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There are several important decisions you'll have to make amidst any construction project. One of them is how to supply heat and a…
There are several important decisions you'll have to make amidst any construction project. One of them is how to supply heat and a…
We want your holiday parties to be the talk of the season, so we've rounded up our top tips on how to pull off hosting without a h…
During the hottest months of the year, keeping the air inside your home or office cool is of the utmost importance.
Some gas stations are bright and shiny or sleek and efficient. They at least try not to be eyesores, but here we have a gas station that can only be described as tired, rundown, and generally cruddy. Let's start with the gas pumps themselves: One would not think that erstwhile graffitti artists would bother to deface something as mundane as gas pumps and, in particular, that little window where one needs to see the price of one's gas, but here they do, scratching inanities that all but obscure the numbers. (If these are gang members, they certainly are small-timers.) Thinking of washing your car windows? Forget it; there is no windshield washer fluid to do so, or there is, but it looks so dirty and gross you skip it. Paper towels? Surprise! Someone has broken the dispenser. From a technical (and aesthetic) point, this Chevron station needs help. As for their dubious mechanic services, I avoid it completely; it seems like the kind of garage you take your car to where getting a new battery installed turns into the mechanical version of brain surgery. If the price of the work doesn't give you a heart attack the second hand smoke will. (Armenian men have a love affair with cigarettes; they should familiarize themselves with the mechanics of 24 hour oxygen dependence before fixing one more flat tire.) I might mention that the place does aim for convenience. You can get your soda and chips fix, and they have a working ATM. They also sell some bizarre little novelty gift items at the counter inside for those prone to buying gifts at a gas station.(?) Otherwise, this "engine" needs an overhaul.
No Pep-talk here; just a nice, grungy garage, a team of muy macho mechanics, and a station manager with an unstoppable sense of humor. (He should've been the next great Latino comic.) And they get the job done. I've been coming to them for years. If they don't get it right, they are always fair and square about it, and don't charge me to nail the problem. I am decidedly not interested in the inner workings of cars,so am admittedly vulnerable in this arena, but they take the time to explain what they did and why. And they don't try to cure alll of the ailments of an ageing car just to beef up the bill; they center on the problem at hand, fix it, and then tell me what else it would be wise or downright life-saving to take care of. I appreciate that, and the friendly attitude of the mechanics, and the manager's good humor. He seems to "get" the underlying anxiety of someone bringing a car in that they are not sure what is wrong with, (and wondering if it will cost half their paycheck to fix it!) I'm a regular for more than one reason. Let's face it: some mechanics are just opportunists and rip-off artists. These guys are blue collar mechanics without the bs.
My grandparents are in love with their new patio cover. I wanted to surprise them both with an anniversary gift they would never forget. Thanks to the wonderful staff at Pacific Home Remodeling I feel like I achieved this. The whole process was a breeze and they were respectful, courteous, and always on time. My grandparents were hesitant about allowing so many people into their home, but they knew it was for a good reason. My grandparents never complained to me or the workers, so I know everything worked out well. The new patio cover is beautiful and the best part is that it will add to the value of my grandparents' home. Thank you guys for helping me surprise my grandparents.
My air conditioning was only blowing out wisps of warm air. I called on a Sunday afternoon and the woman who answered the phone was extremely polite and helpful. Someone would have been able to come out on a Sunday (today), but she suggested I first turn on and off my air conditioning circuit breaker switch. It worked! My air conditioning is now working perfectly. I very much appreciate that she helped me to fix my air conditioning for free on this 100 plus degree day! I will certainly call Around the Clock for any regular maintenance I need.
Pacific Home Remodeling's exclusive Flex-On Platinum paint with Tex-Cote is great. I will never have to worry about painting the exterior of my home again and I know my home will be protected against nature's element. The fact that my home's value is increased is an added bonus. The crew was friendly, always on time, and they always cleaned up after themselves. It was a pleasure having Pacific Home Remodeling's crew work on my home. I am satisfied with the paint job and I will recommend your services to friends and family. Thank you!
These guys know how to repair a furnace, not just replace it. The newer equipment is often poorer quality than the older, so replacing a part or two and tuning up an older unit is far less expensive than ripping it out and starting over often. Also more environmentally conscious. If you want to go more efficient, a newer model may be best, and you'll get the best advise and price with this company. I've had many HVAC companies work for my construction firm and rental units... some good, some really bad. Highly recommended.
the next day, they said they're still waiting on the part. Finally, we got frustrated and called Apollo Heating (yes, stupid it took us that long but we were still thinking maybe it was a tough job). Apollo Heating then came out and said it was an easy job but that since these guys had taken our part, they couldn't fix it until we got it back. So we had to wait another day. Thankfully, these guys did bring our part back when we called again. Finally, Apollo was able to come back and they fixed it in one day.
I was going to make a major change in my house thinking that I would probably need to remodel it but in fact these guys told me all I need to do is to give my house a new paint with a different color that will brighten the area and the exterior of the house. Well... I was thinking of repainting it awhile back ago but I just never had the chance. Oh... I’m so happy to have found you. I have worked with other company before and working with Pacific Home Remodeling was so easy and stress-free.
Pacific Home Remodeling came into my place to remodel my kitchen. I wanted to remodel my kitchen to increase the value of my home and I wanted to get something more modern. Pacific's staff did a great job and their team of professionals and experts was helpful and they answered every question I had. They kept my house and belongings clean during the entire construction process. I love my new kitchen and I can't wait to have people come over and see it. It's a beauty! Thank you.
Thanks to Pacific Home Remodeling I never have to paint my home again. Their workers painted the outside of my home with their exclusive platinum coating by Tex-Cote. My house looks amazing and knowing it will be protected against nature's elements, gives me peace of mind. The entire process only took about a week and the workers were friendly and they took care of all my questions and concerns. I am happy with the end result and I definitely recommend Pacific Home Remodeling.
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.