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.
Primera vez que uso este servicio. La muchacha que cojio mi reservasion en philadelphia no me oriento de que tenia que reservar el viaje a connecticut solo me dijo el costo de cada viaje. Quize usarlo porque es un servicio de puerta a puerta Pero para empezar le dire que ha sido una pesadilla. Ninguna persona debe de pasar por esto. Me recogieron a mi hogar como a las 9:30am el chofer recogido mas pasajeros y cuando guia hacia la 95 dirigiendose hacia NYC les dire que ibamos con el corazon en la boca. No se si se estaba durmiendo o iba despistado , la guagua se hechaba de un carrito a otro los pasajeros decian hay hay hay . una ves en NY /bronx 1pm perdi el viaje a connecticut. Son las 4:30pm y aun estoy esperando en la base como lo llaman para el viaje para CT. Primero me dijieron a las 3pm despues a las 3:30pm . pregunto de nuevo y me dicen que me llaman por mi nombre cuando él chofer llegue. A mi me recomendaron este servicio se que la experiencia son diferente para otros pero yo no lo recomiendo. No es justo esperar tantas horas para llegar a un lugar . ni una disculpa vale.
1.0 star rating 3/29/2015We had the most horrible experience with J and J transportation. Scheduled a transport to JFK from Bethlehem on a Friday morning for a trip to Hawaii. They got all the info and then they chose the pick up time. None of us had ever been to JFK before and had no idea how long it would take to get there, thought J and J were the "experts". Our driver asked us who set up that time and we told him J and J and he said they didn't give you enough time so the whole trip up there we were nervous that we wouldn't make it on time...and we didn't, missed the flight. There were no flights directly there so we had to take several flights, took us 38 hours to get there instead of 12, lost a night at the condo and $4,000 additional dollars that we had to pay for other flights. When I called to let them know the first girl was very friendly, told me to keep them updated and when I called to update the 2nd girl was so rude, She kept saying why are you calling us when I was trying to explain that I don't want this to happen to anyone else she said that it is the clients responsibility to make sure there is enough time to get to the destination , not theirs. I will never use them again but if you have to don't allow them to pick the departure time, they have no idea what they are doing.
I had the most horrible experience with j&j i called 3 days before my trip to confirm the price and the hour, the lady said they are going to charge me 110 for myself and a 50 pounds baggage, when the driver guy picked me up he was rude saying that his going to charge me 120 and the other bus that i needed to grab the price is 100 more. I was in shocked i said the lady told me it was 110 now your telling me is 120 on top another bus for 100 means 220? And i thought this is a company door to door what do you means another bus? No response to that. When i have to grab the other bus it was a mini van white with no logo from j&j company. It was a regular person not a j&j employee i had the worst experience ever. Obviously thats totally illegal. I dont recommend this company
Hi Mr Arnold. This is Charleen Keith's girlfriend. This is awkward but Keith wanted me to ask you if you could put some money on his books for phone calls. His family has spent 2,???.?? Dollars on his phone calls in the past 2 months and they are scraping to keep him in touch with me and the kids and paying the lawyer at the same time I am asking because he told me that you said if you could help out to let you know. If you can't I really appreciate everything that you have done for him. Thank you very much Again Thanks. CharleenMy # is 215-407-7917
I hired Nation Contractors to do my master bathroom, they have done a great job, always showed up on time, they always make sure to clean up after them and the result came perfect.
En mi opinión tienen buen servicio, Me buscaron a tiempo y rápido. Me llevaron al lugar indicado donde tenía que ir y el chofer fue amable.
ME GUSTA MUCHO EL SERVICIO DE ELLOS YA QUE LLEGUE NUEVO A ESTE PAIS Y NO SABIA ANDAR Y ME LLEVARON DE LA DIRECCION QUE ME ESTABA QUEDANDO A DONDE IBA FRENTE A LA CASA EXCELENTE.
Great job I love the work they did for us I would recommend them to anybody that is looking for good service
I have travel whit them before but this time they couldn't pick me up on time the phone girl said the driver left late n hes picking up some passengers now n she told me the same thing in my 4th call n then say that the driver was somewhere else far she keep saying im the last one hes goin to pick up msh i wait like 2 hours for him n when i call the 5v time she say hes far away picking up some people n i said men forget it just cancelled i am not CALLING THEM AGIEN they PLAY games whit u and they very unprofessional. They have to be Dominicans .
A typical contractor team who goes into a renovation job trying to do everything, but with the lack of professionalism and knowledge, they leave the client without a properly working HVAC as well as other items not being up to code. No work permits are pulled to do the work...Hmm ...illegal work ?? Thanks, but no thanks.
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.