We experienced a fire in the kitchen of our home this summer that caused major damage from the fire itself, as well as immense water damage from the efforts to put out the fire. We immediately contacted our insurance company, who made arrangements for us to stay at a hotel. We were referred to Precision General Contractors and we contacted them and arranged for them to visit the property and meet with us. They inspected the problem and spent hours analyzing every angle of the damage and the cost. They itemized everything into a very organized estimate showing all of the cost. We eventually retained them as our general contractor and they met with our adjuster when he visited the property. They worked diligently with the adjuster and they were on the same page regarding the steps needed to be taken to make the repairs and the costs involved. Every single aspect of everything affected was covered. Precision went about making the repairs almost immediately. Their crews were managed by one project manager who kept in close contact with us throughout the whole process. The crews arrived early every morning 6 days out of the week. It was extremely important to us that the repairs were handled quickly as we were in a hotel with our children while the repairs were made. They never let the job sit stale. We felt like they used every hour available to make the needed repairs. Very efficient! The end result was more than fantastic. Every single item was put back together brand new, many of which were actually upgraded to better quality. At the end of the day, the only thing out of our pocket was the deductible. We were in the hotel a total of 11 days. Before we moved back in, Precision even paid to have a professional maid service clean our home. It was like nothing had ever happened. We can’t say enough nice things about Precision General Contractors and we would highly recommend them to anyone needing a great contractor!
I want to thank Get There First Realty and staff for the outstanding job you have done managing my properties the past year. Prior to using GTF, I was using another property management company that by comparison cost me tens of thousands of dollars. They listed the properties at lower rents, had log vacancies between tenants and rents were frequently delinquent. It was common that tenants left properties in terrible shape and months behind on rent. It was so common I considered selling the properties because the losses were so great. I reached the end of my patience when my old property manager for the second time “forgot” to list a vacant house. I contacted you regarding taking over managing the properties I was slow to agree to change to GTF and you called me at least once a week. During one conversation you said “think what it would be like if you owed me money.” I switched to GTF and everything changed. You raised the rents and filled three empty houses within 30 days. the late payments became a thing of the past with only an occasional exception. You also recommended insurance and property tax companies that help reduce my operating expenses. Your staff is prompt at returning calls and are always helpful. I am truly glad I found your company. I pay GTF a little more than my old management company, but it is without a doubt the best money I have ever spent. My properties generate positive cash flow for the first time since I have owned them. Add me to the list of satisfied GTF clients.
My husband and I are an older Australian Couple who have Rental Housing Property Investments in various USA States. We have used Mark Kreditor of Get There First Realty since purchasing a condominium property in Dallas, Texas over 10 years ago. Mark Kreditor and all his staff have always provided us with prompt, efficient, competent service and have surpassed the performance of all our other Property Managers of our other investment properties in the Maryland and New York, and other USA states. We only wish he could manage all our other properties in other USA states. Mark has always stated things as they are with genuine proper investment advice that has always been correct. Living in Australia so far from our USA investments, in a different time zone, we have to rely heavily on our various property managers to be available for prompt reply service which Mark Kreditor has always excelled in providing. In fact, he has always been available to contact either by email or phone to discuss our Dallas Condominium property at any time. Tenant selection and screening has been excellent with the last tenant in occupancy at a satisfactory rental rate for over 8 years. With his company’s up to date computer systems they have in place, our monthly rental receipt reporting/repair billings, etc, is very efficient. We would recommend Mark Kreditor- Get There First Realty to any Dallas, Texas rental property owner requiring the best property management company you will find.
My wife and I filed an insurance claim after our house was severely damaged from the hail storm last August. The insurance company came out and covered the damage to the gutters, the siding and several windows but denied the roof (right, how could the roof not be damaged if all the other things were?)." We then hired Precision General Contractors LLC of Dallas and they took extensive photos, measurements and wrote up a very sophisticated report. They were very thorough and prepared. They then sent the information to my insurance company and they sent another adjuster out to inspect the roof again. The new adjuster agreed with Precision and wrote a check for the roof on the spot. Precision then installed the new roof about a week later along with the rest of the repairs. They sent a tremendous crew out who were clean, polite and very knowledgeable about what needed to be done. Every single thing that was approved by the insurance company was completed in 3 days and I couldn't find not one thing to complain about. I have already referred 2 of my neighbors to Precision and they took care of their jobs for very satisfied customers as well. If you have an insurance claim, you shouldn't call anyone else but Precision General Contractors LLC to help you. Job well done guys!
