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.
4068 Meade AveSan Diego, CA 92116
We hired Bison Constructors initially to help repair some termite damage in the walls and bottom plates of our garage. Jason arrived promptly, was v…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
I am excited to write this review about Recht G A Construction. Let me start by saying Gary is my cousin, but I felt like this review is defnitely warrented. Gary is awesome, great follow through. Excellent work, truly he's a dream if u know any one that ever needs a contractor he's the one to call. When Gary came out to my house he strategized on how to design our tiny crummy kitchen, making it bigger and making the space more user friendly for our family, taling about colors, and flooring, and granite. We had agreed on a price which he stayed with in. His guys were so nice they would not only show up, but they were considerate about the noise, since I work from home sometimes, and my neighbors have small sleeping babies. They showed up when they said they would, and cleaned up everything. Our kitchen looks absolutely incredible, the special touches that shows you not only does Gary really care about the quality of the job, but you can see his heart was in the work. We are considering selling our house and having a newly remodeling kitchen is very attractive to the new buyers, but man, we don't think we want to leave now, not sure about that. I have seen other work that Recht G A Construction has done and it's always really good. I feel very blessed to have an amazing contractor in the family, someone as talented and creative. Seeing our kitchen before it was awful, and it gives me great pleasure to brag, and write this review. I would never use another contractor for a project like this. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
Haener Contracting did a full remodel of our home and did an absolutely beautiful job. Almost a year later, we're still astounded by the quality of the work that was done. We were told to do a "punch list" after the remodel, which was only a few small details that needed to be completed to our expectations. Haener Contracting and their staff were very pleasant to work with and treated us like family. We were very comfortable throughout the entire process. We would recommend Haener Contracting to anyone looking for professional quality work. We will call on Haener Contracting for any of our future work.
We highly recommend Vic Lund Contracting. We have had experience in the past with other contracters that made us very cautious, but within the first meeting with Vic, we knew we had made and excellen choice by accepting his quote. He never once let us down. He was honest, organized, thorough, and knowledgable. Hes very aware of time and money, and worked hard to save both withour cutting any corners. Our house is beautiful and extremely well-built. Vic made building out dream house an exnjoyable reality.
We hired Europe Construction to remodel our kitchen. Sergy and his team were professional and did what they said they would do in the timeframe they said would do it in. After using different contractors a handful of times, we had lost our hope that anyone would actually deliver but Europe Construction turned us around and re-instilled hope that there are great contractors out there. And they are certainly one of them! I would highly recommend them.
Prior to meeting with Vic, we had used another contractor for a building project. It did not go smoothly and has us very wary. We set up a meeting with Vic to talk about what we wanted to do. He listened carefully, spent an extended amount of time asking us what we wanted and how we wanted things done. He later came back with a very detailed and reasonable bid. We decided to accept it and we have never regretted it.
Vic is great to deal with. He built our house and accessory building. He submits very accurate and complete bios and sticks to the bid. He keeps a running, itemized bill throughout. He is always around and knows exactly what's going on, always. He is great at "Plan B" situations where if something is delayed, he keeps something else moving. Very honest and reliable. We are very happy with his work.
We watched Vic and his crew build a house on Sunset cloffs. Every day, someone from his guys was there working- no loud noise, no foul language. Professional and always clean. We asked if he could remodel our recently purchased home that was built in 1956. What a pleasure it was to work with Vic and his crew- we came in at budget and one week ahead of schedule. Overall, a great experience.
Vic and his staff were very professional with all respects. His sub contractors were also talented, reliable, and responsive. We were particularly pleased with Vic's willingness to work with us to make mid-project changes at a fair price. Overall, we received very high quality craftmanship delivered professionally, and at a fair price for the quality we received.
Our neighbors were surprised at how clean and hard working the crew was. One, who stays home during the day, pulled me aside and told me she had never seen the crew off-task. She said they were alwasy busy and were extremely polite. SHe liked them so much, she baked them cookies. I can't say enough good things about Vic Lund Construction.
Our house was built by Victor Lund. If you have done any home repair or building, you know that it can be a daunting and overwhelming task. Vic works quickly and thoroughly. He keeps copius records and walked you through everythign he is doing. He gives excellent advice and shows you ways that you can save money.
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.