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.
640 E Ryan RdOak Creek, WI 53154
From Business: Welcome to Oak Creek Plumbing! We've been providing Southeastern Wisconsin with plumbing services for more than 35 years. Our experienced technicians are factory …
1640 S 83rd StMilwaukee, WI 53214
From Business: A Custom To, LLC is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and services the South Eastern Wisconsin area. With our owners having over 50 years of experience, we have the…
Serving the Milwaukee Area.
From Business: North American Dismantling is a leading nationwide demolition contractor specializing in heavy industrial demolition, commercial building strip outs, specialty bu…
16915 W Victor RdNew Berlin, WI 53151
From Business: Established in 1984, CJ & Associates Inc. is a full-service commercial interiors provider. Based in New Berlin, Wis., the company offers a wide range of services …
10549 W Forest Home AveHales Corners, WI 53130
From Business: A Rich Allis History starting in 1955 Allis is a family owned Milwaukee home improvement business founded by Ed and Bee Brost in 1955. Mark and Kathy continue to …
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
An expert in home restoration and flips discusses the ins and outs of bathroom upgrades so you can learn what works for your budge…
When you're short on time, squeeze in cleaning tasks that will help minimize your effort, organize your home, and remove the filth…
Quick with giving us a quote. Fit us in their schedule when it was convenient for us. Then amazed us with the quality of work, expertise and professionalism. His team worked diligently to complete the project a little ahead of schedule (which pleased us greatly) Communication was clear throughout every step of the process. Our bathroom looks amazing. Look forward to working with Rich Improvements LLC once again.
Rich Improvements has done several projects for us including siding, trim and doors. He worked with our insurance company and came in below budget for our project. Our project was finished in a timely manner and with quality workmanship. Highly Recommended!
Very easy to work with, work was done quickly and exactly the way I wanted. Had two entry way doors done, along with the outside screen doors.
Rich of Rich Improvements is extremely knowledgeable and has decades of experience in home improvements. Their prices are fair and reflect the value given on the quality of work for our home's project. I would highly recommend them to anyone who desires an honest contractor with experience for any home improvement project need.
Easily the worst apartment I have stayed at. I lived there 2 years. You figure because they have Jackson park across the street, that it is family friendly. NOPE!Property management is a joke. They only do what's best for them, whenever they feel like it. They do not maintain or clean properties. They do no facilitate or handle any issues/situations that occur with other tenants. They seem to allow anyone to rent from them. Apartment hallways smell like marijuana, other smoke, or trash. I could keep going on... but long story short, not worth the hassle and money. Save your money and use it elsewhere. When we didn't renew our lease, we needed them to verify rent history for our new place... they tried to tarnish our name!DO NOT RENT FROM SUPREME BUILDERS
Never heard back after leaving several messages. Extremely disappointed that they offer to do free estimates but they never get back to you!
SAVE YOUR TIME, MONEY, and many headaches-DO NOT RENT from Supreme Builders. They are rude, unhelpful, do NOT maintain their buildings and will walk in your apartment with NO prior notice and LIE that notice was given. Carpets are filthy, units aren't painted and carpets aren't cleaned good if at all in between tenants. Cigarette smoke PENETRATES your unit if your neighbors smoke as well as their dinners.Carol, the office hench is nothing further than a complete bitter rude snot & that's being polite. She's nice when you come to sign the lease but other than that forget it-she won't help you with ANYTHING unless it comes to occupying the units she has for rent.Kellie the daughter in law to Bob (married to Jonathan) is a lying sneak who will try to bully you to get what she needs. KNOW YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS and use them, if needed!"Maintenance" which happens to be some of the BAIERL family WILL enter your unit without your knowledge or permission and then deny that they did so; they will also claim that you wouldn't allow them entrance; OR say that they gave prior notice when in all actuality THEY didn't. When you question them and that's when the bullying starts from Kellie (Kelly) Baierl. That don't work well w/me.If something breaks or is supposed to be fixed don't HOLD YOU BREATH because it won't get fixed for weeks upon weeks upon weeks.Sure the units are large and would be a GREAT place to live IF they were maintained and upkept but for the Greenfield Park ones where Monica & Felippe are in charge of on sight care, good luck with that. My apartment is infested with Boxelder bugs, Earwigs, Carpenter ants and I have a noisy neighbor with medical issues which causes him to bang against my walls and scream at the top of his longs ALL NIGHT LONG which means NO and I mean NO sleep for me. Despite asking to get