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.
My experience as a first time homebuyer was a rollercoaster of emotions. Throughout it all Tiffany was there for my family. No matter the time of day/night, Tiffany responded to emails/text messages we sent her on properties we had found on line. She was the one that found the house that we eventually closed on. Early on we were out bid on the property and when it came back on the market, Tiffany called us the same day so that we could put in another offer. Every request or concern we had she asked the seller for us. Any information she thought the lender might need, she let us know before they even asked.Tiffany is the perfect balance of professionalism, keep it real and fight for her clients. In my time knowing her, her focus has been on her client’s wants, needs and well being. She knows the market and she knows what’s a good and fair offer. She was able to point out the repairs needed during the initial showing and tell us what the seller would be willing to do. She also told me that she thought the property was worth more than the list price and she could see us getting a great return on the house in the future so I know that she has our long-term investment in mind as well.Tiffany is so easy to talk to and is a powerhouse of motivational energy. She told me multiple times that she just wanted us to find a place that we would be happy with and we have!Fate could not have brought us a better agent in my opinion! There are no guarantees that the home buying process will be smooth sailing. If you are looking for someone to be honest with you, someone that will keep your file in the front of her thoughts until you close, someone that is so motivational and has nothing but your best interest at heart before their own financial gain, you can get that from Tiffany Richardson at Nicole James Real Estate Group!Call Tiffany and tell her Courtney sent you! Yes, that was a plug lol.
It is with extreme honor that I am writing this. I will try to frame my words so I can capture the essence of Ms. Pat's worth ethic.She comes from the generation of great trusted advisors who believe in creating value for their landlords and tenants, both. In working on a property transaction with her, I noticed that the tenants and landlord, were truly happy. She personifies the American Dream and is a living legend.Her transparency, patience and persistence in the process reflects that of a respectable advisor in the ancient court of the king, Caesaer. She is thoroughly knowledgeable and understands her clients privacy, need for information. Being an engineer myself, I noticed her to immensely believe in data. She maintains all records, meticulously. We worked on a transaction in the Gwinnett, which was made seamless and transparent with her personal touch and professionalism. I highly recommend Ms. Pat for any of your property ownership or renting needs. Please feel free to contact me for any questions. SincerelyNick678-871-9089
When i met Tiffany ,she told me I work for you,if see something @ 4am and want me to put an offer on it text me, and thats just what happen ,not quite that early in the morning ,but I wrote up @ 12:25am saw my house text her to see if the house was back on market and if so we need to put an offer on it asap ,she tiffany hit me back and said yes it is that was@ 12:40am and @12:55am she was text me to go on and E-sign my contract, awesome, that was on.. a late Tuesday early Wednesday, and on Friday of that same week my offer was accepted, Tiffany and her Asst courtany are a great team I really enjoyed working with the two of them , tiffany also will go above and be beyond for her client, in closing if want someone who will work fast and promptly she is the one, in your home search today .
She is sweet as can be! I love her meek yet professional character. Tiffany had to have patience to work with me! I asked her a million questions and I would lose track of time and email or text her wayyyy after working hours. MS Tiffany always responded and gave me an answer to my question. I had a very lengthy complicated process of obtaining financing, but I had the right realtor ( MS Tiffany Richardson). She is still working on some things in my home and we closed on December 28,2015.I loved the professional services this charming and energetic lady provided. Tiffany Richardson is highly recommended by me because she was very instrumental in me becoming a happy homeowner!!!
ASHMEL'S Plumbing was a God send for me. My phone call to them was not only handled professionally but you could actually hear the consideration and concern in the voice of the person that took my call. The technician that came was professional, courteous and knowledgeable. He resolved my plumbing problem in a timely manner. The cost was very reasonable. My over all experience with this company was wonderful. I highly recommend ASHMEL'S to anyone with a plumbing problem. Thank you, ASHMEL'S.
Alise Shook at Harry Norman Realtors is an excellent real estate agent. She has a strong understanding of many of the Atlanta neighborhood markets. Alise is the clear leader and expert in the Ridgedale Park neighborhood where we have lived for the past four years. She has done an outstanding job helping many of our neighbors buy or sell their homes. Very professional, very successful, strong expertise, and avsincere concern for the well being of her clients.
Our company phone number is 404-920-4949. We are a two time winner of the prestigious Obie Award. Quality, integrity, and style are the pillars of our approach to fine home building. Our collaboration with Atlanta’s top architects and interior designers, coupled with our dedicated team of craftsmen, ensures each Carrera Luxury Home is exceptional. Call us, and we will make your dream home a reality.
Working with Gerry Barger from ReMax Intown Atlanta to buy our first home was an absolute pleasure! He was always pleasant to work with and willing to accomodate our schedules. He stayed on top of things and was great about constant follow up to keep us informed of the process. He truly went above and beyond in helping us find our home. We HIGHLY recommend him to anyone searching in the Atlanta area.
I have one word to say about Nicole Realty Group, AWESOME!!!!!!!! Tiffany helped me buy and sale my properties. Tiffany made my experience stress less and rewarding. If I were presently close to the area where her Group is working, I would definitely have them assisting me. It was a pleasure working with such a trustworthy real estate agent/group!!!! Best of luck!!!! Steph����
ICS did an amazing job on our new Suwanee location. The crew worked hard and went above and beyond. Thank you to Ryan and John for you patience and hardwork. Thanks to Tom for meeting with me and discussing different color options. The space looks beautiful and we are excited to be in the new office.
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.