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.
10010 Thurleigh StHouston, TX 77031
My wife and I recently had a covered patio and outdoor kitchen built and have already referred friends and neighbors who have been so complimentry. From the initial design to the finished patio, we couldn't be happier. We never imagined how much time we would be spending outdoors, but with the …
Houston, TX 77095
Based on these reviews, I gave this company a call. I have an appointment with them this week. I asked if they had anything to send me and they sent me an email with a link to their website, facebook page, link to their better business bureau listing (which they have an A rating with and said …
Houston, TX 77074
I've had many bad experiences in the past with other contractors causing damage, leaving huge messes, or disappearing without finishing the job. This makes you worry about having repairs or remodels done... but I would have no hesitation having Swinging Hammer do any work on my house. Bobby and …
1949 Temple DrHouston, TX 77019
I was very pleased with the overall project management and final result. I've always felt at ease with the workers allocated to the project and they were happy to discuss changes to the original speces and give suggestions based on their expertise. The final result is great! Also, the process wa…
14925 Stuebner Airline Rd Ste 207Houston, TX 77069
Very Satisfied with the insulator work I had done with Aaffordable. They were very professional, completed the work timely, performed quality work. They did a terrific job and at a super good price. The guys were efficient, courteous and did a great job. Cleaned up after work done and made sure …
9597 Jones RdHouston, TX 77065
I'm a supremely satisfied customer. JC is a consummate professional with a delightful personality. Throughout my project, I could see that my trust in his services was well-placed. His clear intention was to offer advice only in my best interest; he didn't try to "up-sell" me on unneeded repa…
Houston, TX 77205
I had a broken water pipe in our offices leaking water through the ceiling in multiple places. JC and green leaf were very responsive even on a Sunday! Thomas was at my office as scheduled, on a Sunday. He was very friendly and knowledgeable and had the piping replaced with no-time for a fair pr…
600 Hemphill StHouston, TX 77007
They are very passionate about their work. They understand what an emotional undertaking it is for the owners. They always respond quickly and communicate clearly what you can expect through each step of the process. They are a very professional and knowledgeable team. You will be amazed and del…
8045 Antoine Dr # 329Houston, TX 77088
I had Official Builder Construction do a backyard restoration and I couldn't be more pleased with their work ethics, attention to detail, and pride in the work they do. Official Builder Construction restored and built new benches for my deck, built privacy fence, added lattice under my deck, and…
2004 Tuam StHouston, TX 77004
New Image helped me out a great deal by providing the work that the original roofing contractor who did my house should have done. If only whoever built my house had used them to build the roof, I wouldn't of had to contract them to replace portions of the roof for a two-year-old house! That bei…
10812 Fallstone Rd Ste 400-aHouston, TX 77099
Needed shingles secured down, and new hardi board trim piece replaced and painted, painted all vent structures-did this professionally and promptly, at a good price-roof in The Woodlands, once again looks great!
13819 Greenranch DrHouston, TX 77039
Jean's Painting did a fantastic job for us! I contacted Mr. Jean on Friday, he got a quote to me the same day, and came and finished the job on Monday. His responsiveness, attentiveness, punctuality, and attention to detail are far superior to his competitors. We will definitely be using Jean's…
5707 Addicks Satsuma RdHouston, TX 77084
I am an architect here in Houston. I had hail damage and ask three roofing companies for an estimate to remove my existing gutters and install a new roof on my home. Upon completion of the new roof I wanted the gutters reinstalled. Texas Roofing and Gutters was the only roofer that would do th…
8801 Wallisville Rd Ste CHouston, TX 77029
DONE WITH FIBERGLASS! Go PRODEX! I was searching for a better product for steel building insulation, I discovered the Prodex site in 2008. I made a purchase 10 rolls of Prodex total and it was delivered rather quickly to Maryland. More than a 1/3 less cost than Fiberglass and its 100% waterproo…
9762 Tanner RdHouston, TX 77041
Just finished up a bad water happening with these folks. They did a wonderful job.Roger the project manager, kept us informed as well kept project going well. Very pleased with the results and glad our insurance company had them as contacts. Karen part of the office staff was great as well They …
10 Stokes StHouston, TX 77022
I am on the board of directors for my HOA and we hired Enterprise Commercial Paving Inc. to repave a road within our community. These guys were great to work with. Very quick and accommodating during the estimate review and revision process. Do to unforeseen circumstances the project was bigger …
5008 Locust StBellaire, TX 77401
I have used Legal Eagle Contractors with Dan Bawden on many projects for over 20 years. I have always been 100% satisfied with this company's quality of work, service and price. I do not have one negative thing to say about Legal Eagle Contractors and would highly recommend them for any of your …
13513 Ralph Culver RdHouston, TX 77086
I highly recommend Jen Roofing. They did a great job replacing my roof and will be replacing Mom's roof next week due to hail damage. I am very happy with the clean up also. No nails nor roof material left behind. Got a good price and they even cleaned my skylights. It only took them 2 days…
2410 Quenby St Ste 200Houston, TX 77005
We used Lone Star on 2 occasions for addition/remodel jobs involving 5 different areas in our home. The professionalism exhibited by Wayne and Lou Ball and their staff, and the genuine concern for a happy, satisfied customer was refreshing. Considerable communication not only before, but also du…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
The U S Construction team is excellent and did a beautiful job rebulding our home after we had a fire. Plenty of challenges from shortage or material due to Harvey and all the hoops we had to jump through with our insurance and mortgage companies but U S helped us through it all. Highly recommended !!
