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.
4316 Marina City Dr Suite G-303Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
From Business: A.Sloan Construction is a locally owned and operated company that values honesty and integrity in all aspects of our business. Our dedicated team of professionals…
35462 Sierra HwyPalmdale, CA 93550
From Business: The Realtors Choice for Over 25 Years. Economu Construction is a bank approved renovation contractor servicing of Los Angeles, Ventura, Kern and Orange County. fo…
Serving the Los Angeles Area.
From Business: Home Improvement Contractor. Specializing in Residential/Commercial. Room Additions, Block Walls, Retaining Walls, Stone Paving, Bolt and Retrofitting, Concrete D…
920 Lawrence StPlacentia, CA 92870
From Business: Founded in 1975, City Service Paving is one of the largest paving and pavement maintenance contractors. The company is a full-service concrete and asphalt company…
105 W Torrance BlvdRedondo Beach, CA 90277
From Business: Cornerstone Construction Group, Inc., has over 25 years of experience serving commercial and industrial clients. As a service-oriented company, we understand and …
Serving the Los Angeles Area.
From Business: Drain Right Plumbing Services’ understanding and skill in the plumbing business is second to none. We have shown total commitment to our customers on the countles…
1766 E Colorado BlvdPasadena, CA 91106
From Business: Royal Fireplace has served the Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley for over 25 years and offer a wide variety of fireplace, BBQ and outdoor kitchen entertainment prod…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
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The Remodeling Guys were absolutely wonderful to work with! As first time homeowners, we were excited about starting a remodel project but naive about all the intricacies of planning such a project. Joseph & Fred walked us through it all. They were so personable and easy to work with. We interviewed other contractors and they definitely stood out among the rest. They weren't pushy, always patient, and calm as a cucumber whenever "issues" arose. They figured out a creative way to address them, relieving us of any additional stress. With regard to the actual work, they were fantastic! They ensured the work was done correctly (not "Mickey Moused"). They cleaned up after themselves (very important!) I've gotten so many compliments on the bathroom. If something wasn't done to your satisfaction, they rectified it immediately. They simply were great to work with. My piece of advice for those interested in starting any kind of project, have some ideas about what you want sooner than later because it will be time to make those decisions before you know it and its best to know beforehand!
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Joseph and his team to anyone looking for a remodel. The Remodeling Guys replaced our kitchen floor, countertops, and refinished the cabinets in our condo. Pricing was reasonable and upfront and communication was good throughout the project. They rushed to get our bedrooms painted right before we moved in so we wouldn't be inconvenienced, and his team also worked on a holiday. The workers didn't make a mess and were always considerate. Home remodeling can be very stressful and The Remodeling Guys made the whole process much easier than I thought it would be.
I had one of their field reps come to my home for an estimate.. He was punctual, personable, and very knowledgable on the product. After going through my financing options In a clear and concise way, we agreed on a new roof and 12 windows. The job was completed on schedule, and on budget. A very reasonable cost for the amount of ROI I can expect after getting my home HERS Certified by Energy.gov (Which SaveCal actually took care of for FREE!) Great work all around. I would definitely recommend this contractor to my family and friends.
Costum kitchen renovation with beautiful costume cabinet and marble countertop
They provide a thorough and easy to understand report at a reasonable rate too. I definitely recommend Ameritech Home Inspections.
Stan is punctual, knowledgeable, efficient, responsive, and helpful. He properly described his project and plan, engaged me throughout the inspection with real time analysis and made himself available for questions. He had good answers and suggestions.
Zero customer service. The guy who came out to meet us "Greg" is a not case. At best he is brain dead!
Honest, hardworking guy. He's cool and fair priced... what can I say... My deck is amazing! What impressed me the most was that he treated our needs as his own in everything he did.
Great home inspection company - Stanley was terrific. Scheduled the appointment quickly, showed up on time. Report in 24 hours; very comprehensive and professional. Use this company - they are excellent! Judi Clare, Broker - Heartland Capital Corporation
To whom it may concern,Would you like make a renovation or simply enhance your home for the summer?Well if you thought about it and answered 'Yes' then seek no more because you just came in contact with the best in Southern California “RAM Building & Remodeling Inc.” is all you need. - We are Eco friendly,- We are dependable that means less wait is required.- We are all round flexible to your needs, and Best of All…- We are fast to complete jobs and your satisfaction is guaranteed! Please Call Today for a Free quote We are excited and motivated for choosing us over other companies to enhance your home.You can call me personally, My name is Rene Mejia: (213) 277 7000President - RAM Building & Remodeling Inc.Visit us at:http://www.rambuildingremodeling.com
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.