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.
1662 Savannah HwyCharleston, SC 29407
The owner was professional and knowledgeable about the products that were available. There was no pressure sellling and the quote was clear and my q…
Summerville, SC 29485
From Business: At Logan Construction, we have been successfully meeting the remodeling and construction needs of residential and commercial customers in Summerville and the surr…
Serving the Charleston Area.
From Business: North American Dismantling is a leading nationwide demolition contractor specializing in heavy industrial demolition, commercial building strip outs, specialty bu…
7110 Ashley River RdSummerville, SC 29485
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
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This guy is such a con man. He plays every game in the book when it comes to getting a quote from him. He starts high, and works his way down to get the job. Then when you hire him, he creates all kinds of scenarios to get more money. Well, it didn't work with me. HE ALSO DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HE IS DOING. HE IS A TOTAL FAKE. Counts on everyone being suckers. He opened up my new faucet he was supposed to install and tossed all the parts all over the place to impress me. I've built 4 houses, 2 without a contractor, so I'm savvy when it comes to plumbing OR con men. When I turned my back, I don't know WHAT he did to my faucet, but I heard him mumble "I knew it was gonna do that". I turned around & water spewed all the way up to my 12 ft. ceiling with such force, it knocked the paint off leaving a big bare sheetrock spot I now have to get repaired, dripped down the wall behind the mirror, sprayed all across my huge bathroom, water everywhere! He had taken the faucet handle off; all this drama was an effort to convince me he had to charge more than he'd said. The boxes my new faucets were in were now wet (I knew I'd be returning at least some of the boxes) and my bathroom was a mess. He snatched up all my nice towels to try to mop up the mess at the faucet. First I told him to just put the handle back on & leave. Then I figured he'd screw something up on purpose, so I immediately said "don't even bother to put the handle back on, just leave". He slammed the door on his way out;I had my son watch until he was gone from my property. He acts like an alcoholic. A few days prior, he kept calling me, badgering me to hire him. I only called him back when the other guy I hired never showed up this morning. Then this DONALD CHEEK of Shamrock Services was at my door unbelievable fast. Too eager to swindle me.
Never do business with this company or Chris Pelletier. He is constantly moving his business to avoid bill collectors and process servers. Go to the Charleston County Clerk of Court website and search his personal name along with his company, and you will see the long history of how he scams people. For those that have already been scammed, please write a formal complaint to the SCDLLR, contractors board. If enough complain, then this clown will be forced out of business.
We were given quite a line of fast talk, and didn't do our homework. What ensued became a nightmare. Since then, we come to find out he has conned a number of sincere but naïve homeowners out of their hard earned savings, never to return. It turns out this con man is not licensed, not insured nor incorporated in the State of South Carolina. He is a very smooth talker and will sound like the right person for the job. He has some odd mannerisms of speech, which I now realize are part of his charade. He also cons guys to work with him or for him, never paying them for their work. Donald Cheek, a.k.a. Shamrock Services Inc., is a pathological liar and a thief. Plain and simple. A flim-flam man working his mark. He has stolen advance funds, never provided materials or completed work. He sent me on a wild goose chase to get some paint at a home improvement 'center', and while I was away, he pressured my wife into advancing him half the 'estimate', left for 3.5 hours, and when he returned, he stayed 30 minutes. He destroyed our walls in our home, leaving glue to dry all over 15ft high walls, damaged flooring, molding and trim with water. We had to pay someone again to repair the mess and do the original job. I repeatedly told him to return our deposit, and send me a check. He will start slopping things around, causing damage, and if you say anything, he will feign being insulted, so he can justify sulking off the job, never to return. I should have know something was up the first day, when his 'helper' had this look and demeanor like he knew something wasn't right. He probably never got paid. Either Donald Cheek is an alcoholic or drug addict or both. His behaviors have all the hallmarks of one. I looked on the Charleston County Clerk's Court Index, and was shocked at Cheek's pages of charges and convictions. Consider this review as very strong warning. DO NOT ON ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ALLOW DONALD CHEEK OF SHAMROCK SERVICES ON YOUR PROPERTY OR TOUCH ANYTHING ON YOUR HOME. You will highly regret it.
This guy is a piece of $h*t Doesn't even own tools to do a job, then, ruins whatever project he's hired for. You will need to do it over again. Stay away from this loser.
did fine work and provided good service at a fair price. I had a good experience with this company from start to finish
Just moving to Charleston, I found Robert online. We had just purchased a old ranch on James Island, and we needed a Kitchen and Bathroom remodel. Robert and his team were great, he was very professional and had great recommendations. They were in and out in a timely manner! Thanks Robert!
Honesty, Value and Experience!
Avoid. In it for as much of your money as they can squeeze out of you. Nothing more.
So - I have a slightly different angle to post a review of Harbor Homes with. I was in construction for 15 years, and I can say - they will build your home fast. They will build your home more than likely using quality products. HOWEVER....If you happen to live next door to where they are building - heads up! You will find construction debris in your driveway and your yard. I have 5 children and they are building 8 homes on my very small street ( 16 total lots). The homes that were here prior to them starting, were established and have been here since 2005/2006. They started construction late in 2012. They have taken over the neighborhood with their "we care about nobody but our bottom line dollar" attitude. I realize, again - having been in construction" that when a home gets built near or next door to you, there are certain things you have to deal with, such as noise, vehicles etc. Having said that there are certain things you should NOT have to deal with - such as pouring concrete at 6am (Charleston County Code Enforcement reminded them they may not start till 7am). They have to clean up after themselves (or evident by the picture, they're supposed to). The real problem here is they don't have contractors out on the job supervised. I work from home, so I say this with 100% accuracy. I'm home watching all day. Their contractors show up - and work unsupervised all day and night. 2-3 days a week someone from Harbor Homes (one of the Mungo family) comes by and walks around with his ipad and leaves. Occasionally he's with someone. 10 minutes and they're gone usually.So if you are a potential customer - they don't supervise but hey - I guess inspections are supervisory enough lolSo if you are a neighbor - look out because your life is about to turn upside down and you could get damage or injuries resulting in their negligence.I know Jesus could come down from heaven and tell me to use them to build my next home - and I would not.
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.