Mike Newhouse & Hm General Contractors did an incredible job on our office Cosmetic Dental Associates. The design & execution could not have been more professional. We highly recommend them to anyone considering a new office.
Absolutely TERRIBLE Customer service and poor work ethic. I talked to Melissa about some home repairs and have yet to receive a quote for services on my home after Hurricane Harvey. At that, upon further inspection, I refuse to do business with a company that puts ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS before American Workers who are literally dying to work. With so many Contracting companies in the city- you would be wise not to waste your time with a company that tries to make a quick buck at your expense. 1 STAR.
I do NOT recommend this company at ALL! After hiring them after Harvey, they did not touch my house for 4 months. They did very minor demolishing in ONE small bathroom etc. Communication is very poor, not only with their clients, but among themselves as well. I was given two project managers and when I would ask one project manager something, I had a few responses with "I wasn't aware of that" which they were. That just showed me that they wouldn't forward each other information. Once I decided to end contract with them, my invoice was ridiculous. Unfortunately i had to pay to get my waiver of lien in order to proceed my project with another contractor (a request from my mortgage) and once I called the owner himself and ask about it, he was very defensive, unprofessional and rude. He blamed me for my project to be at a standstill because I didn't provide them with my insurance scope of work. Which I did email it to the project manager THREE weeks after hiring them and he uploaded it to my "Buildertrend" (an App they choose to communicate with their clients) file and in this App dates are shown when you upload things. I even got an email from their accountant a month after the scope was uploaded saying that they were waiting for me to submit the scope in order to start my project(another proof of poor communication within themselves). One of the project managers is very rude and disrespectful. As an unsatisfied client, I believe I had the right to be very upset after viewing my invoice. When speaking to the owner about that, he did not carry himself in a professional manner and would not let me speak and would talk over me. Just save yourself emotional stress and headaches and take your business else where.
Worst decision ever. We had a house fire and ARI screwed up everything they touched. Installed wrong windows, doors, and paint. Drywall guy drank a 12 pack in our living room while we were at work, left the empty cans on our floor, ate food from our refrigerator, then took a dump in our bathroom leaving his waste unflushed. Brick layers had an 8 year old boy helping with hauling bricks. They bricked in the gas control valve for the fireplace and forgot to build the mantle. There is so much more. Stay clear of these idiots. In time, they’ll be out of business
They have failed to pay there landscape/Irrigation company. It been almost 200 day's since they were invoiced for two different jobs.
I've worked with Warwick on Petco projects where our Speed-Lift is used and everyone there is always great to work with!
Hire this company after a fire destroyed my home. They packed out my possessions. Then nothing for weeks, house was filled with mold do to there not taking action to dry out the house. Very disappointed with this company. Fired them and it has been a battle everyday since. Worst decision to hire this company in the first place.
Had my Kitchen and bathroom remodeled and wood floors and they did an amazing job! Very honest and reliable I recommended them to a friend of mine and they also did an amazing job. I only use them for any of my home repairs.
Had them come out and walk a property to remodel ten days ago - after multiple calls, they finally got back to me today and said that they are not able to provide an estimate because they cannot take on new projects, but have other contractors that they recommend...
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.