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.
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
RUDE, abusive, poor work quality. RUN from this company before they rip you off. There is no end to the corners they take to profit while your property is slapped together with cheap materials and poor workmanship. They are THIEVES!
I came across a post on Facebook of this owner bashing one of his ex employees because he got a email concerning someone who hasn't worked for him for years. Instead of telling the person who had emailed him simply the person d idnt work for him anymore, he threw his name all over facebook. Also I've heard he uses the company earned money to buy strippers houses and tell his employees he can't pay them. He constantly cheats on his wife and claims to be a saint by name shaming other people.
Victor Logan of Benefit Holdings, Inc. asked me to make a website for a business. I was clear about the costs and updated him often to make sure he approved. After meeting with himself and the owner of the new business, I had logos and a website created. Twice, he pushed back the day I was to be paid and finally we met up to go over the invoice. He agreed, got out his phone, acted as if he were paying, and said the funds should arrive in a few minutes. All of a sudden he was in a rush and left. An hour later, I had still not received the funds so I reminded him. He replied that he was not going to pay me. I called the business owner saying "no pay, no website." We did a 3-way call and they worked it out. The conversation ended with Victor saying he'd take care of it as soon as we hung up. Immediately after the call, he texted saying he still was not going to pay. I told him it's fine if he did not want the website, but I still need paid for the hours I worked. to this day, he refuses.
Chris Ward Construction is not only professional but honest. He painted the exterior of our house and stained our deck after 10+ years of wear and tear. The house and deck look amazing. Added thousands of value to our home. I would recommend Chris for any of your home construction needs, he works fast and gets the job done right. Thanks Chris
Chris and his team have helped me with several projects from painting the exterior of my house, staining my deck to digging posts for an exterior commercial sign. Chris does fantastic work and gets the job done right. Would highly recommend him.
Less than desirable wood work. Also, left a lot of trash/mess for me to clean up when the job was fished. Would not recommend.
Terrible experience! Please use extreme caution if you are considering Chris Ward for any type of project. Save yourself a headache and pick someone else.
If I could give this company 0 stars, I would. I had such a horrible experience with THurt Construction. I filled out an online form to receive an estimate on my remodeling project. I filled it out over the weekend (on a Sunday.) I reached out to many other companies as well and started receiving email responses that evening. By the end of day Monday, I had heard back from every company except for THurt Construction. Around 4pm I decided to call them, just to make sure they received the online form. I spoke to a woman who answered the phone and said she was IN HER CAR. Right away, they struck me as unprofessional and unresponsive. Who wants to pay a construction company that isn't going to respond to you? She asked if she could pull over to get my information - I said that I filled out an online form and she said great, she could have someone call me back. I asked when to expect a call and she said "I don't know - sometime this week." By Friday I still hadn't heard back from them. I called them around 3pm on Friday and the same woman answered the phone. I went through the same drill with her again. I said I filled out an online form, she should have my information, etc. Oh yes she says, I have it right here. She said "Let me ask Andy if he has talked to you yet." I said nobody has talked to me yet... I haven't heard back from anyone... She said "well you just called in 2 days ago." I said no, I filled out an online form 5 days ago and spoke to you Monday. She relayed to me that I would be hard pressed to find any construction company that would get back to me that quickly. I said I reached out to numerous companies on Sunday and already have quotes in my inbox. She said that Terry is the person that would help me and he self schedules. I asked when I could expect a call from him and she said well, the whole company takes a trip together every year and nobody will be in the office all next week. I said so I won't receive a call until they get back? (THAT WOULD BE 15 DAYS AFTER I FILLED OUT THE ONLINE REQUEST FORM.) She responded by saying she thinks I should use a different company for my project. I asked why??? She said well it seems that you are on a tight schedule and you are already frustrated. I said I have until August for my project - the reason I am frustrated is you said I called in 2 days ago when in fact I filled out an online form and spoke to you 4 days ago. I was trying to hire T Hurt construction for an important project in our home and they made me feel like I was bothering them. I was going to be the one paying them, right? Yes, mam, I will definitely be using a different company for my project. I am glad you agree.
Big Blue construction is a very reputable company. I highly recommend them for all types of home improvements, and new construction
STAY AWAY!!! This company was hired to put a roof on our house. They asked for a "materials deposit" to order the supplies. They basically stole our deposit and have failed to order materials or even start the job. They also refuse to give our deposit back. It has been months and they have repeatedly lied to us and have stolen thousands of dollars of our money. This has been the worst experience I have ever had with any business.
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.