What Does Gluten-Free Really Mean? »
While medical opinions about gluten allergy vary, more and more consumers are beginning to experiment with removing gluten from th…
While medical opinions about gluten allergy vary, more and more consumers are beginning to experiment with removing gluten from th…
In the wake of a disaster, communities outside the affected area want to know how to help. A variety of reputable organizations ha…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
We had a wonderful seven years at Architectural Consignment Shop. August 1, 2016 new owners. I will miss all the wonderful daily visits from all of our old and new customers. However, living in a small town like Fairhope........sure I will be seeing each of you soon...... Art walk, Restaurants, or just walking down the street! -Pat
I am a regular customer, and I also have items for sale here. I have always had a good experience.
I have consigned with Pat Norton for numerous years and have no issues with our dealings. I have never found Pat nor anyone helping her offensive or rude. I always get a BIG welcome when I walk in and enjoy checking out all the "new" items that come in almost daily. It is a fun place to stop by check out. pc
I have been a consignor and a customer of Pat's for many, many years. I keep coming back because it is so much fun to go to the shop and see the latest great find. This shop never ceases to amaze with creative architectural items that all her other consignors have found by searching far and wide. . Wonderful items come in every day and the quality is excellent. Pat definitely has a vision and she will share her ideas freely with you to make your home outstanding. Her talent is amazing and she loves nothing more than being creative and helping her customers fulfill their dreams. Her shop is fabulous - you have got to see it for yourself. She is a beautiful person and you will definitely have a pleasant experience .
This my favorite shop. I live in MississippiAnd the drive takes over an hour.It is worth it! It's owner Pat Norton holds a special place in my heart. After Katrina destroyed my home I was paralyzed to start over after losing my antique and beloved treasures. I randomly found her shop, introduced myself,opened up about my anxiety in starting over anew. Pat helped me move forward with her compassionate heart and decorating genius, genius. She figuratively held my hand and began the process. I trust her completely. Her prices are reasonable, her inventory is forever changing as people know the best place to sell their stuff is in her shop. She can help make suggestions as to work for you. I have learned to listen to whatever she suggests because I get the "wow" factor when I heed her advise. Another bonus is as I buy from her I can also sell my old stuff in her shop and make money to purchase the things I want. It's the coolest concept around. An architectural consignment shop offering interesting items from old doors, shutters, mantels, windows to furniture and unique antiques. I have purchased shutters, dr table and chairs, an armoire, bamboo mirror, iron end table, lamps, and more. I can't wait to drive over and see what new treasures she has that make me love my home. I will forever be thankful for Pat Norton compassionate heart. I wish her continued success!!!
This business is a rip off. The owner will take your item's after getting you to sign a contract and loose or sale your things and not pay you. She also got some of my furniture and changed the prices that we agreed upon and sold them at a much lower price that was agreed . . She had my inventory list so messed up. When I started catching on to her, she asked me to remove my items after I had started taking my belongings out. She threw my candle opera set on the cement floor and broke one. SHOVED MY TEAK WOOD FURNITURE IN A PILE. Now if you want to be ripped off, taken for and manipulated, she is perfect for you. She still owes me money and I will be taking her to small claims court if she does not pay me. So if you want a professional consignment shop to handle your item's that you will enjoy their professionalism and has an inventory computerized software to keep up with your items, try Fairhope Furniture consignment on Section St. They are great. Always called me to make sure I agreed to a sale if there was an offer lower than priced. This business is one unprofessional place. I would never take anything to her to sell. You will fell like you are in a junk barn , just a bit above to a flea market. I was embarrassed that my good quality furniture was there among rusted out things. She will be reported to the Better Business . I have 25 years in business skills and she knows nothing about how to run or treat clients. Much less taking care of your things and only looking out for her best interest and not your agreement or taking care of your things while there. SHE IS SOMETHING. A joke.!!
Poor excuse of a homebuilder. I have heard of several people having issues with Jim Smith and some of the sub-contractors he hires. Please consider using another builder.
I will never do business with place. They are the rudest and most stuck up people Ive come in contact with. I have a business and new house, I didnt want to do anything ordinary or brand new. i wanted to do something different and wanted antiques. So I called to see what they had and the lady that answered the phone acted like she was to good to take my money. She first told me we're not interested when i told her my name and my company name. i called back to tell her i wanted to spend money not sell them anything. she kept trying to pawn me off on other companies, like i wasnt good enough or didnt have the money to do business. I have the money to buy and my grandmother had her own antique business for 30 yrs and taught me about antiques. So if you like snobby and rude, then this is the place for you. If not dont waste your time with these people.
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.