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.
76 Maple DrHudson, OH 44236
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7395 Center StMentor, OH 44060
GREGG IS PROFESSIONAL AND KNOWLEDGABLE, WITH THE HIGHEST INTEGRITY. I RECOMMEND HIM TO ANYONE BUYING OR SELLING A HOME.
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
My husband and I do not recommend. If you go with this realtor, make sure to get every detail in writing up front. Very poor customer service skills. The weight for services were put more on the buyer than for us as the seller. He attempted forced entrance into my front door with his shoulder three times when I didn't approve for an inspection day. We have a police report. ERA Lentz also hacked into our Zillow account after we had an agent release. We have an image snap shot for proof in history and an email directly from Zillow help desk proving this. He also tried to add a 500.00 misc. fee to our purchase closing contract.
Professional and friendly staff. Made my transition into my first apartment enjoyable.
I lived at Shaker Lakes apartments for 10 years. I enjoyed every moment while I was a tenant, through medical school and residency. It was perfect for me. It was a quiet apartment complex for all my studying. It was affordable, the front office was very responsive to all my needs and John was especially amazing - he is a down-to-earth, honest, patient and straight-shooter of a man. If you needed anything fixed in the apartment, it is done within a day. Plus it is 5-10 minutes of both University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic and their medical schools. I think as residents or medical students we are so busy and barely have time for errands outside our work lives, the front office is often patient and would work with you to accommodate your needs. I am grateful to John for that. I had an amazing experience as a tenant!
Terrible! Simply terrible. Unprofessional management, old and decrepit, smelly apartments. Stay away from Property Investment Company!
"How did it go?" - Simply put, it could not have happened without her!Our contract on the house fell through once and it took 9 months to purchase this home, and she latched on like a bulldog and fought tooth and nail to make this transaction happen. She is tougher than hardened steel and has a soft warm heart that genuinely cares about getting people into the home of their dreams, and into better living situations.Her primary source of advertising is word of mouth. From repeat buyers and referrals from her buyers to friends and family, and her 20+ years of experience is absolutely critical to any serious buyer. I've been researching properties all around Cleveland for 2 years prior to buying, reviewed hundreds and hundreds of listings, and visited dozens. I could have let my house go when the contract fell through the first time, but I made my decision on it, and Deb made it happen.As a buyer, I have experience with buying single family and multifamily homes, I've rented 9 units in the past and have been involved in real estate since 2010. Deb didn't need to hold my hand through the process, but at any point I needed to let her take control, I was 100% confident in her ability and professionalism.She helped me look at properties from Bedford to Euclid, Chardon and Chagrin, and various other greater Cleveland areas. She pointed out structural flaws, code violations, and anything else that would make a property we were looking at difficult or expensive to purchase/fix. She also surprised me with her ability to figure out the properties I would like the most. Because I don't buy a house because it has nice kitchens and bathrooms, I buy houses because I like the land, the city/county regulations, expandability, basement, driveway, bedrooms, and useful oddities.One house she picked out which I never found, she knew I would like it more than any other, and I did, the numbers just didn't work on it, and the conditions to sell it would likely have been just as difficult or more difficult than the house I already picked.All in all, I expect to be able to purchase another home by summer 2018, and Deb Wyckoff will be the first and only realtor I call to help with the next transaction, and refer to anyone I care about who needs a realtor who will care about them. Between California, Ohio, and Indiana, I've dealt with a lot of agents. Some good, some bad, and a lot who I wouldn't trust with a pen. Deb blows all of them out of the water.
Been around over 5 years at two different properties near Shaker Square. Having been here that long I can say that I have noticed things improving over the last year and half or so. I've had a number of issues over the years, some small, one or two more serious. Staff attitudes have been markedly improved.
From By Owner to By Alicia! We had our home for sale by owner and one day Alicia called and respectfully asked if she could set up a time to see our home. She identified herself as a Howard Hanna agent and wanted to see the inside of it because she thought she might have an interested buyer. I was a little hesitant but after meeting with her I realized she wasn't trying to get my listing but really just wanted to introduce herself and see our house. She called me a few days later and scheduled a time for her interested buyer to see our home!After that I asked her if she would be interested in listing our home with Howard Hanna because we were so happy with her fast responses and feedback. A few months later I had her list 2 more investment properties my husband and I were interested in selling.Her no pressure approach and quick replies made the decision easy and we've been happy with her representation.I would have rated her with 5 stars but it took a little longer for her to get the signs into the yards due to a delay with Howard Hanna, but other than that the experience was great.
I lived in Montlack Realty Fairhill tower for five years. The west facing two bedroom apartment has the most amazing view of the Cleveland downtown and the lake. It was a treat for us every day to view the amazing sunset from our bedroom. The apartment is well managed and the office staffs are really great. John and Butch were always there to listen to us if we had any issues in our unit. The apartments are really affordable considering the vicinity to the Cleveland Clinic and the Case Western. We have never faced a single problem with the maintenance as they were always there to fix things even in late evening hours. Montlack has several apartments in the Fairhill road, Kemper area but the Fairhill tower was the most convenient for us as it was walking distance from the Clinic and the Case and also the RTA stops just in front of the building. There are hiking trails across the building on the banks of Doan brook. Overall, the area is a safe place to live with a family.
This business has a bad habit of showing favoritism. They have to be familiar with you in order for them to rent you out a home. They are very unprofessional in what they do!!
I lived in Shaker lakes apartment for 4 years. Nice area and apartments to live in. My unit had full kitchen and an huge extra storage which was a big plus. It's in walkable distance from lakes which we enjoyed. Management was mostly responsive to any maintenance requests. Usually was take care within a day or two.
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.