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.
GREAT WORK, GREAT TIMING .FANTASTIC FINISH, REAL GOOD PRICES, GREAT KNOWLEDGE,SPECIAL ATTENTION TO DETAIL,
I'm am very happy with the work they have done for me. I've used them to renovate my house, and they did it very fast, and well done.
We moved last year, and our new kitchen needed updating. What can I say? My kitchen remodel definitely exceeded my expectations. Far more than I could have ever dreamed. Not just because of the high quality of products used, No. What made this project special were the people they have on their staff.I met Armen after sending an email from their website. He was very professional and very very knowledgeable. I knew as soon as I met him that he would be the one who could design an amazing new kitchen for me. That's exactly what he did. He used his considerable talents and skills to imagine a kitchen I could NEVER have conceived. He show me 3 different 3D designs of kitchen so I Could choose from, In fact I looked at the first design and said, "That's it"! The entire team arrived on time each day and left each workday with the site neat and tidy. It was a pleasure to have them demolish my kitchen and build a brand new one! Additionally, Armen was always available to answer questions and was extremely responsive and attentive. When the project was finished, he came back and checked every detail and made sure everything was as planned.Contrary to other reports of people who have experienced general kitchen remodel nightmares, I can't tell you how grateful I am to these guys that this project went so smoothly. I rarely had to make any decisions, I didn't have to worry about mistakes or errors, and best of all, they finished the project when they said they would. I got exactly the kitchen I wanted and the whole experience was amazing. We are going to use them for our master bathroom after holydays!!! Would I recommend A&E Brothers? YES, I would HIGHLY recommend them, without question, for any remodeling needs. Thank You so much Armen and Mary Christmas.
I had a wonderful experience working with aandebrothersny.com on my new purchased home. I interviewed many types of kitchen designers. The aandebrothersny staff were professional and knowledgeable. The product is for high standards. Customer service is phenomenal. From the planning stage to the completion of the entire project, the interior designer has been wonderfully helpful. He was competent and has paid attention to the details and given me wonderful ideas. I would recommend anybody who wants to renovate their home to work with Armen.
Remodeling the kitchen and bedroom was two of the projects we wanted a lot. Our kitchen was not functional not enough room to move around not enough cabinet space and was simple, not our style. And our bedroom because our kids are growing we needed a good change for the better and transform the walls to make more space for our third child making it into a nursery. Now we have more space for our two kids and our new nursery with nice colors. Our kids loved it so much! And even the kitchen now seems more cozy and more family, making us bond more on meal times. There's no price we could put on how much value we gained with these changes. Our family can enjoy quality time together and both our kids are always smiling when they see their bedroom again. Priceless!
What a wonderful experience we had working with Zef and Right Choice. He came to our house to assess our project (painting, fixing our walls, scraping windows, etc) and made a quick and affordable assessment of the scope of work and total cost. The work was completed quickly, efficiently, and neatly. When we realized that the walls needed a second coat of paint after they were sanded and painted once, we told Zef and he sent over a crew the next day to put the finishing touches on. We were so pleased with his work and even more pleased with his professionalism and communication. We will absolutely work with Right Choice again.
We bought a two-bedroom apartment that was not in a great shape and we needed to fully renovate it. After interviewing 5-6 contractors, we decided to chose the Right Choice Construction. It was the right choice! Zef and his crew didn't waste time. They jumped on it quickly and worked through the agreed upon schedule. There were several unforeseen conditions on the road, but Zef worked through them like a breeze. He did not only have the great solutions that were cost effective and aesthetically pleasing, but he also worked his way with the neighbors and the super, so we didn't need to be involved at all. We moved in a great apartment and we love it. We would definitely use their services again and are suggesting them to all of our friends and neighbors.
Great job with my new hardwood floors finish. Very happy and satisfied client. Reliable and on time.
I contacted A & E Brothers NY for Classic Tile & Marble bathroom renovations. I was doing over my bathroom & wanted to find a nice Tile to replace what I had. Armen and his Team came to my home with great plans and ideas, and how we can apply them. Its hard enough to make design decisions - but i am so glad that i hired A & E Brothers NY me and my wife were very greatful to work with this team. Amazing Service we received thank you again www.aandebrothersny.com.Alen and Madison
I would recommend A&E brothers to anyone needing quality work done to their home. As we were shopping for a new home, my wife and I were referred to Armen by our real estate agent. After watching the videos in website which were the amazing projects they had done, we were sure that we can trust them. I called office the next day, the girl who was answering the phone was very nice. She took our information and after 1 hour Armen called us back. We asked Armen if he would come view our final options for home purchase and talk to us about possible remodel options. He agreed, often on short-notice, to show at every viewing no matter the time of day. He spent considerable time with us before we had officially engaged him. He came with ideas and was able to produce 3-dimensional design plans on the spot to help us make our decision. Point being - he took significant time to spend with us, listened to our desires and cared about our budget and situation.The most important reason we chose him... Armen listens. He sat down with us and heard what we wanted to do in the bathroom and created a three-dimensional plan for us, so we could get an idea of how it would look once it was completed. He is very honest. He told us what we could, and could not do to stay in our budget. He is prompt. From his first meeting with us he was on time for every appointment. Our end result is our gorgeous bathroom. We had him enlarge our shower 3 times bigger than it had been, move our tub, add shower and tub fixtures, add windows, take a portion of the original bathroom and turn it into a separate storage room with a closet and special cat door, new flooring, new lights, new counters, new sinks, and cabinets. It was a total bathroom remodel from top to toe and just what we wanted.They worked hard to make sure we were happy with the end result. His workers were also very professional,and took extra care coming in and out of our home. Armen came by almost daily to see how the work was progressing and made sure changes were made when they needed to be made. He always made himself available to us - from text messages to e-mails and calls. Simply put, we were thrilled. Armen saw the vision that we could not and made it happen. I will use them in the future for other improvements. Cant say enough about the whole crew. Great company to work with. 5 stars was an easy review. Thank you for all of your professionalism and hard work. We are thrilled. I can't recommend Armen and his team strongly enough.
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.