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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I took my case to mr boville , and he was a joke. he did absolutely nothing for me , and then stole my money . He charged me $7000,00 to take my case . then a month later he told me he was dropping the case and keeping my money . He laughed at me and said he was a lawyer and I could not sue him for my money . this man is a thief , he will steal your money too., . all he cares about is beating clients out of their money for his own personal gain . I would never recommend him to anyone for any reason .. a shameful man really . DO NOT GIVE HIM YOUR BUSSINESS .. I've read his reviews and I believe that he had his office staff write then for him . I can't imagine anyone else saying anything good about him . . PLEASE DO NOT USE HIM FOR ANY LEGAL MATTER , OR YOU WILL BE AS SORRY AS I AM . I've heard rumors he has scammed many others out of there money as in the case of brian m. this man needs to be disbarred , but till then I am hoping people read this and STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM HIM . I wonder if he has a wife , and she knows about him dating the women who was the one that my case was against ?? wow , a lawer who takes your case against his girlfriend , then steals your money so you can't hire another lawer to fight her
Worst lawyer I ever had, and I've had several. Been happy with them all but not this one! He's a joke and extremely arrogant! Don't waste your money, trust me! He even told the judge I was on medication. Something confidential a lawyer should NEVER tell a child custody judge. Wow! Where's the common sense?
His expertise - I did not get to see he was not ready for what the other lawyer was doing at any time!His professionalism was more worried about checking with the opposing lawyer and getting a bs story then be made a fool of in court. Told me what the final cost would be when the only hearing to come so I paid it by check and after and he lost in court because he was not prepared he then double the cost - where I didn't have our agreement in writing or recorded. Mr. Picard's final brief for my daughter was somewhat good work but he did it to little to late the time he turned it in one-ish hour before the hearing - and my daughter had to help him get it done. My family has paid dearly for what we lost in court
Mr Picard represented me in my divorce/custody litigation. He was up front and honest with me the entire time. He didnt always tell me what i wanted to hear, which is what I expect from a professional, but did everything to make sure that my case went smooth and was as cost effective as possible. His rates were very reasonable and his staff is awesome too. I have since recommended him to friends who have hired him and have had the same results.
a section of my roof is buckling and lifting have emailed them have called them several times no respond
Find someone else unless you like stress and someone who just cares for his paycheck.John was on vacation the first month or so of my case.after that everytime I talked to him I had to remind him about my case.at court one day I caught John making jokes about me with the other lawyer.to take the cake after everything is finally done , I show up at the office to make my last payment and pick up all the case files, he cant find them.they are still looking for them.all I can say is Wow .i called 2 days earlier so they could have everything ready.I sure hope they can find my files so I can be done with this office.there are a lot of lawyers out there so dont use this one
Mr. Dill recently handled my contested divorce case. He was always professional, knowledgeable and thorough. I found him to be straightforward and to the point and did not waste my time or money going after things that he knew the judge would not accept. He gave me copies of all pleadings and letters concerning my case as soon as he received them. His staff provided excellent information and guidance whenever I called. I will continue to recommend him to my friends, co-workers and family.
Memorial Weekend 2015, First time meeting Mr. Swartz and his staff as they "Stayed" 45 minutes after office closing hours. Mr. Swartz treated me as if I was his first client!!!! Great people you should use and can trust!!!Chad P
Chris Swartz resolved my problem fast! His office staff is great, i would Recommend them.
This guy is an idiot. He stumbles around the courthouse from courtroom to courtroom and doesn't have time for his clients. A lot of the litigation that he is involved in, is caused by him because of his lack of knowledge and/or experience. He then sends you an invoice for the time spent fixing what he screwed up in the first place. He is nowhere near what his father was, so Don't think he will be any good. I suggest you find someone better. It won't be difficult.........
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.