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.
8608 Eight Mile Creek RdPensacola, FL 32526
From Business: Classic Homes of Pensacola LLC would like to welcome you to Pensacola Florida. Pensacola is known as Florida's "First City" and is truly a paradise. Sugar white s…
3298 Summit Blvd Ste 18Pensacola, FL 32503
From Business: Mitchell Homes is engaged in the buying and selling of residential properties. Operational for more than 50 years, the company provides one-through five bedroom o…
541 W Nine Mile RdPensacola, FL 32534
From Business: Home Services at The Home Depot is the top choice for home installation & repair services in Pensacola, FL. Our local installers will do the work for you. Schedul…
1300 E Olive RdPensacola, FL 32514
From Business: About Us You are here: Home About Us Flynn Built Flynn Built construction, since it's inception, has been dedicated to designing and building the highest quality …
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Don't do business with Lesco Environmental Spencer Lowe! Never shows up and leaves a mess when he does!
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!
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.
If you are military or civilian and are searching for a home to rent in Pensacola please consider using anyone other than Mark Downey & Associates to do business with. I was stationed at NAS Pensacola for training with my wife and two kids. From personal experience they are mediocre for the homeowner and terrible for the renters. Unfortunately their office is drastically understaffed making their ability to provide good service impossible. Our A/C went out in late summer on Saturday morning with a newborn in the home and temps were in the 90's. We called MD&A and no one answered. We left a messaged but no one returned our calls. We called the emergency hotline they provide for an additional cost each month for timely service and no one answered. We went two days in the sweltering heat before they got someone out there to fix it. They also refuse to do walk-throughs with you before entering or leaving a rental property, so if you have any discrepancies it is your word against theirs. For any first time renters, please take pictures, video, and write a list of items that are messed up with the house you move into no matter how nice it is. Doing this will save you a lot of time and money when dealing with a company like MD&A who will nickle and dime you when you vacate. There are absolutely no guarantees that you will get any of your security deposit back despite what condition the home is left. There are multiple examples on the BBB website describing such actions. Please check out the BBB complaints below to get a feel for the way MD&A does business. http://www.bbb.org/northwest-florida/business-reviews/real-estate/mark-downey-and-associates-in-pensacola-fl-90013327/complaints#
My husband and I paid $80 to get approved to rent this house and then we were given the lease. First of all, from the very first phone call to the last, fees were constantly added on. The lease Agreement had an entire page regarding our pet. We were willing to pay the $300 pet fee (no problem) yet they have in the Agreement that they can without any warning give us 1 week to get rid of the dog for absolutely no reason. It named obvious reasons and then other reasons such as barking. Really? He is not an obnoxious dog yet he can't bark at all? It went on to read that they could make us get rid of the dog for other reasons not listed. This is ridiculous! As I mentioned before, our dog is NOT obnoxious but he occasionally barks and this company was not willing to budge on the wording of the Agreement. I expected Shanan to call the owner of the home and maybe find out to what extent this was meant to be or maybe even console me by saying that means excessive barking or even elaborate on the other "reasons" not listed within the Agreement. She was simply rude and not once tried to convince us to stay or offer more of an explanation.She said, I will just cancel the lease and good luck finding something else! Bye! This is NOT how you run a successful business. I wish I had the home owner's contact information so they would know how this company acts towards potential renters.
HOLLEY BY THE SEA IN NAVARRE FLORIDA IS AN AMAZING COMMUNITY AND OWNERSHIP INCLUDES YOUR MEMBERSHIP IN THE RECREATION FACILITY TOO! 3 SWIMMING POOLS, TENNIS COURTS AND MUCH MORE!
Does not pay his sub contractors, almost had a lien placed on my home due to this. would not recommend. Workmen seemed to hate their job. Work not done in a timely manner. Price kept going up as job went along. Left house in a mess.
Tom and Linda are extremely unprofessional!!! They ran a credit check on me before I moved into one of their rental homes. I paid $800.00 a month and $800.00 deposit. After I moved in I saw that the house was bug infested. I called them several times and they finally came out to spray. It didn’t take care of the bug problem so I had to call them again and again. In over the year that I stayed there they showed up one other time to spray but it still didn’t take care of the bug situation. They took their time coming over if something wasn’t working properly in the house. The attic door had fallen down and I asked them for over a month to fix it, in the middle of summer, the heat was pouring into the house, and I had to prop a ladder on top of a box in the middle of the bedroom just to keep the attic door shut. The dishwasher broke and they never fixed it, the pantry door fell off the hinges and they never fixed it, someone tried to break in and the front door wasn’t closing properly and they didn’t fix it. Linda told me that she wouldn’t fix anything unless it was in writing. I wrote her a letter and left it in the deposit box, along with my rent check. She got my check but I guess she never got my letter. Funny how that happened. She’s also supposed to BY LAW give 24-48 hrs notice before showing up at the house, but she always came over unannounced or would call on her way over. One morning I woke up to hear voices in my backyard, which startled me, and there she was w/two men who were tearing down the swing set. She said she called and left a vm but I was sleeping bc I work nights. When I checked my vm she had called only 45 mins before she showed up. She and Tom also told me after I’d been there the full yr of my lease that I broke the lease bc I didn’t write to them 30 days before the end of the lease to tell them I was moving. Which was a lie. I had also been calling them for weeks to see if I could stay just a couple more months and Tom waited three weeks to call me back to say I could. They took a check from me for another month’s rent and said they could keep the $800 dep for my next month’s rent, which I agreed to. Linda told me I could stay in the house until Oct 31 for that last month. I was happy w/that arrangement. Then I came home on Oct 6th after work at 1:00 a.m. in the morn to find an eviction notice on my door saying that I had 3 days to get out!!! She said she never told me she could keep my deposit for rent bc that was illegal. She’s a thief and a liar and so is Tom. These people will steal your money, lie to you, and ruin your credit if you rent from them!!!!!!!
Do NOT use this Company! They were low bidder on a County job to fix storm damage on my home and they have spent more time and effort trying to get out of fixing things and making more money than focusing on getting the job done right. He used subpar sub-contractors who told me the crappy work I was getting was what a result of getting what you pay for. He hooked into my water to water the grass he laid on County property and has avoided me and other homeowners in trying to settle this. All I can say about this experience is that I am building a new home soon and it's at least nice to know who NOT to use.
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.