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.
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The office called me 23hrs prior to my scheduled appt to see if I could reschedule as the doctor needed to leave early. Advised them that no I could not but I'm willing to reschedule as I need to know now whether appt is ok because I'm pulling my daughter early from school for the appt. They advised That I could still be seen at my scheduled time. An hour and a half before my appt they called again to see if I could come early (be there in half hour) advised again that no I could not and that I was on my way to pick up my daughter from school. At that time they advised that they would need to reschedule as the doctor needs to leave early. Asked why this was not the case yesterday and the receptionist stated she was just following what the doctor told her. Asked her to pass on my annoyance and their ignorance. They want 24hr notice for US to reschedule but they can reschedule with an hour and a half notice?!? Unacceptable.
We have had a,very bad experience with my son not only having a root canal done where an entire infected root was missed and caused a bad abcess later but also we were strongly encouraged for him to get a crown done on that very same tooth. Then all insurance money was maxed out so when the abcess occurred we acquired not only hundreds of dollars in extra emergency dental care cost when my son was out of state at college, But also had to put off the root canal being performed until January of this year so that the procedure would be covered. Even then, United Concordia would not even provide the $200 needed to get the permanent filling for that problem toothdone. . Do NOT trust this dentist office! Go to an endodontist if you find out you have an abcessed tooth. And get a second opinion when someone tells you that you need a crown.
Horrible employees. They're rude for no apparent reason. They bill double, and twice triple, for the same services. I have never had such a bad experience with a dentist or medical professional of any kind. Ridiculous.
I wish I had a better experience here, after initial examination I had to keep calling back to see if they had finally checked my insurance to see if it covered the root canal I needed. Needless to say they would NEVER call me back and when one of the receptions went away for a week, the woman filling in for her told me to call back once she gets back into the office and hopefully she would have the information I need....this was going on for a period of 3 months. What a lack of communication and apparently they don't need my business
Not sure I trust them. Just was at a dentist (who was a friend of mine) who did an exam in Feb. He said I had one tiny cavity and that I needed a deep cleaning. I went to Dream Dentistry just 7 months later. They said that I had cavities in most of my teeth and that I needed the deep cleaning and that I would have to come back every three months for a long time. They came up with a whopping $11,000 worth of work! When I said that was out of the question, they came back at $8,000 just to get me "stable". The secretary who goes over the financing/ billing didn't impress me either. I caught the many times she rolled her eyes and impatiently flipped papers when she talked about "how much we have to write off being in-network dentists". I am getting another opinion!
Dr.Roeder is a scam artist. He lured me into the office by offering a 50$ cleaning and x-ray via a coupon found in the paper. Once there I received the above treatment and the bill was $50 however afterwards he tried to convince me that I had 8 cavities and that I should get them fixed for a total of approximately $1000. I left because I felt that this was completely inaccurate as I have great brushing habits and floss regularly. I recently (6months later) went to a dental clinic that looked at my teeth and the teeth that they said had cavities and they determined that I had one small cavity that would be $60 to fix. This guy is a total scam artist and no one should go to him.
Do not do business with this person (it's not really a company). We were left with problems that we will need to pay another company to correct. Derrick Thompson asked for a 50% down payment on a job that he completely failed to deliver. We paid him $1,000 and he provided a pressure wash for our sidewalk and a poured concrete step that we need to pay someone to correct. We have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
I have had 6 appointments all were pleasant and relaxed
As a person who is very afraid of dentists, and who needed some serious procedures... the staff here really went out of their way to make me comfortable before, during and after several procedures.
Don't go here unless you want to be ripped off! They ordered a partial for me, then told me my benefit was up (because I had a lot of work done with them and paid A LOT of money already), so I had to pay for it out of pocket. I paid $500 of the $700 that was due. Without warning, they sent my partial back to the lab and kept over $330 for "lab fees". I am now stuck with no partial and am out of money for no reason. They never said "you need to pay "x" amount by such an such a date OR ELSE this will happen." They just took my money and destroyed what was paid for. They are LOUSY at best.
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.