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.
If I could give NO stars I would. Coupled with all the rest of the things you will read in this review. The owner of this company has recently gone as far to contact HomeAdvisor and say she did not know who my family was and denied doing work for us, regardless of being under contract with us and us having made 3 payments to them already. They since cancelled their home advisor services. Don't ever use this company if you have sizable work that needs to be done. Not only do they not meet deadlines, they were not honest with the material delivery. The work is half done and requires rework to be done. They damaged items in my home and did not delivery all materials we paid for i.e. cabinets, counter tops, sink/faucet and our shower is not operational. By contract our project was due to be completed in 30 days, it has been over 4 ++ months and the project is still incomplete! We have holes in the wall, We cannot use our shower. We have paid for carpet and bar cabinets, counter tops and sink/faucet and dishwasher and molding and trim and we have never received any of it. We have also paid out pocket for repairs and material outside of what we paid for already in our contract because they were MIA for several weeks at a time. We have paid $34,500 to them and additional money outside of this to other companies to fix damages they have done. Our home will not pass inspection or permitting. As of today 8/10/17 they have terminated our contract and left our home upside down with monumental repairs and damages. I recommend you not pay any significant amount of money to Quality Home Builders of Spotsylvania or Campos Home renovation who she subcontracted! Quality is partnered with a company known as Campos Home Renovations, LLC and they both do not meet any contract requirements at all. We will be seeking restitution through other legal entities
Brought in my 67 Chevy Camaro to get a pair of tail pipes built, already had purchased the x pipe and mufflers from amazon. I was first quoted $150 for the job by Franks technician and then when Frank (the owner) finally showed up to his shop 2 hours later he gave me a quote of $200 for the job. Showed up the next morning with the car. Said that I would have to wait until 4 PM. Frank proceeded to leave the garage and have his technician handle the job. A couple hours had gone by and all that had been done to my car were the mufflers welded into my pipes. This was the first issue that I had with them, as before they started the job I had asked that exhaust clamps be used so if I decided to change out the mufflers at any point I wouldn't have to cut them off. Didn't really make it to big of an issue as I have the tools at home to take them off if needed later on. Franks technician proceeded to try and bend the pipes to make the tail pipes and went through about 6 or 7 bars of 6 ft. 2 1/2 inch exhaust pipes trying to make the right angles. During this time a few other customers had come in to get an inspection and were unable to get it done because Frank is the only one with an inspection license. His technician was very rude to them and told them basically to get lost. During this time he also managed to cut and gouge my new mufflers and cut about 3 inches of my new chrome exhaust tips. After I checked my watch it was about 2PM and I was heated because nothing had really been done and his technician was clearly under qualified for the task at hand. He proceeded to call Frank and I was told that I can either leave the car there or pay for what had been done so far. I asked them to drop my car off the lift and I will take my business elsewhere.The owner clearly does not manage his business like he should and I would warn anyone from ever going here to get any exhaust work done, or any work done just because of their attitude. Very rude and Unprofessional
This place is horrible.. Not clean had to wait twenty minutes for two tacos and helped someone that came in after me. Will not go again
Dunright contracting services crew is very professional and does great job and very keen to detail.
This place is TERRIBLE. The owner Frank is the biggest jerk I've ever met. I dropped off my truck o a friday with promise to have work completed by saturday afternoon, I was just getting a spot weld done on my exhaust that failed inspection. Saturday afternoon rolls around and I hear nothing so I call in and they had seemingly mistaken my truck for another who wanted duals, my truck already had duals on it so this was a ridiculous mistake to begin with. The owner Frank said he wished someone left a note and that he would call me back in a few minutes. I never heard back that entire day. I called and called and got nothing. I went up there only to find the place locked up early, but the bay door was open to I walked in and shouted until his assistant mechanic Charles came out from a back room. He told me he believed they mixed up my truck with another and that he promised to fix it and call me first thing sunday morning. Sunday morning, no response. I had praise team instrument in the back seats of my truck as I am a youth pastor locally. I looked completely incompetent at my job Sunday Morning. I called all day sunday and went by, no answer, no one there. Monday rolls around I continue to call all day and drove by, no one there. I eventually had to call the Spotsylvania county Sheriffs office to try and resolve the matter. I finally went up there again Tuesday morning after looking foolish at one job on Sunday and having to call out two days in a row monday and tuesday. Frank was still not around but his assistant charles was. I asked him to call Frank, which he did. I got on the phone and the assistant mentioned to him that I had called the sherriffs after I called 26 times and went uo there 4 times over a 4 day period with no response. Frank got on the phone and cussed me up and down for "Threatening" him with cops and told me it would be $125 to fix the weld and I can get it at noon Tuesday,he then hung up. The original price agreed on was $75. I ended up having to contact Deputy Drewry again over the issue and was relayed to the Sergeant in order to have a deputy remove my vehicle with me. Before this happened I got another call where Frank cussed me up and down and hung up. I went back up there and spoke with Charles the mechanic he apologized saying he didnt know why his boss was such a jerk and that he just started there and he didnt realize it was like this. Frank was there this time but upstairs, I asked Charles if Frank would come down to speak with me please. Charles went up and came bak saying "Frank said he has nothing to say to you". I repeatedly told Charles this was absurd I have yet to even get a chance to speak a word to the man before he hangs up and now he wont even address me to my face? I had Charles try and retrieve frank again and he again refused to come down. Ultimately I had him fix the pipes, he still charged me full price and then he didnt put on my exhaust tips and said I need to come back next week. This place is a joke of a business and has a rude, loud mouth jerk for an owner. I will be reporting them to the Better Business Bureau as well as taking the advice of the Spotsy County Sergeant and taking him to court for wages lost. He couldn't even as much as call me to let me know my truck wouldn't be ready that Saturday. I went 4 1/2 days with no vehicle and no contact or response whatsoever. Had to involve police and courts and still was ripped off with poor quality work. I had to even make the mechanic get me invoices showing my 1 year warranty and for me to come bak and get my exhaust tips, Frank apparently thought I would actually leave there with no documentation stating he owed me these things. He is a swindler and a con and no one should EVER EVER GO HERE!!!!!!!!!.
I contracted Stafford Home Improvements to do some trim work on my house and they were outstanding. The quality of work and ethics was high caliber and I will definitely be using them again. If you live in Montclair or moving into or out of the Southlake Cove community I would highly recommend Chris to do any of the work you need.
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.