What Does Gluten-Free Really Mean? »
While medical opinions about gluten allergy vary, more and more consumers are beginning to experiment with removing gluten from th…
While medical opinions about gluten allergy vary, more and more consumers are beginning to experiment with removing gluten from th…
Most people think of pawn stores as a way to make cash quickly or a place to buy an inexpensive ring. In reality, they're a lot more complex than simple buy-and-sell transactions…
In the wake of a disaster, communities outside the affected area want to know how to help. A variety of reputable organizations ha…
Both my children have attended this daycare/preschool since we moved to FL in 2014. My daughter started halfway through the VPK program and I was amazed at how much she learned. My son also attended starting at age 2 and during his time he was diagnosed as a type1 diabetic and I cannot say enough wonderful things about all the teachers and staff. They jumped right in and learned all they could to help take care of my son while in his care.They have an entire team of people that are filled with compassion and honestly love every child that is in their care. This is our final months with this school as my youngest is starting elementary school in the fall and we are saddened that we will no longer see everyone. My kids have grown so much academically and personally. My daughter has achieved Honor Roll since starting elementary and I owe most of her success to the wonderful VPK teachers who taught her early on the fundamentals she needed.
For a convenience store it's a good gas station. Customer service needs at night needs improvement. Cleanliness is deplorable.
Building a home is a very personal experience. I don’t know of any other man-made structures or products that come close to what a home actually means to the people who live there. Finding a builder who cares enough about your personal building experience and future home is easier said than done. Every contractor will tell you they are the best, most reasonably priced, experienced….you name it. I had heard it all. Before Tamlin Homes took over our construction project, my wife and I had been defrauded out of $130,000 from a previous contractor. This previous contractor (criminal) actually faked bank documents to have funds prematurely released…but that’s another story. Needless to say, my view and trust of the home building community was extremely tarnished. After losing a substantial amount of money with our project barely off the ground (concrete slab had only been poured) my wife and I felt true desperation. Nobody said building a home was an easy process, but this was simply ridiculous. A moment of hope arrived when our architect gave us a referral, Tamlin Homes. Our architect had worked with them for years and spoke highly of their experience and integrity. When my wife and I finally met Neil and Bryan, we knew this was the team we wanted to build our home. Down to earth, straight shooters, likeable, real people (like us) is how we felt. We really felt like they had our best interest at heart and were truly invested in making our home the best it could be. That’s really what the building process is all about…trust. When your building a custom home, there are no others to compare it to or refine it from. There will be changes, things that weren’t anticipated, but if you have a team backing you who knows how to navigate and protect their clients, that’s really what it boils down to. Be honest, due quality work, don’t overcharge me and provide good customer support. Neil and Bryan provided that type of building environment throughout our entire project. It’s rare to find people in business today who actually have the type of integrity and honesty that Neil and Bryan possess. If there is one piece of advice I can give to anyone looking to build a home, it is this: Make sure you have a trusted relationship in place and you actually like the folks who are in charge of the project. Building a home is a long process. It can be emotional at times, stressful at times and of course is a major financial investment. If you have people that you truly like, respect and just get along with, it will make your experience that much more enjoyable. I highly recommend anyone looking to build a new home to contact Neil and Bryan, introduce them to your project needs, get to know them and make the call for yourself…you won’t be disappointed. Chris & KateOdessa, Florida
FRAUDULENT QUOTATIONS MADE BY CORNERSTONE PRESIDENT STEPHEN BRONSTEIN CAUSED A POTENTIAL HOME BUYER TO CANCEL MY REAL ESTATE CONTRACT. I WILL BE REPORTING THIS FRAUD TO THE BBB AND DISTRICT ATTORNEY. I ALSO HAVE AN ATTORNEY LOOKING AT GOING AFTER CORNERSTONE FOR DAMAGES.
Our 3 year old has been attending for 6 months now and he has learned a whole lot, from mentioning colors, identifying animals to even art and craft, not to mention how much of a talker he current is thanks to them. He has been in 4 different day cares before Creative World, and ever since he started in CW he has shown the same enthusiasm as the first day, he feels loved and as his mother, it is truly comforting to see him so happy. Mrs. Debrah keeps us always informed via email with all future activities as well as they're constantly updating their FB page with new pictures taken weekly of all the fun/educational programs they provide them with. Last but not least, we ABSOLUTELY LOVE Ms. Paola and Ms. Breanna from the Elephants Class! Amazing staff!
If you are looking for quality and accountability in a home builder, stay clear of Tamlin Homes. Tamlin builds nothing but a very expensive track home and takes no accountability for the countless problems they create. They do not have genuine high end home building experience. The quality of their subcontractors was awful. When the issues became too much for Tamlin to deal with, they went into shut-down mode and disappeared. Our project had no management, no supervision, no quality control. Exactly the opposite of what Bryan Thomas promises you as he takes your money. Neil Robinson demonstrated a complete lack of competence understanding our plans, contract details, or expectations. He would blame everyone else for the problems and never was on site to personally oversee anything. They refused to honor any warranty claims for repairs. It has been a year and a half since Tamlin walked away from our project, leaving us with a huge expense to replace and repair their malconstruction. We have recovered only a fraction of the costs from some of the subcontractors directly after paying qualified trades to fix or correct installation errors performed under Tamlin and still have issues with plumbing, electrical, and structural components of the build. They installed flooring way too early and with all the repairs and trades still doing work, scratched, dented, and ruined the hardwood flooring. It looks like it has been down 10 years and it was a brand new home. You simply cannot trust them. You do not have to take my word for it, ask them to speak to the owner of their website's "Featured Home" and watch their reaction.
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.