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.
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Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
My wife purchased a brand new home from Gallup Development in July 2017. A week later muddy water began pouring inside finished basement, saturating carpet and penetrating woodwork and walls. Foundation had given away next to house. A few weeks after foundation started caving in on same side of the house in a different area. Then, another issue arose shortly thereafter when water began leaking inside master bedroom that is located on 2nd floor, soaked carpet and ruined baseboard. Another major defect is that on hot days central A/C will only cool top floor to around 84 degrees, and bedrooms on 2nd floor are almost as bad. Builder said “that is a matter of comfort” and refuses to do anything to address the problem. Now that it is winter, on two cold days bedrooms upstairs will not heat to above 64 degrees. This was again reported to the builder with a plea to address. Gallup refuses to do anything. There is no hot water available in the master bathtub. This was reported to the builder. I’m guessing that this is a matter of comfort as well. Now, the siding is warping and bowing all over the house. This was reported to the builder, along with a request that the builder arrange a meeting with the manufacturer of the siding so that proper repairs can be made and warranty remains valid. Builder refuses to cooperate and will not respond. Now, paint has started peeling off exterior areas of the house. It is only a few months old! This has been reported to the builder as well. My wife has now engaged an attorney because of the builder’s refusal to stand behind his product. Be very, very leery of this builder.
Horrible company...they lie, lie and lie so they do not have to pay their bills. Then, they flare out at you when you request monies due to you. BAD BAD BAD business and probably not even legal citizens.
I use these plumbers every single time an issue with my plumbing comes up. I've had nothing but positive expierences when using this company. That is why I'll use them permantly.
PARENTS BEWARE! My son attended Bright Star for a year and a half. At first we thought they were ok. Not the nicest pre-school around but it was a very convenient location for us. After he turned 3 and entered a new classroom he came home on two separate instances and told me a specific teacher had hit and scratched him. The second time he had actual bruising on the back of his neck! I obviously brought this to the attention of the school. From that point on it turned into a nightmare. The situation was so poorly handled by the director I couldn't believe it. I really think they were more concerned with losing another teacher (they seem to have a high turnover) than they were with allegations of abuse at their pre-school. They initially only agreed to move the teacher to another classroom but never actually even followed through with those actions. Eventually they told us that just wasn't convenient for them. Basically I think they were trying to force us out of the school so they could sweep this situation under the rug before other parents found out. Because of state laws they were at least required to report the incident and they will be investigated. Meanwhile this teacher continues to have daily contact with children and they seem ok with that. We have obviously moved schools and are much happier. Even if this teacher was removed or left the school the way this situation was handled by the administration says volumes abut how they operate.
If you enjoy being ignored, lied to, abused and then left high and dry because you have the nerve to point out how poorly you have been treated, then use Kellory & Company.
These guys are great - they have done a couple large renovations for me over the years. They always have delivered a great final product, and conduct their business with integrity. They even helped me save money on several components. They've been around for a long time, and Brian is great to work with. Highly recommended!
Seamus had us going. He came into our house and measured this and that and promised us a nice new kitchen. He made us listen to a speech about how honest and how full of integrity he was. After numerous failed promises of when he would call us back, I call him, he stopped answering my calls so I left messages. After no response I borrowed a friends phone and called him. What do you know he answered right away! So then he sends us to a cabinet outlet, we find the cabinets we want. I called him to ask dimensions and he asks me for the stores fax number and says he will fax the layout. My wife and I waited 30 minutes for his fax, as of now he still has not faxed the plans, he never intended to fax it. He just lied to me to get me off the phone. I made the decition right there, this would be Seamus last lie to us. The Seamus we agreed to do business with and the Seamus we got after that, might as well been 2 different people. He wasted over 2 weeks of our time. I just looked at his web site and he is a roofer! Maybe he does not even know how to do kitchens. I am glade we found this out before we got more involved with him or let him in to our home again. Simply put Seamus Bradley is nothing but a liar. Signed Ron Beall
Best plummer I've ever had. Great service and prices too!
Trevor has zero integrity and is not somebody I would like to work with again. The first time we scheduled for him to come to the house, he never showed up. He didn't even have the courtesy to call and let me know he couldn't make it. The next day I called him and he didn't even apologize. Another time he told me he was going to come by the house, and sent me an email at 5pm that day that he wasn't going to make it and he rescheduled for the following day at 9:30 am. He didn't get to the house until 3, at which point he barely had enough time to complete anything we agreed upon.That day I called him to let him know that I was upset and that he wasn't living up to his promises. He was very rude on the phone and kept using that he was busy as an excuse. Being busy is not an excuse. If you are going to say that you are going to do something, FOLLOW THROUGH! It is ok to be busy, but you shouldn't make promises that you can't make.He is not a professional person and I never want to work with this guy again. Be warned. Stay away from this company. You will not get anything done on time. I don't know how he stays in business.
best plumber ever. fast friendly and no clean up mess
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.