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.
3415 Independence Dr Ste 200Birmingham, AL 35209
From Business: Capstone Building Corporation is one of the leading building contractors in Alabama. Its services include preconstruction, construction, construction management, …
Serving the Birmingham Area.
Horrible Company- kept sending invoices with different amounts on them-called the 800 number-again what a joke-everyone is rude and obnoxious-called…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Absolutely the worst packing job I've ever seen. The content was a 90 year old stained glass chandelier. The shipper made it crystal clear that it needed to be packed with extreme care. The packer used FIBERGLASS HOUSE INSULATION to wrap the shade. There was no bubble wrap, no paper, no styrofoam peanuts, nothing inside the 24" diameter shade to support it in transit, no double boxing. The "box" was patched together from 2 Home Depot boxes ("Pack like the pros" - how ironic). The patchwork box was folded around the shade and the house insulation and taped together. This shipper charged almost $100 to pack a fragile piece in leftovers from home and the it was destroyed. When the shipper went to them with these photos, Parcels Too refunded HALF of their charged cost. Half. Less than fifty bucks. Big of them. Entirely NOT RECOMMENDED. PS - fiberglass insulation ITCHES.
Not Professional, Chris Thomas the owner does follow up with his clients or make the clients a priority. His customer service is awful.
Best Bargains for Good Reviews I could find. Are you getting horrible negative reviews on Google, Yellow Pages or Bing it’s because anybody can leave a review with them. Not the BBB they review all good or bad reviews so that as an Accredited member you can choose what is posted for the world to see. I have a company that sales Flood/Salvage Vehicles from Hurricane insurance claims!! We dry them out clean them and try to get them running again. We would for sure not still be in business today if it were not for the BBB THE Better Business Bureau giving us an A+ Accreditation Rating the monthly dues are affordable BBB’s A+ Rating is only $450 a month I would have taken a C Rating I was in so much trouble due so many customer complaints on the internet. I am So happy the BBB IS around to help us. Our reviews are 1.5 stars on google with almost 60 negative reviews, 0.5 stars on yellow pages with 36 negative reviews and I don’t even want to tell you how bad our bing reviews are. Here is the truth selling flood damaged cars I mean sure it is probably one of the lowest things that you could possibly go into business doing but the profit is so high you know and with the BBB standing behind you that is all you need. Hey now they want their money but boy they will make you shine... Another plus is they will take a credit card right over the phone love that option. Thank You BBB for helping us keep our doors open.
I went to Ann St in Montgomery to pay my loan and they switch the date and I brought that to their attention I still got and returned check from my bank I told them to look at my previous account and date they say somehow your days change how do you all of a sudden change your payday paid on Friday you want to charge me on Thursday really very unhappy
This company is nothing more than a pay to play organization there are so many Better Business Bureau accredited company members with A+ ratings that I have found to have very poor customer service and horrible reviews on other review boards. This will be deleted before many people are able to see it. The company owns one of the largest domains on the internet. How is it the negative reviews about the way the BBB conducts business any different than any other privately held company? They are a privately held company that ends in Bureau to make it look as if they are part of a Government organization and all part of their strong arm tactics to push around small business owners for money. I am going to be taking a screen shot of this review just to see how long it stays up before the BBB contacts the yellow pages to have it removed. The next step will be to show this whole post from time it posts before it is removed on as many social media platforms as I can reach to show the power of this organization. As a consumer think before you listen to a company that takes cash from companies 10’s of millions of dollars a year to be an accredited BBB member with A+ ratings. When the truth is if you don’t pay you don’t play!!!! LOOK UP ONLINE BBB PAY TO PLAY IT WILL BACK UP EVERYTHING IN MY REVIEW!! Thank you
I’ve been calling the office all morning. One of their complexes (Pebble Creek Apartments) keeps turning my water off without warning and not letting me know and this have been going on all weekend. This morning I was in the middle of a shower and all of a sudden the water was off!
I am extremely disappointed! I visited the location in Montgomery, Alabama on Ann St. I presented a check and was told that they couldn't cash it due to the fact it was written in!! I had all the numbers correct and even called customer service for that particular check and they didn't want to speak with them to verify the check or nothing!! Very nasty and obnoxious attitude!! Then after I asked for a manager and was denied! Then after all of that they turned around and said we don't cash them anyway!! I will never visit the location ever again! I'm very disappointed and felt extremely embarrassed due to this matter! There were customers also who witnessed this! There were 3 women working and the date and time is 6/23/2017 between 7:00pm and 7:30pm. I really think if the customer service is continued that way you guys will no longer be I'm business!!
Dawn Moore is a gem to work with. I have the pleasure of doing business with her weekly. I wouldn't use anyone else!
This is the worst property management group. The residents have had no correspondence from this company since August if 2016. Repairs to common area have not been made, bills are not being paid, resident accounts for dues paid are not correct and SPMG is doing nothing. The owner and personnel of this company don't return calls, lie and in general just ignore residents. Highly recommend NOT using this company.
I have never in my life had such a nightmare of an experience renting from this agency. The staff is rude, it's impossible to get in touch with anyone, and when you finally do they refuse to do anything about serious problems. I will never again in my life rent from this group.
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.