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.
3000 Gulf Breeze PkwyGulf Breeze, FL 32563
From Business: Founded in 1991, Adams Homes of Northwest Florida is one of the fastest growing homebuilders in the Southeast. The company offers a variety of mortgage financing …
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Update 10/17Henry homes even hired attorney to try and stop me posting these reviews. I am writing this review in accordance with my 1st amendment rights:Do not use this builder. Mr. Henry violates ethics and Jessica at the sales office messes up contracts. The contract was wrote by Jessica of henry homes with the errors. We advised her of the errors and was told to sign anyways by her. We emailed Mr. Henry several times, he did not respond by email but through the sales office. We never met him directly, just sent emails to him that Jessica said he received (we have the copies of emails sent). We had agreed to buy a home for $261,000 verbally and told her we would come in to sign contract. We got there that evening and she was not here, only our agent. We started signing only to find out the $261,000 numbers she gave us was wrong because she did not input the incentive money correctly and would be $3000 higher! The agent called her and she told us to sign anyways. There was also a $1000 lot premium that was on there that was not disclosed before. No plat online or in office showed lot premium. We emailed Mr. Henry and tried to resolve this with no luck. We have now filed complaint with ethics board against his license. Google his name and you will see his history.Panhandle firm accused of shoddy work http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/022199/met_2A1boss_.html#.V_KvgvSGdas
Jonathan DelGallo and Britton Condon were extremely fast, efficient, and the quality of work they and their team provided was top notch. Extremely thorough and only perfection was their focus. I've never dealt with anyone so committed to making sure their client is consistently happy through a project this size. Plus my wife was very happy with the work accomplished and she is NOT an easy woman to impress! She has very high standards when it comes to our home and this company met every one of her standards and then some. Bravo!! We will be having these guys do a lot more work on the many properties we own. Thank you DelGallo Construction Group for the great work!
I am a naval officer and rented one of their homes for about 7 months. The company has serious issues. Whoever posted positive comments of this company literally got paid to do so. If you ever deal with a lady named Mary beware she is as crooked as they come and says one thing to your face and does another. This company tried scamming me out of my entire security deposit probably because they were mad when I was legally breaking my lease due to orders. Luckily I was smart before I left and took many pictures which ended up proving their false accusations. Beware of this place and do not get involved with them. The whole company is corrupt from the top to bottom.
I had rented a house for 2 years from My home Spot that was not cleaned, painted or the carpet cleaned. I was in a bind about moving in so I put down the deposit and rented the place. When it came time for me to move out, I was completely out of the house one month prior to lease being up (death in family and had to move out a littler early) stilled paid the last months rent and the house was turn key ready for the next tenant. I had to keep calling and begging AJ for my deposit check and it took nearly a month before I actually got a hold of him. He never returned my calls and it was a miserable experience. When after three months after I moved out I received my deposit check in the mail and was quite surprised at the amount that was taken out. First of all 75.00 for claim processing and 10.00 certified mail fee is literally charging me 85.00 to give me my deposit back. That's just wrong on many levels. Second, I paid 120.00 for carpet cleaning and see where another 300.00 was taken out for pet odor treatment and hair removal. After looking back at all the pictures taken from the inspection, there were no pictures of any accumulated pet hair.....one would think it would be documented. Also 320.00 for trimming of palm trees, which AJ told me would be the owners responsibility. (the yard was well taken care of the entire time I was there, I also had a yard person who came biweekly and did it) AJ also said that anything that was found, I would be given the chance to fix before it would being deducted from my deposit and that apparently was not the case. I totally understand the 500.00 pet fee, that was agreed on at move in. I bought new toilet seats and was told I would get a credit on those, I did not. I took very good care of the house and cleaned it 100% better than it was when I moved in. I painted the baseboards in the house along with all the white trim,doors, mantle etc... so the pet hair accumulated around the baseboards accusation I believe is not correct. Plus no pictures were taken (to my knowledge to prove it) which one would think they would of been taken. So in closing, I am very disappointed in the way things were handled with my move out inspection/refund. I always heard and read bad things about MY Home Spot and gave them the benefit of the doubt. I was told one thing and they did another. I realize I could of appealed all of this but I see no use since it is how MY Home Spot conducts their business and I would just be elbowed out of the way. I was the perfect tenant, always paid on time, kept the place immaculate and when it was time for me to move out, I feel like I was gouged on things that either didn't exist (hard to prove pet odor when no one else is there and it's after the fact, plus with me painting all the base boards there was NO pet hair accumulation) and the type of landscaping that I was told would be owners responsibility (palm trees). Quite disappointed in their company and the way good tenants are treated. Sad to say My Home Spots bad reputation ended up being the truth.
We are moving from VA to Pensacola and have been endlessly looking for homes for nearly a month. It's difficult when every property we found was already under contract to be leased. The one property we kept coming back to was never available for show because it was not cleaned yet. It was on the lower end of our price range and had the amount of bedrooms and bathrooms that we wanted includeding lots of storage from a shed and 2 car garage. The pictures on myhomespot.com for the property looked great and it was a relatively new house. After calling and talking with the property manager, Rachael Kettler (she is the sweetest, patient, helpful, and very professional), she assured me of how easy the application process was and indicated that we can apply online and once approved can put a hold deposit on any of the available properties on their website. We applied and we were instantly approved same day. We took the plunge and inmediately put a deposit on the property site unseen. We checked the webite the next morning and the house was taken off. We spoke with Rachael who assured us that everything would be cleaned and move in ready for us. Rachael verified our move in date and will be emailing us the lease for electronic signature, we can pay first months rent online, and we'll also be able to move in over the weekend because our keys will be in a lockbox. This has never been any easier. After weeks of searching it took us only a day to secure our new home through myhomespot.com and Rachael's amazing assistance. She took the stress and anxiety out of everything. We couldn't be more excited to finally have a home waiting for us in FL.
Allen builds impeccable homes! The attention to detail and his quality control is outstanding. Nice, honest guy. Uses the best subs in the area. I highly recommend using Allen to build any custom home.
Really pleased with Myhomespot and his staff was wonderful.
I'm writing this review from my wonderful new apartment, found with the assistance my home spot property.
I agree with the review that states that five stars is not enough for myHomeSpot. He is terrific.
MyHomeSpot was professional, insightful, and responsive through a long search all over the Bay Area. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to anyone looking.
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.