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.
630 Madison AveBeaumont, TX 77701
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
There are several important decisions you'll have to make amidst any construction project. One of them is how to supply heat and a…
During the hottest months of the year, keeping the air inside your home or office cool is of the utmost importance.
One of the WORST businesses I have ever dealt with from the beginning of my purchase! If there was a "0" rating this is what I would give! Price matching issues that took a month or more, after changing the contract now my monthly payment would not be adjusted to reflect what I owed, and now the 12 month same as cash option is no longer effective because I was late on two payments due to being out of work for 12 weeks! They are the absolute worst people to do business with, and I have also filed a BBB complaint against them as well. When you see the name "Conn", that should tell you something!!!
Had bad people working for and messed my house up
My houses flooded for the second time. The owner came in and finish the job on the exact day he said he would. Quick and professional. Would hire anytime. Love the outcome.
Very professional. Came and fixed my tub really quick. They're fast friendly and honest and got me the best prices.
Awful customer service, starting with the sales guy, store manager all the way to corporate. Is funny how the do everything to make you purchase their product once that happens, you are on your own, store manager at the Arlington, TX named Bill laughed at the fact I was complaining, -chuckled and all-When I told him I was cancelling the purchase because they had failed to deliver the product as promised he said okay, no interest in trying to accommodate or investigate what was wrong. What happened to striving for excellent customer service? Terribly disappointed!!
I am FURIOUS!!! I purchased, in February, a refrigerator and three pieces of furniture which totaled to over $5,000. In Mid May, I sent two separate checks for more than the payoff for each account and they still have not posted the payments due to internal computer issues. In addition, my husband is receiving collection calls (daily) and I am receiving emails asking for payment. The irony of this whole mess is that both payoffs were for much more than what we owed, and I paid everything within a 2 1/2 month period versus using the entire year at zero interest. I have called and spoken with 8 different representatives asking to STOP! the calls as they cashed our checks over two weeks ago and they owe us money. Their response was "we are trying to do everything can but it may take 30 to 40 days before the payment is posted to your account. If there happens to be a chance that your "CREDIT" is hit with a 30 day late, we can take care of that for you with the credit agency." I can't believe that I am being penalized for paying early, paying off the entire balance, and an excellent customer. I will NEVER purchase anything from this store ever again. Do not buy from this company as they have no clue on how to treat customers. I am convinced that Conn's will be another "going-out-of-business" chain due to their failure of exercising a solid customer service policy.
Never been late on a payment and the repeated phone calls for payments 1 day past the due dateare nothing more than harassment.Will never purchase anything from Conn's again
I believe she has a knack for this field. As a counselor she is completely unbiased, and is willing to go the extra mile to instinctively express her clients individual needs. She has helped me to overcome many challenges in my life by not only listening, but also providing unbiased outlooks on my personal reality. We address multiple options of many topics, and I have yet to leave unfulfilled in knowledge and progress. The journey is usually as long as you make it. She guided me to a peaceful place of mind, and for that alone I am overwhelmingly grateful. Kacie Johnson-Chatman
I work with Pearl on a professional level and I will say that she is one of the best, if not the best, counselors our agency contracts with. Many of my clients like her a lot. She is direct but fair. Real but caring. She genuinely wants to help my clients be the best people and parents they can be. She provides thorough progress notes in a timely manner and I never have to seek her out to find out how my clients are doing. I appreciate her and I am glad she is such a valuable resource to not only myself and my coworkers, but also for my clients. I would recommend her to anyone seeking counseling resources.
I have made 4 phone calls today regarding my laptop and each time was passed around. They would tell me they were getting a Supervisor and another representative would answer. My laptop is a new HP Envy 17 that just came out in 2/2016. I haven't had it in my possession for even 2 weeks. I turned on my laptop only twice, the first time when I got it then again a few days later to show someone. I haven't even downloaded anything, installed anything...nothing!! I tried to turn it on a few days later and it wouldn't come on. Service told me they ordered a memory board July 26 and still no update. I do not want to pay $1500 for a refurbished laptop! I mentioned cancelling my contract if they don't replace my laptop and they rudely said, "you can't cancel your contract!" Wow! So they expect you to pay for junk! I guess I need to contact an attorney!!!
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.