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.
It has been an honor to know Grant these last ten years. He just worked on my grandmother's gutters this past week and despite being stung by a bee ���� did an exceptional job. He has shown consistent amicable workmandship that I admire. He has been my go to gutter installer and maintenance man for not only myself and my husband but for most of my family and friends. I will never use any other business. Grant Craig's Carolina Classic Gutter is the only company I trust. HIS professionalism and great work ethnic cannot be matched. For any gutter needs Grant is the man to call if you want a job done well at a great price.
Please be WARNED of doing business with Grant Craig at Carolina Classic Gutter. This is the prime example of a crooked con-man with a cover of a legitimate business.I learned first hand that he will steal money from you by lying about his up front costs on materials, and he will mis-manage the money you pay out for his costs. He spent all the money I gave him and could not afford to buy the materials to finish the job or pay his labor...in fact, one of his most valuable employees quit on him because of it. Then, if you can get him to come back to the job, he raises the price on you after 70% of the work is complete. If you refuse to let him strong arm you into 3k more than was agreed upon (after he had to quote the job TWICE because he doesn't even know how to estimate apparently), he will just leave the job with your extra paid money, and leave you to find someone else to finish his work....which is sub-par work at best (the guy I had to hire to finish his work pointed out his sloppy work and lack of knowledge of correct installation methods in many many areas on my job, which I had to pay him to take apart and redo correctly). The result of this incompetence as a business owner is that after disappearing for 3 months from the job with the money, on a job that should have been 2 -3 weeks max, he failed to honor his agreement/contract and is currently in legal violation of a binding contract and is being reported to the Better Business Bureau. It is clear by the quality of his workmanship and his lack of integrity, that there are much more qualified, trustworthy, and decent human beings to spend your hard earned money with. He is definitely not the vinyl and gutter guy he says, and his misrepresentation of his skill set is just the icing on the horrible tasting cake that you will have to eat.***UPDATED**** - After seeing my comment online, Grant texted me and cursed me out, threatened me, and threatened my family, and I have the text messages to prove it….and all because HE stole, lied, breached his contract, and then expected to walk over me like the other homeowners he has robbed, and when I didn’t just take it, and instead I wrote truth for people to see, so they might avoid this nightmare I have had to deal with, he threatens me and my family?? I have two small daughters and now I have to look over my shoulder all the time. PLEASE AVOID THIS TERRIBLE HUMAN BEING AT ALL COSTS FOLKS!! HE IS THE SCUM OF THE EARTH.(*If you want to see the entire message, please feel free to contact me through my facebook page”Michael Berry”)
Parker Heating and Air is a Christian family business. They always put their customers first and give customers the best heating and air conditioning service. Honest, fair giving customer fair assessments and prices. Mr. Parker and his employees have been taking care of my heating and air conditioning needs for over 22 years and I will never deal with anyone else. They go that extra mile to help their customers. Explaining everything, listening to you and recommending the best course of action for your heating and air conditioning needs. The service is fast and on time, the work is top rate, A-1 and they give you great service year around.Thank you, to Danny Parker and all the employees of Parker Heating and Air.
This company employs Dale Brown who hires unprofessional trades. My experience was with the electrician, Mike who came to perform service work and was rude and defensive when asking about extra holes in walls. He even threatened that if I asked one more thing he would leave. This is after he already half-a^% it two days before and only showed up to then say he would have to come back and do work because he blamed Dale for telling him to install the wrong thing. There is no accountability, things are missed and work is poor. You are better off hiring the trade directly and making sure its done right, because Dale will not come out and check things nor will he care to even expect the work to be done right.
I called into this company looking for a residential job, which they do not offer, no problem. I did, howeber, ask if she could recommend someone who did residential work as I am new to the area and she promptly and rudely replied "Uh, No" and hung up. I would consider this when contemplating hiring them. Clearly not a company that is in touch with their or community or has any professional courtesy.
It took a week to get an appointment with Siding by the Best in order to get a quote. The reps were both late. They were very friendly and knowledgeable, and promised to have a quote by the following Monday. Two weeks later, I still have not received a quote. I contacted the office after a week and was told that they are still awaiting paint pricing. They appear to be too busy to quote and much too busy to handle any more jobs. I wish they had just told me that.
DO NOT HIRE THIS COMPANY! His work is horrible! This man has no business owning a hammer, much less a contractor's license! Did not get required permits, but charged me! Left plumbing running onto ground under home! Uneven tile installation, and sloppy painting through-out entire home! What work he did attempt did not pass county inspection! Still finding mistakes he hid from me months after firing him! RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY IF YOU CARE ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR HOME & BELONGINGS!!!!
honest and professionalWe got excellent service. People were very knowledgeable and capable. They did the job quickly and the price was affordable
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.