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.
Granite was installed with over a dozen cracks epoxy everywhere. Countertop was not shaped The bracket for the dishwasher was not installed intil,a week after the countertop was installed. When the bracket was installed a child could have done a better more professional job! When questions about the job the response was l have been there 3 times! Looks like our countertop was dropped applied together to hold until installed what a joke! AVOID!!!
DO NOT SIGN A CONTRACT with this builder! They are corrupt to the core! I signed a contract with them which included earnest money three years ago...they now REFUSE to build my house! I am not the only one with this complaint...they have no regard for their customers and no honor in an agreement.
Who ever drives the work f150 drives very wreckless and all over the road. This person was speeding 45 mph over the speed limit. Very pour advertising on ya'lls part.
Cottonwood Custom Homes built our unique 5000 sq ft home in the hill country outside Austin. From the earliest planning stages through the final touches on our project, he consistently went above and beyond anything we could have expected to ensure that our home was not only picture perfect, but was exactly and precisely what we wanted. From choosing the perfect build site on our 7 acres to suggesting a loft area to link the kids' rooms, Cottonwood contributed not only solid practical ability in building and managing our project, but also creative and aesthetic ideas that dramatically improved our house. They patiently worked through each of our exacting requirements, and insisted that every worker on the project get every detail perfect. They even went so far as to take over managing the pool construction (at no extra charge, though it was beyond the scope of his contract) when the poolbuilders proved incompetent, just to be sure we weren't left with an unfinished or substandard outcome. This amount of detail and care for their customers make Cottonwood Custom Homes a premier builder.
Having worked with Cottonwood for the past several years, I have first-hand knowledge of the honesty, integrity and professionalism the company displays with each and every client served. The systems and processes that Cottonwood utilizes make the building experience organized and enjoyable for the client as well as anyone else involved with the project. Every time I work with Cottonwood, I know that the project will be finished on time and to the satisfaction of all parties involved.
Be aware before you buy!I don't want you guys have the same issue as mine. I have waited new house for six months in East side of Austin.My wife and I were extremely excited for new house. But Sales associate of Centex in Austin, called us today (he has barely called us even when we ask him about house several times) and said we had to change our closing date again due to stove issue although closing date has been changed three times already and all appliances worked fine during our final walk. I was wondering why the stove had issue and he called us a day before closing date. When I went to our new house to see if it had other issue after phone call, broken glasses were around back yard. There has been broke in and both stove and microwave were stolen. The gate of backyard didn't have lock(the backyard gate and garage had locks on before final walk), so I guess thief came through that. The sales associate lied to us and hide what happened to our house. Also, he said Centex is not responsible for our house and extra moving expense now. We all know buying new house is stressful. So it should finish like great smiles from Centex advertisement to offset hard time at the end. However, is it really only thing we can do now is complaining at final survey about crew of Centex? Is it what Centex wants from customers? I have all pictures, texts, Emails, and documents from day 1. I can share if one of you guys want to see what happen to us. We have had multiple issues other than this theft issue. I hope other people can smile rather than having huge mental stress like us. Thanks for reading
Terrible. We just purchased our first home this summer and not knowing the process i felt nervous on picking an inspector who might do things the he has done. Kit left out several major items in our inspection. One of them being we have had to hire an electrician and will have to do repair on drywall and cabinets because he missed a major illegal electrical cord install in a bathroom. After we noticed it the home was already ours and little we could do. So i contacted kit to ask him what we could do. Sent him pictures and had several text and phone conversations. One of them being him offering us our inspection fee we paid him back. That would have been great if he actually did that. That was 5 weeks ago. He has said on 4 different occasions that "he'll get that check sent out to me" After the money we've had to pay after the fact, that could have been taken care of by the previous owners is now our headache if only kit would have just noticed it in the first place. I would rethink your options and pick someone else.
Never answer the phone, The park on whitehurst apts in Dallas have pretty bad managment team, I lost my deposit money $275 they refunded prorated rent amount, Apt wasnt even ready, i being trying to get in touch with this company to get soemting resolved and no answer. I already file a consumer complaint and will do whatever it takes to get my money back.
After two weeks of reminding him to submit the estimate to insurance and rudeness towards my wife, we switched contractors. He lacks all levels of professionalism and promptness. I have no clue at his expertise because I never got to engage with him despite multiple attempts to connect from me, my wife, and the insurance company. I never knew it was that hard to give someone a time table and engage with some level of kindness. Especially when you are rude to my wife, the job is over and we are moving on.
Henry & I would like to thank two of the most nicest, caring & most generous people, Tim & Christine Bowen, owners of Austin Roofing and Construction.Due to much added expense because of Henry's illness, we could not afford to replace our very leaky roof. Austin Roofing came in & donated a full roof. Henry, a retired US Navy Vietnam Veteran & myself will be forever grateful.May GOD'S Blessing's forever shine on you & your family.GOD Bless America.Henry & Nina Klipple
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.