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.
39026 Bramblebush CtClinton Township, MI 48038
I am a retired senior on disability. My former plumber (who went to my church) moved away a few years back, when I had a broken water pipe in the mi…
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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I wish there was a way to give a negative score.HRG hired my company to do some work at their properties. They owe us thousands of dollars and are pretending that our company doesn't even exist. Larry is a boldface liar and a scammer looking to benefit his company. As a contractor if they call you to do anything at one of their properties, decline their offer unless you like giving away weeks of your time and effort.
I hired them to level the frame of a deck and put down new boards (already purchased and on site and it was already stripped to the frame) This was a 1 day job that took 3. Nothing is level.. No boards are cut straight, USED boards were used in the job.. although i was told they had to go buy more boards and charged me more.. yet USED wood was used. There are places where they pieced 3 pieces of board together to make 1 long board.. Have never seen that on a deck in my life. The deck is 2 levels.. the top level actually wobbles back and forth when you walk in it and leans toward the house.The bottom level leans away from the house.. lovely visual contrast there, was told "It is angled to let water run off" Really? on a deck? that has gaps between boards.. A lie. The final cut the did along the length of one end to take off excess board hanging over the frame is not even near straight.. and is so crooked that they even cut into the frame. I rarely ever do work of this type and even i would have used a chalk line. So.. what i was told would be a 2k job just to redeck quickly turned into $3390.. for used wood and pieced together boards. have gotten quotes from 2 real PROFESSIONAL deck builders to rip it out and redo it again and no one can believe their eyes when they see this. BTW.. the used board which i am posting a pic of... the boss told me "they are replacing it right now.." yeah with ANOTHER used board with random screw holes through it.. P.S. i got some lovely feedback from my neighbors on how nice it was to listen to "GET THAT F'in board" and such for 3 days.. very professional. There are more issues that i can recall right now. it's THAT bad..
To Whom it may concern,Limbach has subcontracted work to Sycam Video Inspections on multiple projects. The servicewe received met our expectations each time. Many times the work was able to be scheduled andperformed under a tight schedule. The quality of the videos and the written reports were verysatisfactory to us and to our customers.I have personally recommended Sycam to other contractors and will continue to do so in thefuture. At Limbach we expect our subcontractors to perform their work with the same safety, qualityand professionalism that we challenge ourselves with and Sycam has met the challenge. We lookforward to working with Sycam on future projects.Signed,Kit LatimerPiping Trades ManagerTO: Whom it may concern:As the owner of Christian Brothers Plumbing I would like to say we have used Sycam Video Inspection on numerous occasions over the past two years and have been totally happy with his work. Gary does good work, is prompt and has fair pricing, I highly recommend his company for sewer line inspections and locating.Christian Brothers PlumbingGary P. Christian
Have you ever wanted to live in an apartment where the bathtub was painted over with mate wall paint, the counter painted with mate wall paint, the heat works if you turn it up 3 days in advance, the air cindtioner is an original 1950's retro piece of garbage, your neighbors are loud and obnoxious, the bath tub and toilet are caving in, the foundation is cracking and balcony is hanging on by a thread? A place where if you take a shower when your neighbors are taking a shower it's like jumping into a frozen lake? A place where someone gets evicted everyday and the last residents set the freaking building on fire when they left? A magical place where your stove has three burners, your washer is broken, your closet doors aren't actually doors, their just thin pieces of card board haning from the ceiling? Then Peachtree is the place to go! You won't see any cock roaches here, but your house will always smell like weed! Guaranteed maintence services if you call 4 years ahead of time! If you smoke, dont worry, there is always someone outside in the morning asking to bum a cigarette or a homeless couple sleeping in your hall way with their baby! You can plug three things in at once in your kitchen before the fuse blows. The office staffs answers the phone sometimes. The cabinets and overall decor were made a good 5 decades ago and were not taken care of, but don't worry, they painted over it. So basically if your dream is to live the lowest quality of life imaginable while also looking and feeling and living like a complete low life, then peach tree is the place you wanna be! I wouldn't go as far as to say it's better than living in a dumpster, but it's almost just as good. Almost.
My roofing job was 98% completed according to the contract written by Kevin Harrow ( owner of HCI Harrow Co. Inc.). After at least 20 phone calls , repeatedly he tells me tomorrow he'll finish it , but tomorrow never comes. He also refuses to acknowledge damage done to my property by his workers.
Worst scam company and rude ghetto workers. I closed on a house with their home warranty. 4 days after, my water heater and air conditioner went out so I thought what bad luck but great timing to use my home warranty. Called just to find out I'm not covered and that another company has my home warranty account according to Jamie Penko who gave me the run around. Next day I was called back by Gold Shield, Julie this time. Told me I am covered, but that my claim was voided because I have to maintain a 14 day occupancy. Thanks for nothing. Don't bother with this place for a home warranty.
The absolutely worst place to live. When I first moved in the heat was included in the rent, then for 2 years heat was my responsibility, now the heat is included again and the rent went up. My gas bill for those 2 years, winter months, $140 and I could not control heat. I would have the heat on 90 degress and you could barely feel it. During working hours the staff don't answer the phone. I walked to the office, and I guess they were having girls night, they were all sitting around talking. HORRRRRIBLE
they were dishonest in their time in their promises. Never Never trust any promise they give you. I had to take them to court to get my money back because they do not respect their promises. I will never deal with them again
Frank is an Exceptional Agent. He expertly guided us through all the stages of selling our house and was always available to answer any questions. From our first meeting to the closing, Frank was a pleasure to interact with. He has broad real estate experience and diligently worked on our behalf. Within a week of going on the market we had multiple excellent offers and are very happy with the outcome. I would highly recommend Frank to anyone.
I will start by saying, I initially thought peachtree was a decent, affordable place. Hell No! Management is beyond rude,unhelpful, and lazy. I've lived here for two years trying to save money. This will be the LAST few months here. Little to no heat in the winter, walk ways are STILL not shoveled nor salted down, windows are old which makes terrible drafts when it's cold plus bugs since the widows have gaps! Unsafe for women and children at night, extremely dirty, ALSO ONE OF THEE BIGGEST THINGS IS PEACHTREE HAS SQUATTERS! YES SQUATTERS (for those of you who do not know, a squatter is a person who does not legally live in a house, apt, etc. You do not have permission nor "keys " to that residency). So the bigger question is how?and why? When peachtree evicts someone they do NOT change the locks on that unit nor change the main door lock either. So the evicted person WILL STILL have access to that unit! Go figure that! So you may say, well how can you be sure of that? The SQUATTERS were above me! I knew for the longest that we did NOT have neighbors above, so when my husband and I heard people above us we immediately knew something was wrong. Also we would only hear people after the leasing office closed. I told the manager about the strange movement and they did..... you guessed it Nothing! Months went on and I called the police because smoke was coming from the unit above us. The fire department came along with the police. Once they walked in the unit(because the doors are not locked )there was food rappings, trash, blankets, etc proof of squatting! The squatter wasn't in the unit when the police arrived. Please, please whatever you do save your money for a better apartment. Yes they are cheap money wise but that's because your sanity is on the line. Run, Run, Run!
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.