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.
There are two sides to every story. When we got involved with Mr. Gupta, we were under the impression we would be paid in a timely manner, and we were working with a straight shooter. We were fooled. After two bounced checks, and asking us to lie to a bank, we really didn't want anymore part in this matter. We didn't steal fron anyone, if anything we still aren't paid the full balance for all the change orders Gupta added separate to our intital agreement. Gupta, bad mouthing people who have bent over backwards for you, to ensure your store got open when you couldn't even pay suppliers, is bad news. We wish you well, and would appreciate all facts being displayed before pointing fingers. Have a great day.
10/07/2017OverallWe chose Innovated Construction to build back our gas station on June 2016. At first, the project was seeming to go right and on schedule. As it got closer to the end, thats where the project took a downfall. The project manager kept promising a completion day, but failed many times to be done by that time period. Also, another problem we are still putting up with Mr. Randy Green (project manager) and his team is that they still have not finished the entire job after a whole year. First of all, a night window was to be put in with a drawer which Mr. Green claims to have possession of, but will not come and install it. Second, he has been paid to rebuild the carwash back, but never came back to even finish that. Thirdly, he still has our beer turf which has already been paid for, but not even delivered yet. Fourth, he did not even give us matching shelves with our counter shelves which he claims it still has to be paid for, but who would buy the whole counter display without matching shelves. Fifth, the hood he installed is already giving us problems. This list could go on and on, but I will leave to right here.This construction company is not a good professional company to go with to complete your construction needs. They may have a good price which is neither too cheap or expensive. The people running this business may end up cheating you out of your money. We are writing this message after failing many attempts to reach out to this company to finish their job and leaving with the only option of going to court. We just want to inform others before your cheated out of your hardworking money.
Did a job and he still has not payed us for it at all they will not call us back or any thing next step is to call the police and get a builders lean on that job
Contracted for $3500 master bath work (new shower and tile floor). We added a hall bath caulk job and he ran into unexpected work underneath our shower. Approximately halfway through the job, he sent an unprofessional text stating that he might go out of business because he was losing so much money on our job (we didn't set the contract price, he did). We offered to pay more because of the extra work and he responded with a request for $1500 more, or 40% over the contract price. I asked for a write-up of the extra expenses so we could work something out and he became belligerent and threatened small claims court if we did not pay. I fired him then and he demanded $3303 of the original $3500 for a job about 45-55% complete. If we didn't pay that, he said he would file a mechanic's lien on our home. We left him a check for $1000 in addition to the $1000 down payment, or $2000 total, for the work he had done. He wrote "VOID" on the check and taped it to our front door. He then told us he would go file the mechanic's lien and proceeded to write several more unprofessional e-mails. He ended with this e-mail: The lien was put on your house on Friday stupid. I am going to get a judgement against you and freeze your assets until I get paid...I am clairvoyant and he must be psychic because he can predict how long showers can last from a picture. I left XXXXX (name redacted) construction a nice message and tomorrow I am calling BBB about his email badmouthing me that is defamation of character. The bottom line is you are void of morals and virtues and I wish to God that our paths had never crossed. We will both present our case and the judge will make a decision and if I lose I could care less and if I win that is even better. Pieces of ***** like you that think they can screw people over and get away with it need to be held accountable and your judgement day is coming."
Left a job I had to go work for this company only to be let go after a week because I could not on less than 24 hours notice drive a company truck for a pick up and delivery in Arkansas. And if that wasn't enough being told by management that I would receive two weeks pay so I could find another job well needless to say I got a one week payment with 2 weeks noted in the year to date amount. This company clearly has no concern for its employees!!!
The workers at Fred M Luth and Sons were doing a sewer repair for the metropolitan sewer district in the street outside of my home. I was impressed with how courteous all of the men were and how much they tried to limit the inconvenience for my neighbors and I
Ron is a thief! Never provide any "deposit" up front. Do not hire him! He stole $2100 claiming it was a deposit for labor and materials. Check multiple bad reviews on BBB!!
Premier put up our Christmas lights this year (2016). This is no easy feat with our circa 1927, two-story craftsman. Our very steep gable and oversize dormer require some serious roofing equipment and know-how. It took a little while to get the job done (mostly due to lousy St. Louis weather), but the final product was worth the wait.Thanks, Premier!-SB
He remodeled my basement and was quick, clean and professional. He stayed under budget, and even gave me some of my material money back. How many contractors would do that, I'd recommend him to anyone.
With NO prior notice of the major work do be done on my property, Fred Luth & Sons and their subcontractors began storm water diversion work on August 17, 2016. The underground work was completed in about 2 weeks, which involved digging up the concrete and brick on both levels of my two tier patio as well as trenching across the width of my driveway and several extra feet in my backyard. My patio and yard sat waiting for "restoration" of the brick, concrete, and sod for about 1.5 months because they were having "scheduling issues". Their brick-masons finished the two days of brick and concrete work on October 12, 2016 and sod was also installed that same day. If I hadn't hounded them for nearly a month to get the work done, I don't know when or if they would have ever "restored" my property. To top it off, the "restoration" work they did looks terrible. They ruined my brick steps by shortening the height to mask that they put my brick patio in too low. The asphalt replacement in my driveway is settling and collecting water after 2 months which means they did something wrong. They smeared excess mortar all over my retaining wall and splattered mortar or concrete water on the previously undamaged portions of my patio. It simply looks cheap, quick, and careless.Fred Luth & Sons made a terrible effort to repair my property to a decent condition. They have been unwilling to meet me at my property to discuss the poor quality of their work. And their work looks as though they cut every corner possible to just "shut me up". I will NEVER use and will NEVER recommend this horrendous contractor to any one as I do not wish such a terrible experience upon any friend or stranger.
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.