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.
101 Flintlake RdColumbia, SC 29223
From Business: M.B. Kahn Construction is one of the largest privately held construction companies in South Carolina. The firm has been in continuous operation since its establis…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
You would regret if you rented from them. I do not think they care about their customers. What they are interested in is just your payment.
I really enjoyed working with this company. Very fair, trustful, clean and efficient. From the moment I met with the management team, I had a good feeling and I was not disappointed!
I hired Joseph Russell, JSK Complete Renovations, to renovate a house. Because of the poor quality of his work, I had to fire him. This renovation process was to proceed in four stages. JSK performed the work for some of the stages. Unfortunately, the portions of the stages he did complete were deficient. Stage 1: He failed to key all of the locks on the property the same way. He only supplied one dumpster and one trash trailer, when they were supposed to supply two. He failed to replace all the exterior rotten siding, trim, fascia, and soffit. Additionally, the siding he did replace was with white pine and it was supposed to be cedar siding. He failed to finish the drywall mud and trim. Stage 2: He failed to paint all the exterior of the house and all trim.He failed to pressure wash the deck or the cabana. The new window on the 4th floor was not replaced. Not all of the pine straw was installed and the bails that were not used to finish the job were taken. There was no sodding or seeding. Only some of the mulch was added and the remaining bags for the rest of the job were taken. Stage 3: All walls had to be repainted because the drywall mud was not applied correctly and was not sanded before paint was applied. All of the doors and trim had to be repainted because he used latex paint over oil based paint without priming and it all peeled off. He did not finish the installation of the pre-finished hardwoods. I had to pay another flooring company to tear out and correctly install the flooring JSK, did such a poor job with the plumbing that it all had to be re-done. I am in the process of re-doing all the electrical work that was improperly performed by him Finally, the neighbors have informed me that some of the workers were living in the house during the renovation and that they drove over their sprinkler heads and damaged them. In addition to the deficiencies, JSK , also caused damage to my property which resulted in me having to incur additional costs:
Flea infestation, mold, terrible communication. I live two doors down from the office, and they never contacted me to let me know that if I didn't pay my Balance of $583 immediately I would be evicted. Again, I live two doors down from the office and received no phone call, no email, and suddenly the police are knocking on my door. I received an eviction notice after being two weeks late on rent. I was able to pay the same day as receiving this eviction notice and this all could have been avoided if the office had contacted me. Previously if I was late by a few days, I would get an email or a phone call. This company is evil and vicious, and clearly just out to make a buck.
Damaged my wall in my kitchen on a Monday. Called Wilson Dow on Tuesday. He was at my house fixing the wall on that same Tuesday evening! Great job! It was just a relief to find someone so capable and professional so quickly!
So professional so quick and so affordable. My wife and I were so impressed by their professionalism. Highly recommend!!!
Even though we were out of state, Jimmy from Rinehart Realty, met with my family and showed them the locations which gave us a piece of mind.
I will most certainly be sure to recommend Rinehart Realty to anyone that is on the market to buy or sell their home.
Simply a terrible business. Took my application fee, told me I was approved for the home I wanted and asked me when I wanted to move in. They said they would fix the minor cosmetic things the home needed, put in a new fridge, ect. Maybe they were not expecting me to have an inspection done but I did and the house failed majorly not only did they halfway do the cosmetic fix ups but the house had black mold and lead based paint. I am pregnant and have a small child! Giving them the benefit of the doubt they had 3 weeks to fix these issues while I waited for my family to have a home. This company said the house was move in ready and once again it failed inspection for lead based paint and black mold. Not trustworthy people. I have also heard that once you sign your lease they are terrible about doing repairs.
I have never written a single review online outside of eBay. This the worst property management company I have ever encountered. The home is a pig with lip stick. It is painted very nice and the yard is fairly decent. The central air set on 78 degrees but the house is 82-85 degrees in the house. There is a constant issue with pest because the roof. I watched ants crawl from a crack in the ceiling to get to cough drops in my purse. The ceiling crack was original covered in paint. The paint has now cracked and peeled. It has been a nightmare. I watched a rat climb in the house there the air vent tonight. It is storming outside and it must have been looking for shelter. That means the air ducts are not sealed under the home. No one returns emails or calls no matter what time of the day it is. When maintenance does show up it is have you are super inconvenience to their day. I would not even recommend this company to a homeless person.
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.