out of my lease, they won't allow it even though Kellie claims they don't "have to put up with tenants like me". Well, Supreme Builders, I gave you a FREE pass for entering my apartment once; NO more free passes from me. Do it again, not just to me but to the worng person at the wrong time and you may be surprised at some point at what could be waitiing for you the next time you turn someones door knob the next time!Bottom line is this; if you want to pay high rent to be a good locations but don't want any maintenance or clean UPGRADED MAINTAINED apartments (the appliances are from the 80's (oh did I mention the earwigs in my fridge too?), not to mention there's no ceiling fans just light fixtures from the 80's and the closets are bigger than the kitchen) -GREAT then this is the place for you!If you're like me and want to get what you pay for, a quiet nights sleep, management that CARES, management that is on YOUR side and management that actually FIXES, maintains and does what it's supposed to do, save yourself the headaches, cigarette STENCH, nasty food cooking smells, the stress, the condesending tone from Carol the office hench, and SAVE YOUR MONEY find a nicer place, a cleaner place, a quiet caring place. This place is legitimately a money pit with flickering lights (oh did I mention two of their locations have had fires? One where people actually died becaue they couldn't get out) which may be due to an electrical issue (BUT AGAIN THEY DIDN'T care) that's why they have you sign a FIRE disclaimer upon lease signing. Seriously people don't do it. They may be large but they are unkept; unreliable and disturbingly vendictive, IF you let them!
WHY DID I MISS THESE REVIEWS BEFORE SIGING WITH "UN"SUPREME BUILDERS??! UGH. Smelly, filthy, cigarette burned carpet-worn out/faded carpet upon start of lease; unclean apartment upon moving in, certainly NOT painted between tenants even though supreme builders claimed it was. Took 4 weeks upon moving in to get the water to stop running even though it was running before I moved in (and not made aware), kitchen floor damaged and 6 months later-still not replaced, I too have a bug infestation but not the kind the health department acts on unfortunately. Management if that's what you want to call them; THEY DON'T CARE about you-AT ALL and will talk to you like you're the skum of the earth. Call there, see for yourself. Carol will most likey answer the phone. She's been running the main office in West Allis for 10+ years and acts like life is the most miserable thing there is. She is moody, rude, snotty and overly condescending. She acts like she should be bowed down to.Maintenance; FUNNY....there is no maintenance on site unless you call the 'un'caretakers of the building maintenance and if they can't fix what's broken-low and behold get ready for the "work order" (did I mention my kitchen floor hasn't been fixed yet...6 months later-yeah that's what I mean by "work order"). Another HUGE issue; they WILL enter your apartment without prior notice and LIE and say notice was given. KNOW YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS. (P.S. They don't like when you know them either, that's when the fun begins from the Baierl family (Kellie especially), they have a MAJOR issue with you questioning anything they do. Bottom line THEY don't care about you. The units, sure, they are large which is a bonus for the need for larger rooms/furniture or for roommate situations. The appliances are older, I can't even read the numbers for the temp settings on the stove. There are outdated light fixtures, possibly from the early 80's. There is no ceiling fans in ANY room, the free heat is basically the DRY baseboard turn the dial 'heat'. The washer and dryer are the small & the stackable kind. The kitchen is SMALL and certainly not functional. AT ALL. There's no storage room whether its in the kitchen or the hall closet (unless you use the bedroom closets or under beds for extra storage) and there is NO microwave either in the kitchen. So, with all that said; if you like paying HIGH rents for a filthy apartment, cigarette stench that waffs in from your neighbors apartments, smelling their food cooking and hearing your neighbors SLAM the doors to the underground parking-THIS is this place for you! Oh before I forget, the underground parking is a nice perk, sure BUT the spaces are so small so either your neighbor will DENT your car or you'll hit the cement pilar. Unreal. Trust me, you can find a BETTER place out there. STAY AWAY, FAR AWAY from Supreme Builders. You will avoid a nightmare, I promise you!
Love that they are a small family business, did excellent work! My roof looks awesome. Would definitely recommend them and would have them do other projects.
Dornbrook took care of our new concrete driveway. Larry was thorough and communicated well during the entire process. On the day of old driveway tear-out Larry went over the plans with us to make sure we were getting exactly what we wanted. I told him my favorite flowers would be ripped out when the demo began, when I got home he had dug the flowers up and saved them for me! A very sincere touch! They completed our driveway in one day due to being ahead of schedule. The crew cleaned up everything and left no mess! I would highly recommend Dornbrook Construction!
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.