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.
3100 Monticello Ave Ste 105Dallas, TX 75205
It's unfortunate - my husband and I really admire the houses built by English Heritage Homes, however we've left at least 5 messages in the last couple of months about a particular home in the M streets and have never had our phone calls returned... there's no info online, or on any of the mls s…
800 Central Pkwy E Ste 100Plano, TX 75074
From Business: The Haggard Property Group is a Plano, TX based full-service real estate company driven to provide organized, professional, high quality real estate services. We view ourselves as partners with our clients, our employees, and our community. Promising high results, we will over-deliver on our commitment to increasing our cl…
Serving the Arlington Area.
The service, care and professionalism we have received from Carolyn Weaver and her staff over the years is over the top. She "speaks tenant" and understands the options and procedures that work best for both the tenant and the owner. Very knowledgeable and reliable. This is aside from the fact…
4105 S Bowen RdArlington, TX 76016
From Business: Work with a full time RE/MAX REALTOR dedicated to providing you with the information you need to purchase or list your house in this competitive DFW housing market. Franklin is a seasoned real estate professional who will help you navigate the market to achieve your real estate objectives. Call today.
601 W Abram StArlington, TX 76010
From Business: Our full-service law firm covers a variety of complex legal practice areas that include:*Family law - divorce, child custody and visitation, paternity actions*Personal injury - claims involving motor vehicle crashes and slip-and-fall accidents*Real estate law - includes an on-site title company*Corporate business and banki…
5250 Highway 78 # 750-528Sachse, TX 75048
From Business: Experienced Professionals, Full Service... Eileen Petroski and her team at House Hunters of Dallas have been buying and selling houses in the Dallas Metroplex since 1985. Eileen takes great pride in treating each client with respect and dignity. Inherited Property Recently? Give me a call! We want to make the selling of yo…
2205 Martin DrBedford, TX 76021
From Business: First Funding Investments…Your Hard Money Lender First funding is your source for real estate secured hard money / private investor loans in Texas. FIRST FUNDING offers financing solutions or hard money loans when the “usual” financial sources are unable. We can help you when you are trying to make a profit through residen…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
I initially thought I wanted to live in a specific neighborhood location but there were no suitable properties on the market. Jeff and Karina have a service that they find homes for buyers just like me. You guys are the best.
What stood out the most about working with Jeff and Karina was professionalism and understanding during the whole process. They provided sound advice when asked for information but would not pressure me. I hihgly recommend their services.
I think Karina and her husband Jeff have been excellent! Karina has been very responsive, In fact she was the first realtor to contact me after I was looking on dozens of websites. I relocated from Las Vegas to Coppell Texas. Karina and Jeff had excellent local knowledge and has patiently explained the process more than once to me. I am continuing to work with Texas Investment Real Estate Group from here till the next move!!! I know they will assist me to find what I want. I would give them 5 Stars! They are awesome.
Jeff and Karina helped us to sell our old home and buy a new one. We picked them by reviews and a recommendation of a neighbor. We were impressed with what a great job they did! Extremely proactive with us.
You guys have been amazing. The best I have ever worked with. A pure joy. Highly recommend to others!!!
The company is amazing. They believe in providing the best service, promptly and efficiently. They provide services for anything you might need repaired, built or remodeled. They work with Home Warranty companies, where they are not responsible for replacing drywall if it was needed to be cut for repairs, but the Home Warranty company sends a contractor out to replace the drywall. The technicians are professional and knowledgeable and bilingual. Great office staff. They are a caring, friendly, family-orientated business that are reasonably priced and do excellent work.
Karina is great to deal with and will always work hard to close the deal. She definitely went above our expectations and was able to deliver in a month. Highly recommend!!!
I can’t say enough for the efforts put into my deal by Karina and couldn’t be happier with the eventual outcome. I would highly recommend Jeff and Karina to anyone seeking to make a real estate transaction anywhere in the metroplex area. You will receive personal and caring service that goes beyond anything else I’ve witnessed in this industry.
I was extremely pleased to be referred to Jeff and Karina by my account. They really explained how real estate would greatly help my taxes. I wanted to buy a duplex and have it for more income plus reduce my taxes. It was probably one of the best decisions I have made in the last 10 years to work with them. They have helped me make smart decisions on what to buy and where to buy as well as what to repair or not. They are great!!
This company was used by our home warranty. Now, first off, most all home warranty companies have the worst contractors... I know this first hand. But I will say Elite was a GREAT company and I believe that they are just starting out, so once they get established they won't need any home warranty company to help them get business. They have been awesome and did a lot of repairs on our pool, I also had them do some upgrades out of my own pocket because of their cost and espertise! I don't normaly write a review unless it's to complain, but I had to take the time on this company!
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.