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.
4568 Elizabeth Lake RdWaterford Twp, MI 48228
From Business: Ross Homes, Inc. has been Family Owned and Operated for Over 50 Years! There is No Project that We Haven't Done or Can't Handle! We Specialize in Custom Home Desi…
5032 Rochester RdTroy, MI 48085
From Business: *FREE Estimates *Ask About Our FREE Consolidation Plan *FREE Colorful Home Improvement Booklet *We Do Our Own Work & Provide Professional Planning *We've Been Mod…
651 Livernois StFerndale, MI 48220
From Business: Professional Building Services *Commercial / Residential / Institutional / Municipal *24 Hour a Day / 7 Days a Week Emergency Service *Professional Restoration Se…
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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Good business will recommend to any of my friends, good reasonable prices, not trying to break the bank
Another POOR example of Detroit's "connected" contractors. Non-payment, Non-answering, and Non-performing!! Do yourself a favor and go elsewhere before getting involved with this "company".
A bunch of thieves they took part of my money to buy materials for a different job they were working. The workers were never on time or didn't show up at all in my basement was never finished. Do not use this company.
This was the worst experience I ever had with any contractor. This company damaged more in my home than they repaired. The Plumber caused leaks when I had none before. He brought the wrong color bathtub, he forgot to make a hole in the sheet rock for the water spout for the bathtub so a hole had to be punched in the new tile for the tubs spout, he improperly installed the tub drain causing it to leak in the basement, he gauged the marble floor tile with the toilet, he didn't tighten the toilet which rocked like an amusement park ride, he reduced the water pressure in my home to a trickle then, blamed it on the City's Water Department saying that the pressure was low coming into the house. He later discovered the low pressure cause, a towel he left in a pipe, which he blamed on the installer of my water softener, installed 9 years prior. I had ample pressure before he showed up. These people left me with out a bathroom for over a month, my three bedroom bungalow only had the one. They scratched and gouged my hard wood floors engulfed my home in dust and, when they finished 9 months later. They left debris and materials from the work in my basement and backyard wich by now was covered with snow. The owner of the company made as many excuses as his plumber who used every excuse in the book short of " The dog ate my home work ". The owners excuse for his plumber was " he is an idiot ". If you find you've hired this company. You have my condolences. The only reason these people continued to work in my home was because I had a contract through the City of Detroit's 0% home improvement loan program. They chose the contractor. I wished I'd paid the interest and hired an experienced company. If you have the misfortune of seeing Stroyko Construction approaching your home, barricade your door and dial 911 because if they get in what they will do will be a crime. Consider your self warned.
very, very disappointing. company came out as promised, only thing, the estimate was way over the top. looks like the company is professionally skilled , but give me a break. i live in detroit. if i lived in grosse pointe, maybe. company should stay out of detroit, if they can't given you a fair price. don't waste your time detroiter's ,unless you have money to just give away. now kick rocks unique construction company, you should be a shame!!! and the representative who came out, he had a less than desirable attitude. how bout an attitude adjustment or maybe if he was a bit taller that would help.
Very fast and professional, they came on time, left my basement clean. Two guys can for the job and they are very reasonable.
If I were to rate the workmanship, I would give them Five Stars. However, the customer service is poor, at best. I originally contacted Unique to work on my driveway a few years ago. At that time, the owner came out promptly and gave a clear and concise estimate. It took a while to get work started due to weather, and the owner wasn't always timely in communicating delays. However, I was very pleased when the work was done, and I knew if I ever had any other improvements in mind, I would contact them first. Fast forward to this year. I'd moved to a new house and needed some work done. There was a little back and forth in getting the appointment for the estimate, but the receptionist stayed in constant contact with me. The person that came out to take measurements arrived a couple hours late, but he did communicate the reasons why. He took the measurements and said he would get back to me in a couple of days with the estimate. This was over a month ago. I haven't heard a word from the owner or the receptionist after leaving repeated messaged...for a couple weeks. This is extremely unprofessional and disheartening. I wanted to support this business very, very much and when you can get them to show up, they do great work. But that I basically have to beg for a response is insane. There's so much work I would have given them that I now have to give to other companies.
This company is completely unprofessional and incompetent. They perform poor quality work and left my house in poor condition which I will now need to pay to fix. Do not hire them.
I have never used this company so I cannot speak to their quality of work. However, I can say that I had a run in with an employee on the road who swore at me and called me names with my one year old son in the back. I think that's very rude and inconsiderate. Especially to say that to someone in a company vehicle.
I would not advise any good minded business person to get involved with this crooked and dishonest so called business enterprise. Jenkins have hurt so many small businesses financially it is sad to know that he is still in business. Do not do business with cheating Jimmy Jenkins. This company is always in court for non payment.
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.