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.
Great Company, very easy to work with, Amazing Homes, highly recommend to hire if you are needing a custom built home in Oklahoma.
Grace always provides 1st. Class construction services, I've known David for over 15 years...Rock Solid.
Homes by Taber comes through for me again.... Had a plumbing back up that another plumbing company and recommended a $1400 repair. My property was out of warranty by two months but I contacted Lynn in the Homes by Taber Warranty department. The staff bent over backward to try to help me and found that the problem was misdiagnosed. Two months after their warranty expired but Homes by Taber still helped me out and got my repair completed with no charge. Thanks Taber, Lynn and your whole warranty department
Buyer beware!! This guy will take you money, do inferior work, then won't pay his contractors. Once your remodeling or home building is done, he will skip out with the money and you will be left paying the contractors after they put a lien on your home. So you pay twice, once to him and once to his contractors. And you are left with a poorly built home. Find another builder!!
they were great while we were building. After we moved in they had no idea who we were. We made a list of things that needed fixing and gave it to them. They gave my wife a gift card for local restaurants. I've had electrical trouble and two water leaks so far, as well as a garage door with silver screws all over it. I would live under a bridge before using them again.
I hired Quad-D to build my office with a lot of problems from beginning to end Quad-D took my money I was left with a office that the roof leaked ruined stuff inside, (sheet rock, insulation, paper work, chairs ) Quad-D would not fix it even though they build the structure wrong. None of the doors close or lock I was told I had to wait a couple of weeks let the doors settle and they would come back and fix them nope once they left they refused to come back unless I payed them more. There is a lot of problems with my office I was a fool to listen to Matt Dudley. I will never hire Matt Dudley again for anything. I will not recommend Matt Dudley owner of Quad-D Enterprises to anyone.
I've tried visiting HBT's website to see available homes that they have. I have never had such a frustrating time trying to navigate a home builder's site. You have to jump through quite a few hoops to get the info you want. Half the community links don't even work, community info is often outdated. (i.e. There are neighborhoods open since 2013 that are still "coming this summer".) LOL. If HBT would like more visits on their site, they might want to make it more user-friendly. It's frustrating enough to say "forget this" and move onto another builder.
We had some difficulties and then worked together to resolve the issues.
Seriously... We will never buy a home from these people. They are currently building homes in a development off of SW 89th and Rockwell. I have seen neighbors walk over to workers and ask them to pick up their personal trash. I have seen several neighbors, as well as myself, picking up their trash out of our own yards and surrounding properties. Several calls have been placed requesting that they pick up their personal trash and we were told that they have so many subs out here that they have no way to know who is leaving the trash and therefore no way to ask anyone to pick it up! There are no trash boxes at ANY of the sites for personal trash to be put in so their Starbucks, McDonalds, Roach Coach, Gatorade, Soda, Wendy's, Gas Station foods, RockStar, and other odds and ends trash are strewn throughout the properties -left there to blow into all of our yards. On SW 89th, across from our entrance into the development, there is construction trash along with personal trash that is blowing from Taber's builds against the fence to the field across the street! Our entire neighborhood looks like a trash dump! It is attracting pests and looks hideous! I have seen workers on too many occasions to count, finish food or drinks and just throw it on the ground. Workers literally kick the trash out of their way instead of picking it up. The same Starbucks cup and McDonald's bag have been sitting in front of one build for over a two weeks. One neighbor said they called Taber about it, I personally asked two workers on two separate occasions about those two specific items being picked up and lo and behold, they are still out there as I write this! If they have too many subs that they can't supervise picking up personal trash on their sites... how do you think their workmanship is going to be? And when a problem arises, how are they going to be able to resolve it if their management is so irresponsibly incompetent that they can't even get a crew to pick up the trash. Here's a tip Taber - if you can't figure it out... get off your rump and go pick up the trash yourself. We are ALL sick of living in your workers FILTH!!!!!
Do NOT HIRE THIS COMPANY or anyone associated with them:We are filing a BBB complaint against Kevin Jones – Kjones Construction- Kjones Construction and Roofing…and all parties hired by Kevin Jones/ Kjones Construction concerning our kitchen remodel. This company is unreliable and provides little supervision of their sub-contractors for quality of work. The owner or project managers only come to the house when we call them with complaints. He and or his project managers (Ron and or Mark Inman) have been out 11 times.We hired this company/gentleman in good faith and paid him his first payment of $6500.00 as requested on May 31, 2013. His company/sub-contractors started work on the following Monday, June 3, 2013. We have had nothing but empty promises, shoddy work, poor scheduling and lies since we hired this company. At this current date, we are in our 16th week of the re-model that we were told would last 5.5/6 weeks. They are not done. We fired his Project manager Mark Inman 8 weeks ago, and the new project manager Ron said it wouldn’t take him another 8 weeks to complete the job. Tomorrow is the end of that second 8 week period.We still lack completed flooring (which we paid for already ($4367.00). The tiling guys have now taken 8 days and are not complete. They grouted with what they say is the color I picked, but it is too light. They will now have to stain 1000 sf of grout lines. Two coats. The tillers say they won’t do that. We do not have completed plumbing (or water - we have done our dishes in the bathtub for 5 months now, since our kitchen was gutted), our appliances have not been hooked up, painting for walls and cabinetry is not complete. This company does not seem to want to complete our kitchen. They worked 23 days on just painting the cabinets using 3 sub-par sub-contractors/ worker crews and the painting is still not done to satisfaction. The last guys Kjones sent had never painted cabinets before, they told us they paint caterpillars and bull dozers! We have documented over 90 places that need repair. KJones has promised to call in our electrical final since August 16, 2013. The ‘custom’ cabinetry is still not correct: doors are not hung correctly, the glass and trim in the doors is not complete, not all the shelves are in and we have no date set for that to be accomplished. The stainless steel backsplash has not shown up or been installed. We are going to have to hire another company to come behind this contractor to fix the paint job and cabinetry mess, as obviously this company can’t fix it. That will be more cost for us. Plumbers showed up today and 15 minutes later, left. They said they were not prepared to do our job.We have paid this company $19867.00 to date. We have $6668.67 left to pay them according to their bid, which we are holding until all promised work is complete. We have an expectation of a good job done, and in Oklahoma there is a “reasonable standard” to which all contractor work should be completed to. We have 1000’s of pictures and have 100’s of e-mails and text messages documenting promises made on work to be done on our home by this contractor. We wanted the job complete, and in a timely fashion. We are now way beyond the timely fashion. We just want the job to be done and the hassle’s to be over. No more false promises!! They have been working for 45 days in this 16 week period, less than 50% of available time. On August 8, 2013 we respectfully gave them a deadline to complete by 20 September 2013 (which is 16 weeks total). We have company coming for a week October 4th and we wanted to be able to have the house back together before they arrive. They have not complied. At this time, we have no completion date scheduled. Neither Kevin Jones nor his associates will schedule any of the completion work, and we have contacted them multiple times via e-mail and phone.
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.