construction…
800 Frontier DrOnalaska, TX 77360
From Business: Our commercial division specializes in City compliance code resolutions. From start to finish. High piled storage compliance's, including State licensed Architectural Plan submissions, Permits, Inspections and all Construction involved. Let us WOW you with our expertise in kitchen and bathroom design, remodeling and renova…
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 by far the worst contractor you will ever deal with. DO NOT get fooled with the low price this guy offers for your project.Lewis Arevalo took our money, promised to do the work in 2-3 weeks and bolted. It's been 5 months since he took our money and did nothing but leave us dealing with HOA violations from his incomplete work.Every time we call, the answer if we reach him, is I'm on my way or we will be there early next week. And guess what, no one shows up.This is what the BBB had to say about him. Just google his company in bbb and you will see:"Since February 2016, the BBB of Houston & South Texas has received multiple disputes that exhibit the following pattern. According to consumer disputes, it has been alleged that Better Building Services, LLC has been accepting payment and not fulfilling the signed contracts. The consumers have alleged that they are paying for home improvements and the work is not completed. The consumers have also alleged that they are unable to make contact with the business via phone, to schedule a date to complete the work. The company does not respond to or resolve the disputes via the Houston BBB. "Do yourself a favor and find someone else.
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.