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.
1408 E Denman AveLufkin, TX 75901
From Business: Terminix has 90 years of experience with industry-leading expertise coupled with the local knowledge you can count on. This experience helps to provide guaranteed year-around pest protection for every season. Whether it's pest and termite control, or bed bug treatment, our team of 10,000 skilled technicians are ready to pr…
Tyler, TX 75712
From Business: Scott Lay, President / Operation Manager Scott A. Lay is the operating manager of A.R. Lay Construction, LLC. where he manages the daily operations. Scott is a graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler
1080 Fm 777Jasper, TX 75951
From Business: A trusted name since 1965. From new construction to repair and remodeling, Watson Plumbing professionals can be dispatched at a moment's notice to handle the jobs you need done. General ServicesDrain Cleaning;Toilets, Faucets, Sinks, Disposals Slab Leaks Tile Work Re-pipes Fixtures Hot Water Heaters Water Filters Shower Pa…
Longview, TX 75604
Bobby and his team are top notch! We had a sunroom taken off and remodeled into a beautiful patio. They also remodeled our out of date kitchen by adding new granite and paint as well as opening up the area between the dining area and den to give the house an more open feeling. We are more than…
4720 E Main StNacogdoches, TX 75961
From Business: Cox Concrete Contractors Inc. was founded in 1977. We have expanded from a specialty subcontractor that specialized in concrete work to a full service general contracting firm that specialized in the commercial, industrial, governmental and school district projects. We have been both prime and subcontractor on HUD projects…
301 Worth StHemphill, TX 75948
From Business: Our office is located in Hemphill, TX. We provide a wide variety of services to our clients such as site clearing, industrial maintenance, excavation, and road construction. Our staff are trained professionals and we are committed to providing the best services with the necessary equipment to get the job done. Whether you …
179 County Road 128San Augustine, TX 75972
From Business: Nay Smith Construction is a fully licensed and bonded, family owned and operated, construction company. Conveniently serving clients throughout the entire East Texas Metro Area. We provide Expertly Crafted Construction and Remodeling Services, and we specialize in total home remodels from the planning stage to the foundati…
11285 County Rd 41Tyler, TX 75706
From Business: Joe Denton, the owner of JK Trucking and Construction, has over 25 years of experience with dirt site excavation in commercial and residential work, roads, ponds/lakes, driveways and so much more. He strives to bring honesty, integrity, and quality of work to all his projects. Each project is treated like it is a personal …
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Dunn Construction is the worst company to us for any type of construction work or hand work repairs for inside homes. This company is a father and son company and if you really want to see the lack of work they do. Just drive over to brook hollow where the trail wood town house are and you see the work Will Dunn and His son do and the lack of it. Mr Will Dunn is the president of the association and is charge of fixing the outside of the front of the townhouses and the back of the townhouse and if you look close to town house you will see rioted sliding and sliding falling off the townhouse and Will Dunn has no idea how to fix anything right Just look how he has mange the townhouse and has allow the town homes fall apart. You need to understand the owner of these town house pay dues to get professional work done t there homes and Will Dunn has not been able to do it right. He been the president for years and still has not fix the town house right and the review below is 100% right about the orange paint Will Dunn did to this house this is nothing harassment and bully to the owner of this house and other houses falling apart. I would highly say do not use this company. Will Dunn actions is the refection of the management of this company and the name Dunn. Everything Will Dunn does and do is the refection of how this company do things. Come and look for yourself and see how Will Dunn has allow this town houses fall apart. Will Dunn is the person who is in charge of doing all the repair work to these townhouse. Come and look and see for yourself If Will Dunn can not fix these townhouse then Dunn construction has no business to be open.
Dunn construction does nothing but a horrible job on building and Fixing things. They do nothing but half ass work and has zero Ideas on fixing things. Will Dunn is the president of HOA in townhouses in brookhollow and if just head over there and start looking at all the town houses you will see all the sliding on the town home is roited, a house is spread painted a bright orange by Will Dunn and it been left this way for over 6 months. This company does nothing but destroy people property by painting homes with bright orange color. Father and son does nothing but horrible job and likes harrass men and women and destroy people property. I came on this property to take this picture and Learn from a neighbor that Will Dunn the president did this to this house over 6 months ago and has left it this way. But came and try to paint over with a dark brown color so now if you come and look at it a part of it's a dark brown color and the rest is organge. Bottom line it's sad that this owner has to live with this horrible job done and this company refuse to fix it and the rest of this house has roited sliding everywhere and along with other town house spoke with another owner and they said many people wrote in that there sliding needs to be fix and other things and Mr Will Dunn tells them there nothing wrong with there town house really drive around in the front and back of the town house and you will see the roited woods and sliding. Highly would say do not use this company father and son has zero idea how fix things
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.