Hosting Hell: 10 Things That Will Go Wrong - And How to Prevent Them »
If you want to avoid entering the hosting hell dimension, here are 10 potential entertaining glitches, and how to avoid them.
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If you want to avoid entering the hosting hell dimension, here are 10 potential entertaining glitches, and how to avoid them.
The 2017 trends are a mix of new and retro, tech-enabled and totally basic.
If you're a guest at the season's events, make sure that you're part of the celebration, not part of the problem
Wait staff are awesome, bar staff not so attentive. Food.... somewhat bleh! Being English, I think I should know what a proper English pub is like, the Fox and the Hound (Albeit they have the proper sounding name) does not measure up. They have no idea what a 'shandy' is, which EVERY self respecting British pub would know, but the bar staff were accommodating when we explain how to mix half a lager/beer with half sprite (yet again, sorry the third time we have been to this place and had to explain it so they didn't have to look in a 'cocktail reference' manual. My fish was white fish (so undetermined I guess) and my chips were french fries which were cold. Our Appertizer came out at the same time as our entree too, which was a newbie for me. LOL actually we had ordered slow roasted beef short rib sliders... silly people giving us our philly cheesesteak at the same time as the 'so called sliders' messed up as they were both the same meat.... See, I always thought anyway that beef short ribs came on the rib, not a teaspoon of philly beef on a small bun with 2 slices of pickle skewered through the top! Forgive me, but when I am paying nearly as much for 3 little buns with nothing on as much as I am for the philly cheesesteak (which I reiterate, was the same meat.. I know my meat) then I get a little ticked off when I am being ripped off! I ordered a cocktail. Anywhere else I'd get a full margarita glass or equivalent, not last evening. I was given my cocktail that I believe I paid $6/7 for in a half a wine glass, no ice, no garnish, no finesse. What a disgrace. I think the waitresses are lovely and attentive, I think the food needs to be looked into (seriously not English, I mean... where's the shepherds pie? etc) plus half of our food was cold too. Plus English people don't eat 'chips' (french fries) with everything! Just a few notes
The people at Happe & Sons are very nice, honest and professional. Even though they consistently give higher bids than their competitors they do stay pretty close to budget. The quality of work is good (not great) but they use too many subcontractors. Some of the subcontractor's work was not as good. The project went on much longer than anticipated once again, because of the subcontractors. There were days that they wouldn't even show up because they were busy working on another project. The guys at Happe can also be hard to get a hold of since they aren't the best at returning calls. Overall, very honest and hard working. But for the price, time and hassle, I may try someone else in the future.
I am very pleased with the outcome of the new addition to our home. The job was very professionally done. We enjoy the new room a lot. It was a great experience you brought us into. I really appreciate your help through this whole new experience. You made this a very warm and enjoyable pleasure. As you know I did have second thoughts there for a little bit, and I am very glad you helped me get through that because now it is the most enjoyable room in the house. Thank you for a job well done. I personally recommend your company to anyone. Thanks! The La Salle’s
I have been living in Evansville since 1996 and have visited many salons never being satisfied with the level of professionalism, atmosphere, or skill set of stylists until I came to Shannon Aleksandr's. Since being a guest at Shannon's I've had the chance to experience several different stylist skills and they are ALL excellent. If you are looking for a salon that offers EVERYTHING and AMAZING customer service ....go to Shannon Aleksandr's!!! You won't regret it!!!
LOVE - LOVE- LOVE this place. The Main Gate has so much character! Food is excellent, beer is cold and the service has been great. The place can get a bit crowded on nights that the Ford Center has events but that's probably because it's the only FUN place to go on Main Street before or after an event. I highly recommend this place. And…it’s non-smoking! Like I said before, I love this place. Cheers!
I won't let anyone touch my hair but Alex! I'm licensed to cut hair so I know what I'm talking about. He always offers the latest in cutting edge styles no one else has. He travels around the world for Redken, learning from the best in the industry. I wear my hair long and everyone loves it, wanting similar styles, but they don't know my secret weapon - Alex!
Our first trip to this fabulous restaurant made me understand why local people call it a gem. The menu offered a variety of flavors and creative Southern dishes, the service was top notch, the presentation of the food was elegant and my wife and I finished the night off with great cocktails and some nice, live jazz. 5 stars!
I didn't know if refinancing would be right for me so I gave Missy a call. She looked at the numbers and showed me the options, wasn't pushy and gave me all the information I needed to make a decision. I ended up saving almost 2% on my refinancing and they got it done in about two weeks. Thanks Kirkston!
First of all the restaurants in this area all offer pretty much the same stuff...until this one! Shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, crabcakes and eggs, glazed donut bread pudding etc. The creative menu, the ambience, the service, it's like finding a buried treasure in my own backyard.
This is truly a great dealership with great people. Most dealerships are pushy and they simply are rude and it's a stressful experience. Tristate Auto SUPER CENTER has really changed the way it feels to buy a car. Great atmosphere and friendly people. You are treated like family! 5 Stars!
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.