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.
7530 Pineville Matthews RdCharlotte, NC 28226
From Business: Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company had $144 billion in assets and operated 1,191 full-…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
The staff is professional , helpful and kind . All my business needs are taken care of by them in a swift and succinct manner !
After my husband and I jumped through countless time-consuming and financial hoops to attend, we seemed to be "lead" on and ended up being denied for admission. They told us that they couldn't wait to meet us, that they needed families at the time we applied, and that it shouldn't be an issue for us to attend. Sadly, we were denied. SO disappointed, we thought this was our answer for homelessness and addiction. Guess we will just have to keep looking for another place...
Knows construction industry well, as they have been in business a long time. Reliable, quality work, great people to work with. Best in Charlotte!
I've tried to change this review because it posted it to the wrong business. But every time I try to edit and fix it it says I have not written enough words. I tried to write a bad review to a business on Park Road but it posted it to the wrong business. Be careful with these yellow pages !
I had a pool installed in July 2017. Jason and his crew were fast and efficient. The whole process was simple. Great group of guys to work with. I would definitely recommend. Thanks again. The Rogers Family
I hired this company to build a new home for me and all I got was a lot of headaches. I kept getting a lot excuses due to weather and a false promises.The owner does not know what he is doing an left the materials on the job for months and refused to provide me receipts or evidence on how the fund are used. Please do not waste your time or money with this company. Do not hire this company, avoid the headache
This company sucks! they do not do what they say. I would strongly suggest you get your money or service up front because they will screw you if they are given the chance.do not do business with these jerks
Brian is very deceptive and does not keep appointments. My HOA uses his services and he was dispatched to provide a quote for a water leak on my townhome. After promising to begin repairs on a certain date and not fulfilling that promise, Brian became defensive and condescending when I attempted to discuss the matter with him. Much to my chagrin the HOA gave him the authorization to perform a repair for a water leak on my property. One week to the day later a water line began spewing water from the ground and also eventually into the unit. When I spoke with Brian regarding this matter, true to form he became defensive stating he only made a repair and could not be held accountable for the shoddy work when the townhome was built. The company that had to come out on an emergency call stated that when they dug down to determine where the break was they discovered a cement block on top of the water line. To see the rest of this review go to www.yelp.com
The Parking is terrible. Over flow parking is at the bank next door, which makes me feel unsafe walking from at night. The building is old so you hear EVERYTHING- your neighbors walking, talking, flushing toilets, etc. the AC unit is so loud when it turns on. The condos are so small there is barely any storage room. Over priced!!!!
We have been contacting Best Buy from earlier this afternoon trying to find a resolution to the damaged TV we bought last night but only got frustrated answered from their employees. We bought a Samsung 55" 4k TV from local Best Buy store (#1767) in Charlotte, NC last night at 8:49 PM. When we got home and took the TV out of its box, we found a cracked screen, it is at the bottom of the screen and at first we thought it is the plastic wrap but then I realized there is no plastic wrap on top of the screen, so obviously it is a crack. I brought the TV back right after I got off work today around 3 PM and wanted an exchange. But the store manager said they could not offer an exchange because it was inspected by their inspector before we left the store last night. BUT as we remembered, the inspector opened the TV box but did not even take the wrapping paper off to inspect the TV, it was nearly close time last night, it took him less than 10 seconds to look at the TV, besides, we were not asked to inspect the TV ourselves. The crack is at the bottom of the screen, the inspector did not see it and let us take it home. When I took the TV back this afternoon, the internal crack already spreads to the top. The store manager said they could only offer a $599 credit back to us and we have to pay over $300 for the damage. We trusted the inspector and the store so we thought it is a good TV, even after we found the cracked screen last night, we did not take pictures as evidence because we trusted the store would take it back. We did not expect the store staff would question us, use our trustfulness against us and let us take the responsibility for their fault.
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.