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.
28341 State Highway 249 Ste 100Tomball, TX 77375
My husband and I decided it was time to do a major overhaul on our home: HardiPlank siding, new windows, new front door, and the entire interior (including the ceiling) repainted. We figured it would be weeks of torture, trying to get everything figured out and done because we've heard so many …
7102 Fm 1488 RdMagnolia, TX 77354
We built our home through Owner Builder Network. We just closed on our home 8/11/2017.It was a very rewarding experience for us. We would gladly do it again and would recommend that everyone do it. Sheila and Brad were Awesome people to deal with and very knowledgeable about the process and were…
5327 Fm 1488 Rd Ste FMagnolia, TX 77354
Owner Built Custom Homes saved us over $50,000 in the construction of our dream home. I would have been stupid not to use these professionals after attending their 100% Free Building Classes, getting their Free Job Cost Estimate, and yes their Free Custom Home Plans!!! I will use them again in…
33300 Egypt Ln Ste L800Magnolia, TX 77354
From Business: From residential to commercial, we do it all. There's no job too big or too small for the professionals at Texas Engineered Roofing and General Contracting.From an owner’s standpoint, the roof is one of the most important components of their house or building. It protects everything inside from the harshest weather element…
32400 State Highway 249Pinehurst, TX 77362
From Business: Finding the perfect home that fits your individual needs and expectations takes months and in some cases even years. Why waste that much time when you can have a custom home built just for you? Our team of contractors, designers, and specialists are dedicated to creating a stunning home that will leave your guests in awe a…
6700 Woodlands PkwySpring, TX 77382
From Business: The woodlands home repairs offers a wide variety of services for your home or business. Services offered are bathroom remodels. Kitchen remodels. Room additions. Custom decks. Flooring. Painting.
Serving the Magnolia Area.
From Business: Professional carpenters and cabinetmakers. We specialize in interior build-out and kitchen renovation, trim, finish and specialty carpentry, including stairways. …
500 S Walnut StTomball, TX 77375
Eagle was hired in February to diagnose a leak in our balcony and repair it. They failed to fully diagnose so when they repaired it the leak was even worse. We notified Eagle and they just repeated they same process 2 more times which of course just created a bigger leak and their repair peeled …
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Mr. & Mrs. Scott are two of the most condescending peoplw I have ever encountered. They treat their clients like children and WAY over price RPQS. Be sure to send EACH BID out to seve other competitiors! They were the most expensive by 15% and the got an attitude when I asked them why. Plus, I've seen their work before...it's not good. Find a real professional. AVOID S THOMAS CONSTRUCTION ALL COSTS!
SCAMMED ME OUT OF $1350 AND HE WILL DO IT TO YOU. HAS DIFFERENT LAST NAMES AND COMPANY NAMESDon't let him take any money from you!!
Total scammer! May God forgive your devious ways on the hard working ppl you have robbed. It turned my stomach when I started hearing from others you scammed
I believe Michael Graham, aka M&G Enterprises LLC (Magnolia, TX) aka Lawn Ranger Services (Magnolia) took our money and disappeared without completing the work promised. BEWARE FOLKS, I believe he is a total fraud and con artist. Once he takes your money he does not return phone calls or text messages and conveniently has a voice mail box that is not set up. If you see a Toyota Camry with a Nebraska license plate or a professional looking truck with Lawn Ranger Services on the door RUN DO NOT WALK away from this guy! Ask him where everyone’s money is. Check the numerous complaints and reviews on the Internet. There is a clear pattern. Read how he has cheated people MULTIPLE times! Take your business to a reputable company. If he has cheated you please file reports with the Harris County District Attorney’s office and the State Attorney General Office. I believe he should be arrested and jailed ASAP to prevent further crimes against other innocent victims.
Finally a company with a staff that is up front about all the details of a project....pricing, scheduling and material. I was very pleased and would definitely refer to friends and family.
Well where do I start This guy ran off with $4200.00 hard earned dollars of my money. He was suppose to do a floor job for us we paid him half of the money upfront. That was back in October haven't seen him since. He was answering our calls for awhile, he said his father died, then his wife was going to leave him, then he was having a stroke? This guy is nothing but a lair and a cheat.
Great service, honest and good prices. Used them for years with no complaint. Will definitely use them again.
5 stars isn't enough for these folks. They have gone above and beyond for me and my family on many different projects! We had cattle getting out one night last week and they showed up for an emergency call and helped us heard them in and then fix the fence. We have also used them for dirt work and many other things. They always do what they say and unlike the person posting before me have been very honest and reliable. I highly recommend them to anyone.
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.