Bathroom Upgrade: Get the Most for Your Money »
An expert in home restoration and flips discusses the ins and outs of bathroom upgrades so you can learn what works for your budge…
An expert in home restoration and flips discusses the ins and outs of bathroom upgrades so you can learn what works for your budge…
When you're short on time, squeeze in cleaning tasks that will help minimize your effort, organize your home, and remove the filth…
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Full Bathroom Installation/Basement Mr. & Mrs. Walter LynchThere are so many reasons that my husband and I are so grateful and feel very blessed to have found Gary & Company Contracting.For starters, one month prior to contacting Gary, I had signed a contract with another contractor. Big mistake! But before I get into why this was so. I’d like to point out a few things that could be a teachable moment for those who are considering hiring a contractor or handyman to do work in or around their home. Always make sure that the person you hire is a licensed contractor, preferably someone that can do it all. If this is not the case, and they have others working for them.Make sure that the person or persons that they bring to your home are licensed or if not, at least will be under the instructions of the licensed contractor. Basically allowing for someone with credentials to be held accountable for any wrong doing.Make sure you have their information such as license number, address, phone number along with pictures of previous work that they have completed. Make sure the pictures that they show you are pictures of what you are considering hiring them for.When giving down payments and second payments, make sure that the project is moving along. If you and the contractor agree that they will buy the supplies, make sure you are provided with receipts and supplies are brought to your home prior to project starting. All of this I learned from Gary after the first contractor took our money, came to our home a few times only to not complete the project. He embezzled a substantial amount of money from us which left us devastated He left our basement floor tore up and nothing was ever installed. All this brings me to what Gary did for us. I reached out to him in the morning, that afternoon he was at my door. He sat down with me and was extremely understanding.Not only did he listen, but throughout me telling him about our ordeal, not once did he make me feel like a fool for trusting this other person. It was at this point that Gary walked me through the proper steps to take whenInterviewing a contractor. All the things to look for and things that should be a red flag. That same day he did an assessment, called and emailed within a couple of days with a proposal that was fair and very reasonable. Gary and his team started within two days, but prior to, he bought all of the supplies from Home Depot, brought them to our home, producing all of the receipts. I would say the whole project didn’t take over two and a half weeks. This was a full bathroom, not a powder room. Gary and his employees were extremely professional but in a lighthearted way , personable but not intrusive. Always courteous and all respected our home each and every time they entered and would leave. Needless to say, my hubby and I are so happy with our beautiful bathroom! We have gotten so many compliments from both family and friends. My lasting words and advice that I would leave to any home owner looking to remodel or upgrade their property, always follow your gut. if it sounds too good to be true, and you don’t get a good vibe, no license, limited information, no references or reviews to read, escort them to the door.
For All Viewers, I am proud to claim Gary as my contractor. He is very professional, trustworthy, reasonable with his prices, complete all job tasks in a timely fashion /proficiently , provides alternative methods of payment based on client needs, great listener, dependable including his staff, organized, and provides great suggestions/feedback to any questions his clients may have. I have recommended Gary to the people I love which are all my family and close friends. I have also recommended him to any/all persons I have come across that needed any type of work done. Included volunteer to show some of his work to future clients just to vouch and confirm he is a creditable contractor. Thus far Gary has done the following reconstructions to my home:1.Install full tile patio in my back yard2.Created an entry way fence door and put up private fence in my backyard 3.Reconstructed and expand the entry ways to my stairway and kitchen 4.Install new door bell 5.Remove excessive pipes from my living room and bathroom6.Install a built in custom made closet in my main bedroom and second bedroom 7.Fixed a leaky pipe from my toilet on the second floor8.Sheet rock my entire upstairs hallway including both bedrooms 9.Reconstructed and expanded my closet in my bathroom including created built in shelving 10.Reconstructed and sheet rock my existing main bedroom second closet 11.Sheet rock my bump outs on both floors 12.Upgraded all my electric wiring in my entire house including electrical box 13.Rewired my phone line, added/install outlets, stove washer, and dryer 14.Extracted, expand, and replace my window in my dining room15.Corrected the frame work around my main bedroom window and bathroom 16.Installed electric wall mounted heater in both bathrooms 17.Installed electric ceiling mounted heater in my living room, dining room, two bedrooms, and kitchen The list will continue on until my house it the way I want it to be. Getting to the point; this professional young man that my family and I call Young Blood is the best we have ever encountered. You would be definitely making a wise decision to select him for whatever you may need because he does it all. Young Blood/Gary is reliable, responsible, and ready to assist you so let him fix your problem or enhance your property. Just let him know Mzrae sent you.
