After meeting with other contractors we found online, we finally decided to go with Joel & Co. Construction for our kitchen remodel and bathroom remodeling projects. It was truly a delight to work with this company on our project. Every aspect of the experience was positive. They were always available, and worked tirelessly with us on every detail. At every stage of the project they listened to our concerns, answered all of our questions, and made helpful suggestions. I have no doubt that without their dedication, attentiveness, and expertise; the finished work would not have been as wonderful as it turned out. All of the representatives were not only superbly skilled, but also very considerate and courteous. Whenever I called the office, my calls were promptly returned and I received immediate assistance from them. We look forward to working with them again in the future.
Joel & Co. Constriction General Contractors did some work in my condo for me earlier this summer that involved a bathroom remodel and replaced the lighting fixtures in the foyer and hallway, skim coated, painted the foyer, hallway, and all the bedrooms. Joel's prices are extremely fair, he and his team are very reliable, and they do high quality work, and have a clear desire to do right by the customer. Joel was great about answering any questions I had and providing suggestions or solutions, without trying to sell me work I don't need. I felt comfortable leaving my condo with his men, who were always very polite and courteous.I had made a handful of calls when looking for a contractor to take this project and feel very lucky that Joel is the one that worked out. If you need a contractor, definitely give them a call. I couldn't recommend them more highly!
Joel & Co. Construction is one of the best contractors in Los Angeles I have ever worked with. We hired them about a year and a half ago to do a kitchen remodeling and a bathroom remodel on our 4 restrooms. I have trouble finding the words to describe how genuinely pleased we were to have been fortunate enough to hire him. We recently contacted him again to install a new roof, including installing copper rain gutters, and a outdoor fireplace. It finished soon after and it is just as inspiring and amazing as his first jobs with us. What puts Joel Portillo in the best-of-the-best category is his awesome attention to detail, his excellent quality of craftsmanship, his incredibly artistic vision, his eye for perfection, his fantastic attitude and disposition, his fair pricing, and his incredibly timely project completion. It doesn't get better.
After talking to other contractors we found here on yellow pages we finally decided to go with Joel and Company Construction, It was truly a delight to work with this company on our project. Every aspect of the experience was positive. They were always available, and worked tirelessly with us on every detail. At every stage of the project they listened to our concerns, answered all of our questions, and made helpful suggestions. I have no doubt that without their dedication, attentiveness, and expertise; the finished work would not have been as wonderful as it turned out. All of the representatives were not only superbly skilled, but also very considerate and courteous. Whenever I called the office, my calls were promptly returned and I received immediate assistance from them. We look forward to working with them again in the future.
I found Hutch by walking by one day on my way to get my morning coffee at frattili Didn't notice him there till that paticular day. It was like fate brought me thru the doors. I have been contemplating remodeling my kitchen for over 3 years. I guess I just didn't feel comfortable with contractors that gave bids prior to Hutch. He really had some off the wall ideas that left me scratching my head. But I went with my gut and kind of let him run the show. He consistently told me to go with the flow and just relax. I was a nervous wreck during the process. In the end I'm Extremely happy with the outcome. I have people come over and ask how much I spent. I'm reluctant to say how much but it definitely shows in quality and style how much I put in to the kitchen. Can't go wrong let this guy do his thang worth every penny.Thanks Hutch !!!!!
I'll start off by saying, choosing a contractor is NOT easy, I heard some bone chilling construction gone wrong stories and everyone of the contractors we met seemed to know the talk so it was quite the decision to make, and being it a $300,000 investment didn't make it any easier. We added a nearly complete 2nd story to our home, the whole project took a little over 5 months, suffice to say, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, living in a construction zone for 5 months is an experience to say the least. That being said, the crew were very patient and flexible, it's evident they did their best to keep what I called "mess" to a minimum. We are very happy with the end result, it was definitely worth it.
Frank and his guys came in to repair a botched bathroom remodel that I attempted last summer. I started the remodel myself because I have been disappointed in almost every contractor I have ever hired, and after just one visit to Lowe's I felt I was up to the task. I was very wrong! We have been living with the dysfunctional mess for quite a while and it is obvious that I do not have the time or the skill to make things right. Frank was referred to me by a friend and I was not disappointed. He is very trustworthy and I am grateful to Frank and his crew for getting all the work done quickly and for doing it at a very reasonable price. I highly recommend Mancini Contractors, they are the BEST!
My husband and I just finished a large home addition and kitchen remodel with Joel & Co. Construction. We are extremely happy with the entire process and the outcome of our remodel. We found Joel on another website where we noticed he had a 5 star rating. We interviewed other contractor but ultimately decided to go with Joel because we felt he had a more modern style of building, his price was right on target and most important he was just as excited about the project as we were. We contacted all of his references and all were saying that he is an exceptional contractor that cares about customer satisfaction.... We agree, and will continue to work with Joel and Company on our next project.
From the very beginning the Joel and Company team listened to what we wanted to get out of our kitchen remodel, helping us execute our exact vision to create our gorgeous new kitchen. They worked with the materials we chose, provided insight on what was going to work for our needs and in our house, kept us informed on the status of the project and the schedule of events happening day-to-day, and were on top of every detail throughout the entire renovation process. The result is exactly as we had hoped it would turn out when we started this process. We would definitely use Joel & Co. Construction again for any future remodeling projects!
There are many like him but this one is mine :) Mike was great, very knowledgeable and professional.We bought a house in Long beach and it was in some desperate need of a overhaul, it was so bad that I probably would not have bought it if it wasn't for my wife's "vision" of what it could be, so we bought it, now it was time to find a good contractor who can lead us to the promise land so we called around and got a few people to come out and price it out. We eventually decided to go with Doobek simply because of how comfortable we felt with Mike, just a straight shooter no games kinda guy.
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:
- Understanding and applying for building permits to meet local regulations
- Organizing a budget and adhering to it throughout the project
- Gathering all the necessary tools and equipment, from hammers and shovels to large excavators and generators
- Securing the construction site and equipment after work hours
- Working with personnel on-site to address any issues
- Keeping records of materials, labor and all other expenses
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:
- Associated General Contractors of America: Represents more than 6,500 general contracting firms and more than 9,000 specialty contractors nationwide.
- Associated Builders and Contractors: Represents non-union contracting firms.
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.
Hiring a General Contractor
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.
Finding general contractors
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.