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.
Just as there is no shortage of choices when it comes to home security systems, there is no shortage of opinions on their usefulne…
Homeowners looking to buy their first home security system or upgrade an existing one face an array of choices, thanks to the latest technology available.
This place did a botched up job on my engine mounts and brakes. 1) Last year I went to this place to change brake pads. They gave me an analysis that the break pads need to be changed and the rotors can be resurfaced. I was first delighted that my cost is getting cut down. But now I realize that he did a botched up job. The resurfacing or rotors actually gave it a bend and after 15 days my car started making a weird wheel noise. As a result I had to re do the brake work and because of the bend, the break pads went bad as well. I pointed out the vibration and noise in the wheel and showed the car to Sammy again, they said, there is absolutely no problem with anything. I had to get the front rotors and brake pads changed again. 2) I had also changed Engine mounts through Sammy. He did a very bad job and after 1 month the car started giving the same vibration again. I showed it to them, they refused that there was any problem. I had to change the engine mounts again from a different place. A COMPLETELY DISHONEST SERVICE. Refusal to accept the mistake in job. I would not recommend this place to anyone
Easter Sunday, Chicken parmesan came out naked, stark white, small handful of pasta. 2calls to restaurant for mgr - no reply. Server poured Tea over my cousins water. She admitted to doing that "all the time". 2 weeks now still no messages or calls from Austin's. ? Anybody?
Very happy with work done by New Concepts. Needed small patch done on sheetrock. Were right on time, professional and quick. Got them to come back and remove popcorn ceiling in a spare room. Covered all my furniture and cleaned up after themselves, room may be cleaner than it was, and ceiling looks great. Also, reasonably priced. Will definitely recommend to friends and family and have them do future work. Thanks
I called last night to make reservations and was told manager would call me back. I called today and he tells me he already has a party for that day, I asked if he had my information and he said he was told and was to busy to call me back. That will be the last time I try to call and make reservations there. My party was going to be for 20 people at 7:30 and his other party was for 26 at 6:30, not sure why we couldn't fit in there also. I just didn't like the way the manager handled that.
We used New Concepts to finish our 1300 sf basement. They helped us plan our layout, and did everything but the plumbing and electrical- they framed the walls, installed and painted the drywall, epoxied the concrete floor, installed new windows, redid the staircase, and put in the drop ceiling. They finished ahead of schedule and went out of their way to make sure our expectations were exceeded. I can’t recommend them highly enough! - Bob, High Point
Super, super, super people to deal with. Glenn Allen is wonderful. I highly recommend Vann York Nissan. Even if they do not have what you are looking for on the lot, they will find it for you.
I had the worst experience with Vann York Paint & Body ever!! The lack of communication and follow through from the staff was inexcusable. I can guarantee that I will never do business with this company ever again. I’ve shared my utter frustration and experience with my insurance agent and he was quite apologetic and as appalled as I am and assured me that he will no longer recommend Vann York to future clients of his. I took my vehicle in on 3/27/17 for front end repairs. I was told the work would take 3 days and instead took TWO AND A HALF WEEKS!!!! I never received a phone call advising me of a status throughout the entire experience and was treated rudely every time I called to check on my vehicle. I strongly urge anyone considering Vann York Paint & Body for any kind of repairs to tell their insurance agent “NO” and refuse to subject themselves to this joke of a business. As I told the Body Shop Manager Jack Keeling, my experience was disrespectful, quite avoidable, completely ridiculous and Vann York would be wise to remember that the biggest impact you can have on a customer’s experience is proper customer service and adequate communication. Both of which I saw not a shred of from this company.
I HAVE NEVER DONE BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY MYSELF PERSONALLY, BUT LISTENING TO A YOUNG MAN THAT CAME INTO OUR STORE TO TRY AND TRADE A VEHICLE HE HAD JUST PURCHASED THERE. I WOULD NEVER PURCHASE ANYTHING FROM THEM. I HAVE TRIED TO CALL THEM MANY TIMES IN THE LAST TWO DAYS AND HAVE LEFT MESSAGES AND HAVE GOTTEN NO RESPONSE FROM THEM. IT IS NOT A WAY TO RUN A BUSINESS OR TREAT THERE BUYING CUSTOMERS. LOOKS LIKE ALL THEY WANT IS YOUR MONEY AND THEN THEY ARE FINISHED WITH YOU.
Wow!First time eating their' barbecue and it was the best.Friendly people and fast service.I'll be back for more,maybe breakfast next time?
"WORST EXPERIENCE EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!DO NOT BUY "So in March I purchased a Saturn Sky from this place. The day after I drove it off the lot my tire was flat the rim had rusted out and was allowing air in. I have to replace the rims and that tire. In April my brakes went out and the rotor how is this possible? Another event in April my insurance cards were sent in the mail as my renewal was scheduled, guess what? I didn't even have insurance on my new car????? the day I made the purchase when I asked about the the vin number and other particulars the salesperson said he had already talked to my insurance and I was good to go..... NOT ! I went back to the dealership and everyone treated me like "what's the big deal?" I tried calling the general manger and the owner not one return call. This car has caused me more money in 10 months than I spent on my 2000 Toyota Celica which I drove for over 10 years. thank God I still have it or I would be taking the bus. I am soooo disappointed in the way they have treated me and the fact that I now have a basically useless car. It looks good but it has one problem after the next. I have to have over $600 dollars worth of work done next weekend and that brings the grand total to $2500 in 10 months of repairing a lemon. I would NEVER recommend this dealership to my worst enemy. People ask me about this car everyday because it's a beautiful car and I am more than happy to share the whole pathetic story with them . Trust me I talk to a lot of people and I hope people know that you can and should have any car you are thinking about buying inspected by an independent party. MY BAD READ REVIEWS ON THIS PLACE
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.