I truly would like to take this opportunity to Thank you and GTF for the outstanding management performance that you have provided to me and my property. From the beginning of our consultation and the processes to lease my property you were a solid winner. You were able to find wonderful tenants and my payments have been processed quickly and always on time. If I ever had any questions you and your staff have addressed them quickly and always made yourselves available. This has been an outstanding partnership from the start. Your management company came highly recommended and I now understand why. I would say to any property owner or investor wanting to find a solid and excellent management company that GTF “Get There First” is the only company that offers full service and complete satisfaction. 100% satisfied client and truly the only management company or property owners wanting to lease without the hassles.
My husband and I have been real estate investors for many years and learned of Showhomes about 5 years ago through another investor that used them. I was skeptical of putting someone into a newly remodeled home but after 2 ac units and a dishwasher were stolen by vandals I finally called Emily Rose. She met me at the home and explained the process and shortly after they moved one of their home stagers in. We felt safe to finally replace the 3rd ac unit since the house now was no longer vacant. We were very pleased with the interior staging and the way the couple kept it up. We received a contract in the second month. We have used Showhomes on several of our vacant houses and although not all of them have sold as fast as the first one we have had great success using this service. Thank you Showhomes!
My insurance agent suggested I call Dan at Precision when my garage had an electrical fire. He was professional, sympathetic, courteous and efficient. He worked well with Nationwide and was able to get everything replaced brand new (and then some) for the total agreed insurance price. He was always calling me before I had to call him. Other companies estimated 6 months to complete the job and Precision was completed in 3. Dan asked me today to submit a review and I'm happy to do it! This is a sincere thank you for everything you have done. We hope we don't need you again but if we do, we will certainly call you pronto. Until then, we will recommend to anyone we know in a similar situation. Keep up the good work! George in Highland Village, TX.
I regretfully just gave my 30 day notice from the property I have been renting from GTF. I would like to take this time to say what a pleasure it has been to work with GTF Inc. When I found them, I had just went through a divorce, I had two dogs and GTF was very professional in handling any and all concerns of mine. I would also like all to know how grateful I was for them to work with me when I took a mechanics position in Prudhoe Bay, AK, I was allowed to go month to month while I figured out my affairs. I am moving out of state and will not have the chance to rent from GTF, although I sincerely wish they managed anything where I will be moving. Thank you very much for all you have done.
The best customer service experience I have EVER had. Morteza is the most professional and down-to-earth man that you will ever met. He runs the business entirely by himself with no hired hands & it does NOT show. I dropped off a canvas to be framed on a Tuesday, and by Thursday, it was done. I had doubts about the quality, but after I saw the framed canvas and saw the high quality of the wood (not cardboard like Hobby Lobby and Michael's uses) frame, I was in shock. Extremely reasonably priced. He will be getting my business from now on.
This company is wonderful! They were referred to us by our insurance agent. They did everything they said they would do. We hired them 2 weeks ago. The insurance claim was approved a couple days later. Roof, siding, windows, fence work, drywall, paint and skylights ALL FINISHED within a week later. The insurance adjuster even told me that I had a very good contractor. Most of my neighbors haven't even had any work started. I would recommend Precision General Contractors to anyone needing insurance related repairs! A+
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:
- Understanding and applying for building permits to meet local regulations
- Organizing a budget and adhering to it throughout the project
- Gathering all the necessary tools and equipment, from hammers and shovels to large excavators and generators
- Securing the construction site and equipment after work hours
- Working with personnel on-site to address any issues
- Keeping records of materials, labor and all other expenses
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:
- Associated General Contractors of America: Represents more than 6,500 general contracting firms and more than 9,000 specialty contractors nationwide.
- Associated Builders and Contractors: Represents non-union contracting firms.
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.
Hiring a General Contractor
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.
Finding general contractors
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.