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.
great company .job been complete on time . there was no extra charges , there nice and kept us with informed , and for a big job like that ( build our house) it went very smooth. where fair and honest , i will use them again.
It seems the decline of this business occurred over the course of 2016. My wife and I thought we did a good search for contractors to complete our basement and back porch. They had worked on a project with Hotel Impossible, they had plenty of pictures of their work with basements being their "specialty". They didn't have the negative reports online until mid year, after our search. Halfway through the project, everything was fine. Then the delays started. Craig Render, the owner, was horrible with communication. He hardly updated us on the progress and delays. I frequently had to call/text him to see when the crew was coming. These calls seemed to prompt his coming in. Much of the work, sheetrock and some framing was done by one man. It seems, from reading more recent complaints, that ATL Contracting was getting short on cash to finish projects in late 2016. Thankfully, most of the project was done, but the crew was greatly incompetent. The plumbing for the bath tub needs to be redone, I am paying ESTES to fix the air-conditioning which was not installed properly. By the way, the heating was a big issue that was only addressed by ATL CONTRACTING because I pushed them on it. They initially told me that I could start using the heater without an air return installed in the unit. A small thing to be sure, but they even placed the vents upside down and without drywall screws/anchors. Estes now tells me that they didn't solder the piping correctly so it could keep coolant. Craig was an avid Facebook poster with At Contracting. The FB page is not updated since January and their website is now defunct. Stay Away. Thankfully we did not do our porch. I would tear it down for safety concerns.
The big bald guy in the Dodge Ram pickup is worthless. A total backwoods person without a degree trying to quote jobs. If he isn't the owner, he should be fired. Avoid this company ad their work is poor.
-Not warned of expected noise problems at time of booking ("music" festival with nothing but loud bass- and I mean it will damage your hearing after 5 minutes kind of LOUD)-NO PARKING available for guests!-Valet parking ONLY, and at $35 per night! (just add this to your nightly room bill because nothing else is available for at least a block and you don't want to park there)- NO ROOMS were immediately available for us at check-in, in spite of having reservation made a month in advance.-The buffet is WAY overpriced, although the food is good- except for having BURNED COFFEE.- The noise pollution was EXTREMELY LOUD. The second day I moved rooms to the farthest tower away AND inside the CNN center- yet I could still hear that "music" bass until 11pm.-The floor numbering between towers do not match, so it's surprisingly easy to get confused and lost in their center between the north & south towers.- BEWARE; their housekeeping staff STEALS from your room.- Housekeeping does not adhere to those that have checked out. They WILL WAKE YOU EARLY to see if you're still there. They did this to me even without announcing it was housekeeping. I had a surprise wake-up with them trying to open the lock. Make sure you dead-bolt the door!!!- Room rates are slightly overpriced though justifiable for down town. However; they ALSO NICKLE & DIME YOU (more like $5 & $10) with extra charges (ie. $20 movie rentals in room, $35 parking per night, $22 buffet, $18 drinks at bar, etc, etc.....)- Do not use the fitness spa. They charge double for what would be expected for even down-town, and 3 or 4 times for everywhere else.- Their hot water is SCALDING! It will start off cold for 45 to 60 seconds, then get warm. At the same setting it will slowly get warm after a minute. After another minute it gets hot, turn it down and it will stay hot. Another minute and it gets hotter still. Leave it at that and you will eventually get scalded within 3 or 4 minutes total time.- I had to kill 2 roaches on their 6th floor pool & spa area!!!! - Their spa is too shallow and small. Too few jets and timer cuts out too early to be an effective hot tub. The pool was too cold (in late April) to even try and use it.- Their pillows are a light fluff only. They start out ok, but very quickly compress to less than a half-inch thick!!!! You will have a STIFF neck in the morning, and possibly a headache too.- Too many 1-star problems to be a 5-star hotel!!!!! Complain and they will comp your bill some. However; they will not fix the underlying problems.
These guys were paid over half of the total charges to install flooring and stairs. They took my money and left my home unfinished. They never returned to finish the job. They damaged my stairs, they put laminate flooring down and the color doesn't match throughout the home, they also left all the trash and debris in my backyard. Horrible customer service, horrible work! The company is a fraud and is not even licensed by the BBB, as they advertise on their website. I am appalled on how they took advantage of me! Single woman with kids, I know, so you saw weakness I presume. But ATL contracting, LLC you will pay for your negligence!
We are a subcontracting company that has been hired by Stoneway Builders and are very satisfied with this company. If I could complain about anything is that they do not accept anything other than perfection on their jobs.
I AM A SUB CONTRACTOR.. I HAVE WORKED FOR THESE GUYS AT LEAST 3 YEARS.. GREAT COMPANY. THEY ALWAYS PAY ME. REMEMBER THERE IS ALWAYS TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY. USUALLY PEOPLE DON'T GET PAID BECAUSE THEY DON'T DO THEIR WORK CORRECTLY
Awesome to work with, Located in Atlanta GA. Could not ask for a better company, we completed the work on time and was compensated well for it.
Company is run by a crook straight to the point. My partner had a lawsuit against company that was won. Still have not been able to collect settlement. Have been contacted by several others he scammed that have sued and unable to collect as well. Do not do business with this company unless you have money to lose!
Great company with Integrity. .work done on time and very professional. .thanks to owner Craig and his crew!
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.