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.
3801 Collins LnLouisville, KY 40245
From Business: Superior offers tried and true marketing, sales and support programs designed around the needs of pool industry professionals. Each program consists of a variety …
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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John at Bluegrass Heating and Cooling was recommended to me by a friend at church and we could not have been more pleased, especially after being told by the first company that it would cost over $700 to repair the A/C unit. He immediately found the problem, took care of it and explained how things looked and on top of that checked our other two units at no extra charge! What I liked the most was how I wasn't pressured to "purchase a service agreement" or told that "the units should be replaced and what a great deal they have for me". No more looking for another HVAC repair company in the future!
We called on a Saturday morning with a heating issue. Came right on time and solved the problem immediately. Very courteous and knowledgeable.
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The job was really done well and it was affordable. Ill always come back to this company if i need anything done.
They have been my go to folks for over 5 years and have always been pleasant and nothing but nice, punctual and the techs are nice enough to explain to me what they are doing and why when asked. As with any large purchase, always seek a 2nd opinion before having major work done.
I would definitely not recommend this company. They charged us 519.00 for the service charge and to put in freon, which immediately leaked out with no impact on our problem at all. We were told by another company that they would never ever put freon in a unit that was leaking for this exact reason. In addition, the new company stated the freon was not likely necessary at all. In hindsight, we believe they put the freon in to lock us in, stating that this would apply toward their price to install a new system. We decided to price with another company and received a price almost 1500 dollars less than their original price. We were also told by the new company that we actually did not need a new system, reporting that it was a blocked condensation line, allowing the return air box to fill up with water. This resulted in low air flow across the A-coil, causing it to freeze. Unfortunately, he did not discover this until he had removed the old air handler and could not put the old system back together. We attempted to get some of our money back on the 519 and were refused.They are ripoffs!!!!
Every service they have performed in my home has been great. So please with the improved air quality and lower utility bills.
So, this review will take a minute. But, when you have a lot to say...First, the work that was actually completed seems to be OK. It's all the details that just weren't done. Not done poorly- he just stopped showing up to do work one day.In our case he did a fence. We paid him some extra to do some other handyman work. Overall, the fence appears adequate. I think the guy knows how to do work- it's just after he gets paid he stops working.We paid him to hang a door. He went to Lowes (using my credit card of course) to buy the door and frame. When he figured out he couldn't put a door up in the spot we had selected (he said he could do it originally)- he just let the door sit out in the weather and get ruined (couldn't be bothered to return the item, put it in the garage out of the weather, etc.).He put wheels on our fence gate as requested. They were not the correct wheels for the job. He pulled the wrong ones off. He never came back to put correct ones on. We still have the old wheels (couldn't be bothered to return those either). We have exposed wood screws there now for the kids to kid cut on. The latch also broke which may or may not be his doing.After 2 weeks of looking at it, I paid someone to pick up his debris. Like everyone else, our complaint is he just stopped doing work at some point despite being paid to do it. There are multiple court records with "James Hall" so without a DOB it's hard to figure out which is him. His pictures follow. The process agent for the company is Frederick Wayne Hall. There are several court records for Frederick W. Hall. The girl in the pictures below has the same name as someone with arrests for drugs including heroin. His business listed on Google is "permanently closed" or I would leave him a review there. The person that left him 5 stars on here is I suspect himself.
James Hall stole from us and our grandfather. He lies about every aspect of the project and will NOT complete as agreed. Whatever you do, do NOT hire this company for anything. Stopped returning our phone calls after he stole our money. Project is not even close to being complete and half aas work.
This company lied to me every single day for 8 weeks about a project. Then just stopped answering my calls and kept all the money. Cannot stress to anyone enough not to use this company or James Hall for ANY projects. He will talk a big game and has no intention on following through. If you notice the only positive review written was by James Hall himself! Who is the person affiliated with this company. Stay far away
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.