I just got my bathroom remodeled by Bella, and I continue to enjoy it every single day, as well as my children. The tub is finally big enough for the kids to pretend "swim" in, and we thank Tom for suggesting to go with the bigger tub to suite our family needs. If you are a parent, you know how tough bathtime can be, and ever since the guidance I got from Tom and the project manager, bath time with the kids has been so pleasant. The functionality of my bathroom now is just amazing, I have space in the double vanity we got, I have space in the linen closet we got, I have shower in coves (tiled) for all our shampoos and such (which now the kids cant get to). The workmanship from this company and their carpenters is just impeccable. Any issue we came across, they handled immediately and with perfection. There was just one small issue with tile date arrival (partly my fault for picking special order tile), but Tom was able to get the girls in the office to research and track down my tile so there was absolutely NO delay! I was very impressed with everyones work ethic from start to finish. The finish is great and we are so happy. If you want your bathroom done in a timely manner, with all the great design details and functionality for your family, then contact these guys. I kid you not, it was such a pleasure! Thank you to Tom, Eric, and all the staff at Bella!
It's difficult to find a good contractor- either someone recommends one or you look in the telephone book and take your chances, or nowadays on the internet. I selected Lorenc based on the favorable reviews I had read online. After the latest snowstorm I had water leaking down through the roof and through my kitchen ceiling and into the basement. Lorenc came out fully prepared to go up on my 3rd story roof and he did. He was able to tell me what the problem was and what was needed to correct it. This is a very knowledgeable man when it comes to houses and construction. Lorenc and his team of workers were true gentleman and respectful of us and our property. They were careful to cover things with plastic, laid tarps on the floor because of the snow and ice, cleaned up after each phase of the job. The roof and gutter system were repaired, interior walls/ceiling were repaired and painted, basement wall- beautiful.As I said- it is difficult to find a good contractor- and I know one when I find him. Lorenc is a gem and I will have him do any construction /renovation work that is needed here in the future. Trust me- this guy is good!
I'm back again! Although this is my first time leaving a review for Bella!!! I have had both my kitchen and bathroom remodeled by Tom and Bella Brothers. I have nothing but great things to say about this company. I was so happy I decided to call Bella, the girls are so sweet in the office and very accommodating. Tom was prompt on all his appointments scheduled with me, and kept in touch throughout all my remodels (both kitchen and bathroom renovations). I was really scared I was going to be out of the loop and not understand what was going on during construction, but the men were so nice to explain things to me, and their processes. I'm sure I was a pain, but they never showed it on their faces :) I chose to have Bella remodel my bathroom after my kitchen because of their diligence while working on my kitchen. I couldnt imagine a better company to tackle such big jobs for me. so thank you again guys and look forward to that basement renovations we've been discussing! Sincerely,Melisssa!!!
We called the company out for an additional bedroom we wanted to build. The man that came over, Ken, was not looking at my old space but envisioning the finished room. He knew exactly what needed to be done in every part of the floor it's on and spent time answering any questions we had. He never made us feel like we were bothersome with our inexperience and many questions about colors and closets and electricity. The job was done from beginning to end with every specification nothing less than perfection! Ken and Mr. Contractor is not just a construction, painting, slapping together a room type of business. At. All! Ken is an artist in his own right seeing beauty and potential where there are old spaces in need of renewal. Thank you for everything Mr. Contractor! Especially the way you treated our family. You're a class act a all the way! 5 STARS!
Gary is truly one of a kind. He is patient, caring and doesn't mind how long the job takes as long as it is done right. This is the first job of many that I will be hiring Gary for. This job was installing a dishwasher for us in a very small space. We have never had a dishwasher and he came in and made it happen for us. Our next project is a complete kitchen remodel which we will definitely plan on hiring Gary again. Gary is not only our contractor but has become a friend. I am pretty sure this is simply Gary's personality and mannerism shining through. Quality work and friendly attitude to accompany it. Highly recommend!
Hi Tom,I just wanted to send you a small note about my latest remodel completed by your staff. I really, really appreciated the courtesy and kindness afforded to me at a very stressful time, with my Mom being sick. Your thoroughness of explaining the work was outstanding as well as the quality of work that was done on my bathroom and my walls which had water damage. Thank you for keeping me informed and the constant follow up as the work was being completed.Your staff is amazing!I will continue to recommend Bella Brothers to friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues.Once again thank you for your kindness.Barbara
I was recently introduced to Gary through a friend when I encountered some electrical issues at my building. I must say, I was very pleased with the quick response and the low cost estimate. As Investor, it is important how I spend money and the quality of service that I am provided. Since meeting Gary, I have use his services at other locations, and I am proud to say that I will be using Gary & Company for many more jobs. Gary is courteous, professional, and prompt all times. I highly recommend Gary for meeting your needs and will be referring him to my follow colleagues. Thanks Gary. Le
We contracted Lorenc to remodel our bathroom based on the comments here and are very pleased with his work. Lorenc is reliable, considerate and hardworking. A perfectionist. The remodeling included tearing up old tiles and concrete, and installing a tub, shower fixtures, sinks, vanity and lights. Lorenc also provided an access panel to the plumbing, painted the bathroom and corrected uneven studs in the wall. He’s a skilled craftsman who takes a pride in his work. We highly recommend Lorenc and will hire him again for future projects.
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.