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.
Highly recommend!! Purchased storm doors from Home Depot. Odessa builders was contracted to measure & install doors. Antonio arrived on time, was polite, efficient & courteous. Would not hesitate to recommend this company.
WOULD NEVER RECOMEND. They are contracted with Home Depot West Hartford. They have no showed at least 4 times with no phone call. Never told me parts were missing from Home Depot. Door installation & its been months incompetent F rating customer service will report to BBB they should never be used not trust worthy. Use anyone but home depot or Odessa. Horrendous customer service, no regard for client or time wasted ZERO culpability NEVER use ODESSA F - minus rating requires a star to submit they deserve negative stars
I paid Home Depot to have a quote done for a front door entry replacement at my house, and Odessa Builders were the contractors that contacted me who would be coming out to do the quote. We made a date, and then that morning they called me to cancel because the "guy had a personal matter to deal with" and so we had to reschedule. Then on the rescheduled day, we were 1.5 hours into my 2 hour window and I hadn't heard from them, so I called the main office and the receptionist called the guy to check in and see where he was. She then says he was on an install job that was running long and he wasn't going to be out to my house until much later. Whatever. So I wait... 2 hours go by, then 3, then I finally give up knowing this guy isn't coming out to my house. So Odessa blew me off completely, and here I am the next day and I STILL haven't even heard from them. I already called Home Depot, cancelled the quotation and got a refund... I am going with Lowe's now and Home Depot's corporate office will be hearing from me. Steer clear of Odessa, they are clearly inept at customer service so I can't even imagine what their installation / labor ethic is like.
I worked for all state construction. The Company is small fifteen to thirty field employees depending on how much work they have. The Fab shop in Farmington is good sized a lot of equipment. The wages are low for a Pipe fitter Welder trade and There benefits package is not that great. They have a lot of Potential as a Mechanical Contractor there leadership needs to make some changes they seem to be all about themselves and not the Employees. Good employees are the key to success for any company.
I bought a storm door over a month ago from Home Depot, Odessa called and said they could put it in on Dec. 24 and would call on the 23rd to confirm. I took a day off from work those 2 days to make sure I was available. Apparently they called on the 22nd when nobody was home and they never returned another call. Now they won`t be open until next Monday and Im supposed to wait??? I would never recommend this company they have been unreliable. I`m returning the product and getting my money back and will go to Lowe`s across the street, they said they would have it in the next day, with a discount!!!!!
My experience were just the opposite of the other review. I bought a storm door from Home Depot just before the Holidays. A guy drove by our house a couple of days later and took measurements of our door. On January 2 I called Odessa about doing the install. They already had all the paperwork and were able to schedule it for the very next day(!). They showed up in the time window and the install went off without a hitch. No issues.
I have been waiting for two months to have a door installed. I bought a door at Home Depot and Odessa builders is one of the contractors they deal with. After playing phone tag and not returning my messages Odessa finally sent a guy out to measure the opening. The guy they sent measured the opening wrong and ordered the wrong size door. Finally they sent another guy to install the door. When he arrived, right off the bat he told us he couldn't install the door because it would not fit. Odessa got a hold of the first guy and he was adamant that he measured the opening right, he didn't and tried modifying the door and in the process ruined it. Now I have to order a new door and who knows when it will get installed? I f you need some work done on your house don't call these people and if Home Depot tells you they will call them, tell Home Depot you want someone else. Odessa Builders make reputable contractors look bad.
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.