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.
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
6/20/2018 Spoke with Mallory ONCE, emailed her a couple of times... have yet to receive any feedback from her. I've been calling every day for two weeks. Have yet to receive a call back from anyone.UPDATE: 7/5 After numerous weeks, Tiffany Mallory finally answered my phone call.. Stated that the manager apparently said I haven't stayed in contact with Bloom At Buford.. HAHA!!!!!!! I've sent plenty of unanswered emails, work orders that were REMOVED off of my account and phone calls. Tiffany's feedback?? "What would you like me to do??" Gee, I don't know.. take initiative!? Make your customers happy?... This is absolutly the WORST company I have ever been involved with. If you're reading this: Stay away!!! Attached are some photos of my move in at Bloom at Buford.
Everyone has an experience but my experience from my lease has been great. A part from few issues that one can encounter in any organization, I was well taken care of and company really took care of all my needs and help me grow in my career. I worked for good three years and left in good terms. I also attended company retreats and one cultural show and I can say that it was the best I attended so far. No other company go out of its way to do these kind of things for employees and staff. My pay check was late fee times but when I called, I was given a reason and it was paid.
The worst company in history. Try returning phone calls, emails or even getting a website that works. Or try having manners. You guys make the world seem like a terrible place
I have worked with ESD Homes on two custom renovations. Both exceeded my expectations. We are now purchasing a third home and working with our architect to develop plans ESD Homes will execute. They are professional, courteous and know their business well.
Extremely overpriced! Lease might as well be signed in blood, due to the fact that it requires you to literally DIE to get out of it early. First day of moving in, hallways smelled like weed, only to later smell like dog? piss. Elevators are always broken, trash receptacles are always overflowing. Had to pay a stiff fine for each trash bag that had to be left near an overflowing bin. Access to the pool area for everyone was denied regularly due to students having 'unauthorized' parties. Apartments are regularly inspected and/or maintained without prior notice. Management and staff are incompetent and thrive on charging penalties and fees for every infraction, including their own mistakes. Crime is rampant in and around the property including: theft, armed robbery, armed home invasion, assault, drug dealing and vagrancy. Security is a joke. Parking is expensive and is often full even for paying residents. The pay parking lot across the street is closely monitored and you WILL get booted if you go even one minute past your allotted time. Don't be fooled by the pictures on the website, if you're any ethnicity but BLACK, you WILL be the minority here and treated accordingly.
DO NOT BECOME A RESIDENT. frequent management changes, lease items vague- open to management how to enforce if at all. an example is some residents being asked/told to put mats under cars due to oil leaks but not others. they are renovating apartments and doing their best to get out ALL INCOME BASED RESIDENTS in the end increasing the rent by over 300+ dollars for new residents. have been a resident with since 2012 most definitely DO NOT BECOME A RESIDENT.
This company steals money from small business owners, they are very unprofessional..Beware DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THEM
I will not use this company when I need to have my house rented. This is what happen to my daughter's house under their management.The tenant left the house unclean, carpet stains,kitchen filty dirty, all appliances dirty, bi-fold door broken and pests in the kitchen.The property manger told me that the carpet has been steamed clean, which was not.The owner saw the house with carpet stains, bi-fold door broken,damaged wood floor in the kitchen, all kitchen appliances dirty esp the dishwasher with black stains and food stains and visible pests in the main floor esp in the kitchen.The property manager gave the tenant their security deposit without cleaning the house even the owner told her to hold on the security deposit until he inspect the house.The owner called the property manager and did not answer. I called her and told her that the house was filty dirty. It took us 3-4 days and nights to clean and spray the whole house.The pest exterminator told the owner it will take 6 months to get rid of the pests, all she can say was sorry. I told her that they were going to put the house in the market in mid-January and now they are losing money because of the pests. And told me the Ga Law you have to give back tenant's security deposit in 3 days, I told her if and only the house is clean the way it was when they rented the house and no damages. And they sent the owner's last month rental after two weeks. When my husband showed them the house, they said the house is very clean and beautiful.They did not care all they want is the commission money. They sided on the dirty tenant who cannot follow rules of the Homeowners Association. They don't know how to take care of the landlord, in this case.
They do not manage the property at all, did not have our best interest in mind and take the tenant's side. We had issues with the tenant violating the association rules and their response was that it the home owners association is difficult and we need to give the renter a chance since he is a single dad working hard with several children. The tenant would not keep up the yard and decided to make changes to the landscaping without asking for our approval. When we asked the property management company how many times they check on the house they evaded the question by answering that they live really close and we had to ask the question again. We finally had end the tenants lease because he could not adhere to home owners association and we were getting violations at least once a month. Upon move out, the property manager emailed that the renter steam cleaned the carpet and the house was left in good condition. No move out checklist and the only pictures emailed to us were of 3 rooms. We physically walked through the house and it was obvious the carpets had visible stains, the hardwood floors in the kitchen damaged that we had to get it refinished and re-stained. The refrigerator, dishwasher and oven was visibly disgusting and there were pests everywhere. There was also a damaged bi-fold door and dirty bathrooms. We still have not received the last month's rent, BUT the tenant received the remaining security deposit -Nelson Rives only took out $150 for pest control(which will not cover all the treatments needed) and last month's rent. They did not take any money out for the hardwood floors, the bi-fold door, the stains in the carpet and dirty appliances. This property management company did not have our best interest in mind much less our house. We did another physical check for $64 because the property manager "felt bad" and decided to refund their management fee for the last month. If you value your rental property at all DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!!!
This company does not fix things. I have not had heat for over 30 days. 5-6 different maintenance men have been to my home. Each one telling me they need a part. The information is never conveyed to property management. Property management never follows up and always acts surprised that the job is not complete. In addition the management team has changed 3-4 times within a 6 month period. Please move anywhere else but here!
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.