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.
Home security comprises a number of different technologies, tools and techniques. Choose one that fits your needs and your budget.
Learn about wisdom teeth removal costs, as well as wisdom teeth in general, to help you make the best decisions for your finances and oral health.
Great office Everyone was friendly and welcoming. Marta the hygienist recommended a electric tooth brush and it is worth it!
Beautiful waterfront office. As soon as you walk in you are greeted with a warm smile and Hello. My hygienist is amazing and can recommend her to anyone that has sensitivity like me. Dr. Rasmussen has excellent bed side manner. Sat right beside me until all my questions were answered! Patient for a lifetime!
Once given a price on of our remodel back in July, we decided to take a few things off the to save some money. They were constantly going back on what was agreed upon by adding things to supplement what we were taking off. They continued to tell us that the prices they were adding were not included in the final quote they sent us. They stated specifications for the size tile that we needed to buy. When we stayed within those specifications, they came back and wanted to charge us more because they stated that job would take longer because it was more difficult. Nothing they sent in the final quote to us was set in stone as they continued to add miscellaneous fees to the job. This company was completely unprofessional from day one. Every time we had a question, we were told that they were leaving the office at 3 in the afternoon and would call or email us back. When we would talk to someone, it would be someone in the office that kept saying they would have to talk to the owner of business. We spoke with owner ONE TIME in four months. All of this started after the area was hit with a devastating hurricane. I understand that our project was in the works before the hurricane, and that is why i am writing this. The prices started changing and going up after the hurricane. This company seems to be taking complete advantage of people in a very trying time. Their pricing comes out of nowhere as to when you ask them about pricing, they can not give you a price per square foot or anything. They just say ill call you back and give you a price. No explanation of how they came to those numbers. I hope people see this and do not pick this company to do their work. They are taking advantage of customers and are completely incompetent and unprofessional. Oh and they must have had issues before because they recently changed their name. They are no longer called B & G Builders. They are now, YOUR EXCELLENT CHOICE! Which is far from excellent.
Shocking Lack of Expertise, Morals and Ethics.Shoddy Lab, Dishonest Accountant, Bizarre StaffI had the recent misfortune of having Dr Todd Sharp of 'Today's Dental' attempt a very expensive and time-consuming series of implants. Don’t let the limp fish handshake and feminine demeanor fool you: He is a cold-blooded thief and a bungling professional.What an absolute Nightmare-The uncomfortable and painful procedures were completely botched by Dr Todd Sharp THREE times at 3-5 hours per session, SIX separate days instead of three to be subjected to Dr Sharp's inexperience, confusion and painfully suffocating attempts. When this dental scam finally collapses I’m sureDr. Sharp could easily find employment as a terrorist waterboarder.But, after long hours of enduring these gagging, inexcusable dry runs, you find out all is not lost. Turns out, your appointment doubles as a ‘practice session' for his novice dental assistants, who are trained 'on the job' on your dime. If you expect crisp professionalism here, think more like 1.75GPA vocational training.Adding insult to injury, Dr Todd Sharp cheated me out of a significant portion of my insurance reimbursement by misdirecting the check from my insurance company directly to him and stealing over 30% on a paid-in-full account. This is an uncaring and greedy office which demands full payment in advance before the Doctor will stumble in and begin your dental and financial torture.The surly inept staff, who possess the blind obedience and compassion of a Concierge at a Death Camp, are the perfect ugly compliment to the bad Doctor himself, who left me speechless when he was willing to trade his honesty, integrity and professional ethics for a little pocket change.Dr Todd Sharp is an insult to the profession, liar and thief.
Excellent service !!! Wonderful people and equipment.Truly knowledgeable and caring operation.On-Time appointment keeping and memory of your last visit.Yesterday was my second visit (for a Perio Cleaning) following full annual service six months ago. I will return in six months for another full service.Charges were reasonable and fully explained before procedure.I am completely happy with this office. (They want 100 words here.)I am a little more knowledgeable on dental than average consumer. As an Army Draftee, I was trained as a Medic, Dental Specialist. Graduated top of class and after declining to volunteer to teach next class, was sent to Vietnam where (with one Dental Officer) I ran a Battalion Aid Station's Dental Operation. In addition to our own troops, we frequently took part in "Civic Action" setting up clinics to serve the local population VC or not.
Rick Merillat is a colleague and friend, and I have known him in this capacity for over ten years both professionally and personally. Rick always goes out of his way to help his clients, and is an ethical, warmhearted, and good person. He is a superb Social Worker/Therapist, and I highly recommend him for anyone seeking counseling services.
Great Staff! Dr Ochoa was very efficient and my experiance painless. Also inquired about the in office bleaching special which will be my next visit!
Have been going to West Cape Family Dental for a few months. Overall it seems the place is in chaos. My problem today is yesterday I had a cap pop off. No big deal - that happens. However, I called the office, left a message on the office voicemail and called the dentists direct number "in case this is an emergency". No one called back.
Amazing doctor, explains everything and very patient, I had dentist fear and anxiety until I visited this office, young excelent doctor
Had my first appointment with the Pine Island office today. The staff was very thorough and friendly! I've never had such a thorough examination and explanation from any other dentist of mine! I highly recommend them!!
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.