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.
8521 Mchard RdHouston, TX 77053
From Business: Located in Houston, Troy Construction is one of the leading construction and maintenance companies serving the pipeline industry throughout Texas and the Gulf Coast since 1950. The company has been serving the pipeline industry by providing various pipeline construction and maintenance services. It performs fixed contract …
Houston, TX 77099
I had a bad experience with Gilbert. He did an ok job on the work, but when I asked him to return to re-caulk around the shower fixture he became rude and combative. Since he removed the caulk in the first place, I considered it part of finishing the job, but he said my husband should do it. …
11745 Jones RdHouston, TX 77070
Great communication, excellent response time, good quality work, showed up on time and on budget. No hassle. Will definitely use again!
3636 W 12th StHouston, TX 77008
From Business: Founded in 1968, Superior Building Systems offers a range of design and build solutions for commercial and residential clients. The company has constructed more than 2,500 projects, including complex industrial parks, office facilities and warehouse buildings. It has expertise in the development of engineering plans and sp…
7780 Harwin DrHouston, TX 77036
From Business: Tri State Professional Services is your "go-to" construction/contracting/building contractor for just about any service you need. Whether it's plumbing, roofing, electric, or just general building needs - we've got you covered!We have crews ready to handle your job throughout the state. All our crews are of course insured …
1105 Northville StHouston, TX 77038
From Business: Welcome to Barnier Building Systems Inc.! rnrnBarnier Building Systems, Inc. is a full-service general contractor with the ability to provide quality general contracting services. You can do nothing great without a great team. We have completed many design/build projects including, but not limited to churches, schools, fac…
707 Whippoorwill DrMissouri City, TX 77489
From Business: We are a locally owned and operated company that values honesty and integrity and treats your home as if it were our own. We offer a variety of general contractor home improvement services that are customizable to each individual project. We specialize in additions and kitchen remodels, but also offer a wide range of exper…
1822 Sunset Pl Ste ALongmont, CO 80501
From Business: Miracle Method is the largest bath and kitchen refinishing company in the country. With over 120 domestic and international franchises, we specialize in bathtub r…
Houston, TX 77017
From Business: One of the leading providers of contracting and design services in the Southwest, Standard Constructors is headquartered in Houston. The company has been operational for more than 75 years. A heavy civil specialist, it deals in petrochemical, industrial and commercial contracting services. Standard Constructors builds and …
Houston, TX 77001
From Business: The electricians at Greater Texas Electrical has served Greater Houston for over 23 years with 24hr emergency service and an electrical work guarantee. Greater Texas Electrical is an electrical contractor for commercial, industrial, retail, restaurants, warehouses, residential and more. Experts in electrical troubleshootin…
9597 Jones RdHouston, TX 77065
I cannot recommend Ethicus Construction highly enough. After working with a couple of other companies to do some other renovations in my home, I have officially found a company I trust and will continue my business with. I met with JC to go over the renovation of my kitchen and from the first me…
19411 Leafwood LnHouston, TX 77084
From Business: Welcome to Paco Masonry LLC, Construction and Landscaping. We are Commercial, Residential and Industrial specialists with over 10 years of experience. We service all of Texas and New Jersey with quality designs that fit any budget. From ordinary to extraordinary, Paco Masonry LLC is your #1 choice in quality contractors. C…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
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.
Horrible all around. Lied multiple times and do not do what they say they will. Don't waste your time!
We bought a home from a couple which was built by Iraj Taghi. We have discovered several major flaws in the construction that have been very costly to us, but which Mr Taghi has refused to take any responsibility for. Primarily, these were problems with improper installation of the roof on our home, and the leakage and wood decay associated with the leaks only showed up over time. We have spent over $40,000 repairing one roof issue and are about to spend another $10,000 on another. This all gets back to the improper installation of membranes, flashing, etc... which are critical but not apparent to the naked eye.
Over the years we felt that our kitchen had surpassed its utility and was becoming an embracement when our friends and family would visit. We found ourselves making excuses and seldom entertaining in our home. We were also not satisfied with how small and closed in it felt. We interviewed 3 general contractors and decided to select Marwood Construction to work with. What I really liked is that I did not feel like I was being sold something. It was like sitting down with an extremely knowledgeable friend. We discussed the options and layouts possibilities, targeted a line by line budget and drew some plans up. Ten weeks later I am in my new kitchen,.... it is fantastic. They made this easy and fun, thanks guys.
Love it. Great price. Nice people
Juan de la Barrera is the owner of this company. Thought I was working with a professional but this is a band of family members with no real expertise and no license. Bad paint job, skipped painting a closet and bathroom, poured cement shower pan and it is slanted and water pools on it. They left a waste management bag in my driveway which has not been picked up. They left all sorts of trash from different jobs piled up. Unbelievable, do NOT trust this guy.
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.
MTY Builders Inc is the worst. They did not have the house ready by closing time even after I pointed out the issues during multiple walk through's. I had to sign an addendum saying they would complete the work within 3 days after closing. They did not complete those repairs as promised. It's been 3 weeks and I am still waiting for some of the repairs to be completed.As I am living in the house, more defect arise. Some are small cosmetic defects like the toilet paper roll holder is not holding, the frame around the water outlets behind the washer came lose, etc. Some defects aren't so minor though. I didn't have a mailbox until 2 and a half weeks after closing. They said I did have a mailbox - I did not. Then they said they removed it. I had to ASK them to install a mailbox - seriously? When they finally did install a temporary mailbox, they did not leave me the key. I'm currently waiting for it. Additionally, the wrong home address was filed to USPS. I can't set up my forwarding address to my new home or have mail delivered. I am wondering how much mail I've missed/lost because of it and whether or not it's important.My water heater failed less than 3 weeks after closing. I have to go through the manufacturer's warranty which may not cover the full cost of installation. Hopefully MTY will assist in the cost. I doubt it will be easy given their track record. It's so difficult to get a hold of anyone in general. My realtor and I have left many messages and it is at least a week before we get some sort of response. They sure were attentive to listening to my needs before closing though. Really they are just full of excuses. They have made my first time home buyer's experience terrible.
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.