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.
2118 General Collins AveNew Orleans, LA 70114
From Business: We are you local General contractors who specialize in all concrete work. Customer satisfaction is our number 1 priority and we would love to help with your proje…
4400 Airline DrMetairie, LA 70001
From Business: Jim Owens Flooring & Cabinets is your one stop shop for all your needs including floorings, cabinets, countertops and window treatments. Being locally owned and o…
Serving the New Orleans Area
From Business: Clean Air Services, Inc. provides quality air duct cleaning services to our customers in MS, AL and LA. We are experienced air duct cleaning specialists, and we a…
413 Capitol DrWestwego, LA 70094
From Business: At GMJ Construction we have been serving the Jefferson, Orleans, and St. Tammany Parishes for the last 10 years. We pride ourselves on our quality work, customer …
731 S Scott StNew Orleans, LA 70119
From Business: Taylor-Seidenbach, Incorporated Established in 1925 as an insulation contractor, Taylor-Seidenbach, Inc has evolved into a specialist in the Commercial/Light Indu…
401 Jefferson HwyNew Orleans, LA 70121
From Business: Cranes 6-800 tons, Lowboys/Dollies to 400 tons, Self propelled hydraulic platform trailers, Cherry pickers to 65 tons, 500 ton hydraulic gantry. Crane operators. …
1332 Carroll St.Kenner, LA 70062
From Business: .Along with the original products and services,the company has expanded into small-to-medium demolition and site prep. After hurricane Katrina, Cucchero and Lockh…
3632 Florida AveKenner, LA 70065
From Business: Let DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Kenner help make your remodeling dreams come true. Our distinctive, full-service remodeling approach focuses on serving our clien…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
I worked with Jennifer Johnson from City Wide Construction for my home purchase and it was an absolutely amazing experience. I have contacted several different real estate agents before and Jennifer was the best amongst them. Carlos was very patient, very helpful and always responded to our requests promptly and worked with our schedule and buying requirements. I would definitely recommend Jennifer to my friends in the future!
Dealing with Jennifer Johnson was a great experience. She knowledge and attention to detail really helped us with the sale of our condo. I definitely recommend Jennifer Johnson and the City Wide Construction team to sell your home. I will be using them again in the future.
We want to thank all the team members at City Wide Construction that made our dream of home ownership a reality! We want to especially thank Lauren and Jennifer Johnson. Jennifer Johnson was so great at helping us zero in on what would work best for our family and was very efficient in searching for properties so we found the right place very quickly! She is a great negotiator and made sure the process was smooth right up until closing and beyond! Very are so happy with our home!!!
City Wide Construction handled our office design and construction in early 2018. The finished product was of very high quality, they kept costs down and were very professional during the design phase and the build out. I would recommend them highly and will certainly engage them to complete any other office build outs we might take on.
City Wide Construction completed a fit out for us and their service was brilliant. Nothing was a problem and the project management was done so well. I highly recommend them and will use them for any future works.
I worked with Jennifer Johnson and his team to complete our Parramatta office fit-out, his team exceeded my expectations. Not only did they deliver an awesome design, but they also delivered on time. We were able to close one office on a Friday and start at our new location on Monday with no issues. Our staff are loving it, I would highly recommend City Wide Construction.
We engaged City Wide Construction to fit-out our new open plan office and could not be happier with the result. Our new office is beautifully designed with a perfect layout and our staff loves it. Any questions or concerns have been promptly answered and resolved, even six months after completion they're still there when we need them! Jennifer Johnson helped the transition go as smoothly as possible. Highly recommended, thanks so much for all your hard work guys.
Jennifer Johnson and the team did a good job for us from start to finish. It was particularly pleasing that they were able to stick to a tight schedule and allow us to move in on the day that we had committed to, finding creative ways around the inevitable challenges that come up on every job in order to keep to the programme whilst not compromising quality. They kept us well informed of progress throughout and followed up after we moved in on anything outstanding. It was good to have them on our side and made the process a lot less stressful than it could have been. Would definitely use them again.
Jennifer Johnson real estate was and still are, an absolute pleasure to deal with and we would highly recommend their services for sale and lease.We recently sold our home with Jennifer Johnson, absolutely exceeded our expectations in all aspects of the sale including communication, reliability, and professionalism from our first point of contact through until the settlement of our home. We have also had family dealings with the leasing department at City Wide Construction, Jennifer is a highly experienced property manager whom we have personally dealt with. Highly recommend City Wide Construction, a very skilled group of real estate professionals!
We work with City Wide Construction on a daily basis and they are some of our favorite people to work with! We definitely recommend them!
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.