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.
6640 Fair Oaks BlvdCarmichael, CA 95608
This was a great place. I went and got boxes and bubble wrap for our move. I really liked getting the boxes for clothes so you can keep them hung up…
1415 168th AveSan Leandro, CA 94578
Ace Moving has handled my move 3 different times (okay I move too much), they are on time, quick, priced very reasonably. I would recommend them to…
Serving the Hayward Area.
American Eagle was referred to me by one of my colleagues. I phoned them and within very short stint they came at my home and made a quote for me. I…
3528 Arden RdHayward, CA 94545
From Business: As a moving company that is among the industry's finest, you can count on Alexander's Mobility Services for your next move. With a reputation of providing outstan…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Staying organized on moving day is key, and planning is a big part of it. Keep this checklist handy before and during your move to keep things stress-free.
Moving takes a lot of planning, and that includes knowing what your moving rights are. Read on to find more about your moving rights and what you can do to prepare.
How does a "business person" take your money and then not answer your calls? Unacceptable to say the least.
0 Stars if possible. Edgardo is ignoring our calls and is not honoring our contract, we want our money back.
the owner has taken our money and now won't even pick up the phone! we want our money back. why is he dodging us?
I have never given Flat Rate moving my business nor will I ever give them my business after a terrible experience I had approximately 1 week ago. I was driving in front of a hotel going straight, specifically right beside the lobby entrance, when a Flatrate Moving Truck without looking or stopping drove out of the intersecting street that connected the hotel parking lot to the 7/11 and rammed into the back of my car. The driver stated he wasn't paying attention and refused to give me any of his insurance information (Hence withheld his information), and luckily i was able to the pictures attached to my review to get the companies contact information.The accident was impossible for me to avoid due to not being able to see the driver pulling out because he was behind my car as you can see where the damage is and the driver pulling out and pinning my car between the curb that housed the ottoman of the hotel lobby. This is the first accident I have ever been in and the cops were not contacted due to this occurring in a parking lot and I thought they couldn't do anything because its private property (I wish I would have called them). This whole event led to me trying to contact the company and get it resolved over the next week but no one ever reached out to me via phone only email. 2 of the first emails I received was from their paralegal which stated she still had to talk to her supervisor, and the third one stating that after talking to their driver it was all my fault and that they would not be settling my claim. Needless to say I am getting screwed over by them all because I didn't contact the police. If the police were contacted I very likely would not be in the situation I am in now. I just want to warn anyone who uses this company to be careful. They obviously don't care about the mistakes their employees make and in my opinion will not work with any problems you may have.
Roadrunner Moving came highly recommended. Moving is stressful but Roadrunners were extremely professional. They made the move smooth and worked efficiently. We have a lot of heavy furniture and artwork and they handled everything with care and nothing got damaged. If you are looking for the right moving company Roadrunners is the one. They are rock-star movers!
I am highly impressed with Road Runner Moving. They were so great from the start. Very nice and professional! The service that they offered me was more than excellent. They take care of all the things. You don't have to worry about any of your items. No missing items or damages. Highly Recommend Them.
This is one of the best, if not THE BEST company I have used for anything. You don't come across this attitude in business very often -and when you do, you are fortunate. They moved us long distance from the San Fran bay to Southern Ca in May of this year and then we hired them a few weeks ago to move us back to Northern Ca. Not only are they accommodating, but they truly care about what they do and it shows all the way around. Anny is the contact person ( I texted her only for this move, but met her on our first move ) and she is so gracious and helpful every step of the way. We had the same movers both times and they were wonderful. They are punctual, and careful and seem to truly appreciate having the work. In a world where a lot of companies and organizations are less than responsive, or you feel they are doing a favor for you, this company stands out. Thank you for taking such good care of us!!!
My family found this moving company due to the online recommendations. They justify every great recommendations they own. If my husband and I move again, Im certainly employ them, they exceeded our previously high-level expectations based on the kadzu reviews.
I am rating Monarca Construction because I was lucky enough to find such a wonderful company like them to help me with my house remodeling. They provided amazing service through out the whole process. They installed.. new flooring, dry wall repair, beautiful texturing work, beautiful installation of kitchen cabinets, to too it off a whole home paint job that was extremely beautiful. Thank you so much to the entire Monarca Construction staff for being so helpful and professional!
horrible attiude. avoid at all cost and run away from this firm
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.