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.
2805 Premiere PkwyDuluth, GA 30097
We had the Shumate team replace our air conditioning units. They were prompt, courteous, and extremely professional. I would recommend them to any…
1705 Boggs RdDuluth, GA 30096
I had a great experience purchasing my Mercedes. My sales consultant, Stephen Moore was very helpful throughout the whole process and made the trans…
2255 Pleasant Hill RdDuluth, GA 30096
From Business: So much more than office supplies! Find a growing product selection including cleaning and safety supplies, furniture, technology, paper, ink, electronics, comput…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Not happy with this dealership. I shopped around and found this to have the most pushiest staff. I bought my car at another dealership and I'm happy I didn't from here.
Excellent car dealership in the area. Great car selection for all prices and budgets. A great staff and you get more than what you pay for! Highly recommend. Thank you RCM for making my purchase a spectacular one!!
Great selection of clean cars. They have very well priced cars. If you want to buy a late model used car, this is the place for you.
DO NOT, buy a car from this dealer! Our car broke down the same week and all he has to say is, "the car was bought AS IS!" (BTW, you may want to record the conversation...in GA you may have to tell the person you're recording, why do you ask, because if you go to court they are going to claim they don't speak english.) They own Gobran Auto Sales & B Brothers Auto. Look at the reviews, people complain their cars breakdown within days! If you don't believe me go to http://www.gwinnettcourts.com, in the box where it asks for the "Party's Name" put in Gobran Auto Sales and/or B Brother Auto and look at all the small claims cases against them. Ask yourself, why do they want you to pay cash only? They want you to pay cash only because if you have as issue with their cars you can't stop the check/credit card but most importantly you can't get any banking info (what bank they use to deposit THEIR $) from when they cash your check. If you have to take them to court and you want to sue them, you won't be able to track that information because you paid in cash! This is one way they protect themselves when they get sued! Ask yourself this question before you buy from them...HOW COME THEY DON'T PROVIDE THE VIN NUMBER TO THEIR CARS ON THEIR WEBSITE? Whatever you do, before you buy a car from them, get the VIN number and pay the extra $ and get a report (carfax). Better yet, take a mechanic to look at the car. Last thing...they have sold cars without having an emission done before they sell it! LISTEN TO ME, THIS IS AGAINST THE LAW!!!! ALL USED CAR DEALERS MUST GET A "PASSING EMISSION" BEFORE THEY SELL YOU THE CAR AND IF THEY DON'T THEY ARE BREAKING THE LAW. This what you do...go to www.cleanairforce.com, click on "Motorists tab" and then go to "QUICK LINKS" and choose "Print a Copy of my MOST RECENT TEST RESULTS. The next page will open...just put in your VIN #, if they didn't get a "PASSING EMISSION" before you bought the car...file a complaint and you will win in court!
Maggie (Sales) and the entire team at Atlanta Direct Auto were helpful, friendly and pleasant throughout the buying process. They were fair in their appraisal of my trade in and the pricing of my new car. They called me back promptly when I called them. I would not hesitate to recommend them to my friends and family looking for a used car.
I bought this car and an hour after I drove away from the lot it broke down. I called the two guys at the office for help but they decided to ignore my calls and give me the run around. This is a horrible place to buy a car. The two guys are scam artists and should be arrested for selling faulty vehicles! They will wipe the computer clean on the cars and you won't know there is an issue untill you actually drive it!
After buying the car in less than 2 weeks and only my third time driving the car. The check engine light came on and after taking it to 3 different mechanics, I was told by each ( with none of them knowing it was an Second/Third diagnostic) that the computer had been wiped and there was no way that the dealership had no idea of the five plus transmission codes and seat belt error that was showing. I was told that due to it being a federal offense for them to sell the car knowing this I needed to take it back immediately which I did and preceded to get the run around from them everything from the owner sold it and he was the only one who can assist me with it to him being out of town to the mechanics had to be mistaken ( never once did the actual owner who sold it to me reach out) when I finally got the other owner on the line and again offered to pay more for another vehicle or do an even trade out or even allow them to fix issue he just hung up and said its not his problem.
I'm sure I've been to worse car dealerships in my life, but I just can't seem to remember any! It was if no one really wanted to sell me a car at first. No one looked at me or acknowledged me until I was finally about to get in my car and leave and then the owner chased me down & tried to sell me a truck. I finally decided to check it out, but after looking at it was amazed at the condition vs. the price. The headliner was missing, parts of the engine had foil tape holding them on & the distributor cap was missing bolts & was barley on! This is just what I could see in two minutes so I pulled out my code checker (never buy a car without one) & pulled codes. Sure enough the catalytic converters were toast. Pulled 5 separate codes there alone. The trucks air smelled like curry on top of it all. Zero Stars should definitely be an options as this place has a ways to go to earn that first star. Used car dealers are a Dime a Dozen. Save your dimes for a honest one & Steer clear of this one!
This is an absolute TERRIBLE business. DO NOT BUY FROM HERE. I responded to a craigslist ad for a car being sold here. The owner (who claimed to be a dealer) illegally sold us a car that could not pass emissions. Less than a month after buying the car the owner refused a return. We are currently involved in a legal dispute. THIS BUSINESS CONDUCTS UNETHICAL AND ILLEGAL PRACTICES.
This company is the absolute worst...they sold me a car a year ago that I just found out was a recall. The car malfunctioned so I contacted them and my finance company. My finance company told me to get another car (Trade-in)...Little did I know my finance company and Pars Cars were working together to pull one over on me. They told me in order to trade in my truck I must be current which I was and give them additional 500, have my truck towed to them so they could "assess" it.Then all I would have to do is come pick out a new car. Well once I got there first the finance company ask for another 500 then Pars just told me that they would be taking a loss if they trade my truck which is their truck...then they wanted me pay them if they fix my actual truck out of pocket when what happened to the truck was a issue with it being recalled and sold to me...So now I have NO NEW CAR, OUT OF 500 DOLLARS, AND MY TRUCK THAT DOESNT RUN...AND ALL THEY DID WAS CALL THE POLICE AND HAVE ME ESCORTED OFF THE PREMISES AND NEVER TRIED TO HELP ME AND LAUGHED ABOUT IT...I BEEN WITHOUT A CAR FOR A WEEK GOT CHARGED BY MY INSURANCE COMPANY TO TOW IT TO THEM...TO NOW HAVE TO TOW IT WHERE EVER NOW...DO NOT EVER GIVE THEM YOUR TIME OR HARD EARNED MONEY...THEM OR UNITED AUTO ACCEPTANCE FINANCE
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.