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.
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
I had a sliding door replaced by Neverman several years ago. I recently discovered the baseboard had rot. While being replaced, the contractors pointed out that the rot was because the new door had no flashing. I called Neverman and had a very pleasant conversation with the receptionist (Monica) and that I realized a reimbursement on the $2000 damage wasn't likely, I'd at least like to speak with the manager and see if they had any interest in discussing the damage caused by the lack of proper installation a few years ago. I received an email from the manager (Jay) just saying that the work was to code and the damages aren't their fault. I replied that I can share a video if he's interested. Interestingly, I got a response that my email was blocked. When considering that I had only had a brief and friendly phone call with the receptionist and that their first response was to send an email without interest in details and to immediately block a customer's email after sending, I have to alert to both the poor workmanship and the questionable business practices. I've worked with a lot of contractors as I've started to landlord. Avoid this one at all costs.
I am trying to open up a catering service in the Columbus area. I needed a few fixtures, plumbing, concrete, equipment placement, and paint finish. I gave Samuel over $20,0000 in May. Samuel said he will be done in four weeks. It is now October and we still haven’t been able to open! Samuel Oasis is unprofessional and a liar. He never picks up my calls and dodged working every chance he got. If you want what is best for your home or business don’t use his services!
Ripped me off for a lot of money and never finished the job. Wrote me a check and it bounced. Wow. Don't hire this guy.
This man/company doesn't get a rating. He is a thief and a liar. He stole cash from me and now I'm going to court for it. DO NOT Accept checks from him, they will bounce! He and his company are a joke!!
It took two phone calls to get someone to return my call to get an estimate for some concrete repair or replacement & a patio. An appointment was set, but they were a no show no call. Another call, another appointment again no show no call. I guess they don't need the business.
This company is a complete joke. The owner Tom is a crooked salesman. He has no clue how construction is supposed to go. His employees are clueless. Don't get scammed avoid these clowns
If I could give negative stars I would! This company was hired to renovate my home and the only job they completed was applying the protective paper on the floors. They took the money I had paid them up front and never completed the work! They were extremely unprofessional and promised results they had no intention of delivering! Steer clear!
Rankin Homes has been building custom homes for a long time. The quality and integrity of this company is beyond compare. Customer satisfaction is the highest priority. Highly recommended!
DO NOT BUY A HOMEWOOD OR TRINITY HOME!!! We bought a Homewood Home June 24, 2015. It was a spec home & we tried to get the final walkthrough earlier than normal so any issues found could be remedied before closing. They refused and said we had the walkthrough just 48 hours before original closing which ended up actually being the day of closing. There was a 7" crack in the main bathroom that they hadn't disclosed. The entire tile surround had to be removed in order to have the new tub installed. We were able to postpone closing only one week. While they were redoing the tub we discovered they weren't installing anything correctly & had to bring in our own contractor to stop them from passing on totally inferior work. They then tore everything out again but we have now found small pin holes in the grout so we can't shower in that bathroom because we are afraid that water will leak behind the tile. And to make things worse the first time we tried to use that very shower pieces came loose and shot across the tub with water spraying everywhere! We did get them to come out for a couple things within the first month. For a bad toilet which must of been a factory second because the holes cast into the tank were formed round and not square which caused the handle to hang up and the toilet to run constantly, and at the same time to rebuild and put back on the faulty shower parts. And for major paint peeling off of interior doors. Twice now (once before we even closed) they've done nothing but repaint and that isn't the problem. The problem is the doors need adjusted or the jams need sanded down so that the doors don't pinch so tight. That's why the paint keeps sticking and pulling off. But I can't get a call back or email from Homewood to inform them about all of our issues. I've called & left messages over 7 times and at least that many emails on their website through the Contact Us section. NOTHING!!!The tree in our front yard looked dead with not a single leaf from the day we moved in. I've requested someone come out & look at it & let us know. ZERO RESPONSE! We don't want to waste more water on a dead tree. Now the paint all over the foundation is bubbling & peeling off. The light socket attachment on the dining room light is cross threaded or something so you can't turn it and secure the glass shades and the list goes on. ZERO RESPONSE!There are more issues I hadn't brought up with them yet because I can't even get them to call or email me back. The screen door on the slider will hardly move so we have to usually just keep it open for fear of breaking it. The weather stripping above the garage door pulls off and comes down almost every time we open our garage door. We have a terribly squeaky floor outside the main bathroom. There are numerous nail pops on in the on suite bathroom that's so far out it's already rusted. Keep in mind we've only been in this house about 2 months. We have a brand new home that we can't show off because of these issues & the issues are covered under warranty. But Homewood's warranty appears worthless because you always just get voice mail when you call the warranty dept. phone #. We have never received an email or call back from them. The two times we did get anything done it was a direct call we made to their plumber & painting company, not anything EVER from Homewood.AGAIN PLEASE SAVE YOURSELVES THE SEVERE AGGRAVATION FROM THIS BUILDER (HOMEWOOD/TRINITY HOMES). THEY'VE SHOWED US THEY COULDN'T CARE LESS ABOUT QUALITY, CUSTOMER SERVICE OR FULLFILLING THEIR WARRANTIES. WHAT GOOD IS A BUILDER OR THEIR WARRANTY IF A BUYER CANNOT EVEN GET A SIMPLE CALL BACK TO DISCUSS MAJOR PROBLEMS & DEFECTS NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU TRY?
I just want everyone to know that the Roose company is a great business and they do great work at an affordable price. Give them a chance and you will not be disappointed. Thank you to all that reads this post.
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.