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.
105 Masquerade LnEl Paso, TX 79912
As an Army wife I have had to deal with numerous carpet cleaning companies over the years as we ventured across the country and I can honestly say this company exceeds all expectationd! This carpet had extensive problems with previous pets and messy people but thanks to the skill and attention g…
8010 N Loop DrEl Paso, TX 79915
From Business: IES Commercial, formerly known as ARC Electric Incorporated, designs and builds a range of power systems. The company maintains more than 100 locations throughout the United States. Operational since 1998, it employs a staff of over 5,000 people. The company offers maintenance and systems installation and testing services …
12429 Armadillo LnEl Paso, TX 79934
Magic Steam Carpet Care did an outstanding job on our carpet! It looks sooo much better that we take our shoes off when we come into our home. Our carpet is light in color and showed dark foot trails where we walked. Now they are gone! We would not hesitate to call him again and we highly recom…
1101 E Schuster AveEl Paso, TX 79902
If you need exceptional care for your child, look no further. I was so impressed! They helped my son with a disability start walking! They really invested time to encourage him and they were so loving. They also have a time for children to brush their teeth. My son had just turned 2 at the time …
1330 Northwestern DrEl Paso, TX 79912
From Business: Achieve the lush, healthy lawn of your dreams with superior lawn care in Virginia Beach from TruGreen. Our certified lawn specialists use solutions based in science to bring your lawn back to life—all within your budget. To start, we will complete a comprehensive Healthy Lawn Analysis® in order to make sure your lawn is ge…
950 Sunland Park DrEl Paso, TX 79922
The crew at royalist masters is very polite and and friendly. They care about your business. The work is very quality but besides that this staff is flexible and able to work with you on uncontrollable situations such as parts delays. I would recommend this shop to all my military brothers out t…
11351 James Watt Dr Ste C-600El Paso, TX 79936
The contractors at Pointe Homes built us such a beautiful home! The staff worked wonderfully with us and they did everything we suggested and incorporated some great ideas. Our home is JUST PERFECT.
El Paso, TX 79924
Very good service by Econo Clean. I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of their carpet cleaning service. They came on time, worked diligently and in the end my carpets were left completely clean. There was not one trace of dirt on it. I would recommend them highly.
10657 Vista Del Sol DrEl Paso, TX 79935
Mountain Vista was wonderful to work with! I'm in the Army, so when I arrived in El Paso, I was living in a hotel. Mike Santamaria showed me 2 models which were available. There was a little bit that needed to be worked on to finish the house. Mike put me in a "loaner" house rent free while my h…
El Paso, TX 79932
I needed my drive way to be painted so I gave Paul a call and let him do the job. At the same time, my realtor said my cabinets and garage floor needed to be painted, so I also gave them to Paul. He is busy with another job right now, but try his best to do mine on time.
3737 Gateway Blvd WEl Paso, TX 79903
I came into Casa Carpet for the first time about 3 years ago. I was greeted by Terry Almeida, who was also very helpful throughout my visit. She's always been the one to assist me since then! I know I can count on her fantastic assistance. The prices and selection here at Casa are the best I've …
El Paso, TX 79912
After a very bad experience with a dishonest contractor, I called Amerus Roofing that came to the rescue. I got all the bad work patched up just before the rains came. They did a great job, worked hard, and cleaned up at the end. The price was cheaper than I expected too. It was a pleasure using…
El Paso, TX 79907
We are very happy with the work Cesar and his son did for us. They installed a 220 line and dryer vent in just a few hours. They were very prompt, very professional, and very knowledgeable. Secure Contractors gave us peace of mind and quality work at a fair price. Thanks again.
1719 Wyoming AveEl Paso, TX 79902
smith&ramirez is great there employees are very kind,nice and will answer all your questions they will go the extra mile to help you with your roof and there super fast and get the job done right i highly recomend then
1271 A L Gill DrEl Paso, TX 79936
A couple of weeks ago I had a water flood in my home. It was so overwhelming and the house stank. Other companies would charge me a fortune and I was still going to pay a high deductible if I ran it thru my insurance. To my luck I came across these guys. They were very professional and fast resp…
El Paso, TX 79936
Steam wizard is an excelent company. Mark came to the rescue when our bathroom flooded. He was prompt, professional, curtius, very caring and fair. He did a great job evacuating the water and we would recommend his company to any one. Our Thanks to Mark!
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Lariat delivers exceptional quality work, always done promptly and completed on-time. .
Replaced the entire roof with asphalt shingles, very good work, on time, very profesional team. I highly recomend Q Construction and Mr. Marcos Laranaga.
Lariat's been super considerate. They asked for my schedule and were able to help me work around it. I really appreciated that little factor.
My experience with them was very great! Their workers are super kind & efficient and I was very satisfied with my roof and air conditioning. Would highly recommend.
They did a really great job. Everything was perfect and they were easy to work with. They provide really good service. Lariat Builders Group is a great company.
Never any issues with this friendly and receptive team! !
I would like to recognize Marco or Mario from Lariat, he was the general contractor. He provided excellent service.
Was impressed with the crew VS the other company. They were organized and with the right amount of people. Very professional.
Wow. I called later in the afternoon asking for a spot, they came same night. Worked with me and came exactly when they said they would. The gentleman walked in, was very professional and polite; asked me what and where. Poof, complete and packed up in like 40 mins. Entire apartment (big one by the way) cleaned and smells beautiful. HIGHLY recommend!!!! I WILL be calling again!
THE WORST EXPERIENCE EVER. I HAD TO REPORT THEM TO THE TEXAS LICENCE COMMISSION AND TURNS OUT THEY DO NOT HAVE A LICENCE. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO DO A GOOD JOB DO NOT HIRE THEM
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.