There really aren't enough words to describe the impact that Valente Brothers Ft. Lauderdale Jiu Jitsu has had on my life. I have been involved in Martial Arts for over 25 years. The format that the Valente brother's use is very effective in developing well trained Gracie Jiu jitsu practitioners. They stay true to the traditional Helio Gracie Jiu Jitsu teachings. The instruction is high quality and a must for anyone seeking Gracie Jiu Jitsu training or training for self defense purposes. Instructor Bruce Belfield maintains the highest quality of teaching to his students and devotes almost all of his time to the school. The students are all very respectful, friendly and fun to be around. We are like family . The women’s self defense program is what brought me into the school , and the techniques that Instructor Belfield has given me to use to defend myself against a REAL LIFE street situation far surpass anything I have encountered in all my years as a martial artist . The women I train with are amazing and we encourage other women to learn this form of self defense . It will save your life and you will never have to be afraid of being attacked or wonder what you would or wouldn't do if someone tried to hurt you. Gracie Jiu Jitsu has changed my life in such a positive way and I owe that change to Instructor Belfield and the entire Valente Brothers Ft. Lauderdale family. I would highly recommend this facility.
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Dr. Jay is the best Chiropractor from my experience. I came in because of chronic headaches and back pains and within the first appointment I found relief from both back pain and headaches. Dr. Jay is more than an expert in what he does, he made it a priority to meet my specific needs. Also, he does more than just adjustments. He did a Chinese treatment called Gua Sha and believe me that works! In conclusion, my experience with Dr. Jay was more than just a regular in and out the door see you later visit and that is very important. I have been to other offices around the area that their only concern is to get you in and get you out as quick as they can and never removed the pain completely. He took the time to pinpoint my conditions and all the treatments were specifically aimed and structured to treat those conditions. - Kevin
My husband and I have been looking to remodel our kitchen for a couple of months already, and just hadn't found the right company to meet our expectations. The team at Florida Home Improvement Associates have met and have go beyond our expectations. From our first sit down with the sales person, we knew that our patience was well worth the wait. As we've had months to research, we had a lot time to look into Florida Home Improvement Associates, from their quality of work, and pricing, so as far as being satisfied, my husband and I are very satisfied. We highly recommend Florida Home Improvement Associates for any home improvements. Thank you Joseph, you made it easy for us.
I am a real estate investor, therefore I'm always needing to improvements on the homes that I purchase.. So cost is of importance to me, and not just cost but the quality of work, since I do not want to be going back and forth fixing the same items. Florida Home Improvement Associates has shown me the professionalism that I seek when doing my business transactions, as home improvements are part of my real estate investments. Their pricing are fair, and just right. What's more impressive is their customer service, as they are always ready to answer my questions, and keep me up-to-date throughout the project. Thank you Alex and your team for your hard work. - Jesus
As an infrastructure management company, we are excellent at designing, building, and supporting environments for small to medium size businesses. Through trial and error, we learned that we are not so good at building brand awareness and generating new opportunities. The team at 3degreeZ helped us build a plan that is accomplishing both. By taking the time to understand our business model, and future strategy and growth goals, they were able to put together program that has our company well on its way to achieving the desired results. I would absolutely recommend 3degreeZ in the future. - Blake Hug
I thought building my first home would be a very stressful and overwhelming experience, so when i hired Paterson Project Management i was expecting the same. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy they made it! I am currently in MY DREAM HOME - and i have them to thank! Their staff was so very helpful, and patient with me. They catered to every single one of my requests. I have recommended them to several of my friends & family. I plan on using them for all future contracting needs. I am hoping all of my future endeavors with different companies run as smoothly.
I called Florida Home Improvement Associates to have them work on my attic, so then can put some new insulation; they were patient, and very knowledgeable on all the procedures. What was more important to me though was their professionalism that was shown by the sales guy, and the installers. The installers worked in an utmost professional manner, and the clean up was amazing. I will definitely use Florida Home Improvement Associates for my renovation of my home this spring.
What a pleasure it was to work with Paterson Project Management! I was really nervous about delicate nature of project I had but also being able to stay within the constraints of my budget. Not only did Paterson, exceed my expectations and stay on budget the project was even completed ahead of schedule. Thank you so much for everything! Highly appreciated and most definitely recommended!
This company built our new house, and did not correct defects that appeared in the first nine months of occupancy. Repeated attempts to obtain satisfaction from the local representative have resulted in no satisfaction at all. Would not recommend this company to anyone. We are very dis-satisfied, as are owners of other houses in the neighborhood, also built by Jimerico.
My son started Karate America in December 2014 and I have seen a change in my son's behavior. Mr. Twiggs and his daughter are excellent instructors. They teach kids confidence, discipline and leadership skills. I also took some of the adult classes and I was very happy with my results. I would recommend Karate America, Fort Lauderdale location to anyone.
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:
- Understanding and applying for building permits to meet local regulations
- Organizing a budget and adhering to it throughout the project
- Gathering all the necessary tools and equipment, from hammers and shovels to large excavators and generators
- Securing the construction site and equipment after work hours
- Working with personnel on-site to address any issues
- Keeping records of materials, labor and all other expenses
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:
- Associated General Contractors of America: Represents more than 6,500 general contracting firms and more than 9,000 specialty contractors nationwide.
- Associated Builders and Contractors: Represents non-union contracting firms.
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.
Hiring a General Contractor
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.
Finding general contractors
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.