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.
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Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
They completed our tuck-pointing project quickly and professionally , cleaned up after themselves when done,works looks great ,and they even fixed a couple other small areas free of charge .We would recommend them to anyone
Rachel was great! Very charismatic and professional and was extremely helpful. I will be taking my daughter there as well. They also have great referral and first time incentives.
I don't know that I'll ever consider anyone else for any of my home's needs, whether it's major or minor work. Trustworthy and knowledgeable, Dale delivers on his word, doesn't try to "sell," but rather educates, and I know he's always there if something else comes up down the road.My insurance company was being a real pain but he worked with me to get what we could for the project(roof repair) and ate some cost anyway when the insurance wouldn't payout what they should.Highly recommended!
Eraka, the owner of Salon Joy, has created an amazing environment full of stylists who are the leaders in the hair industry. They are current, caring, and extremely capable of creating any hair style with cut and color you can only dream of...Pinterest-worthy hair every. single. time! I’m in awe of the environment she’s created where all of the stylists collaborate TOGETHER on your hair. I never feel bad about going to different stylists there and I always know exactly what I’ll pay! They are very up front and honest! I highly, highly recommend Salon Joy!
My hair is always laid wonderfully. It is a great place to shop and get hair done...whether it's braided or relaxed. Great place to go for great Company.
I LOVED my hair and will never let anyone but Hung my stylist, color it ever again. It is so soft and the color is beautiful. Hung is so friendly and made sure I was comfortable the whole time. The salon was very chic too. I will not be going anywhere else but "Cut it up".
I had my first experience at this salon today and it was fantastic. Tabitha dyed and cut my hair and she was amazing. The owner Victor was very friendly and checked in with me multiple times. The salon is beautiful with a laid back atmosphere. I felt very comfortable and welcome. Definitely recommend!
Quality family business in a funky atmosphere! Super attentive, expert, technique cutting & styling for both men & women. Very competitive pricing
Several miscommunications on the stylists part. I was very kind & empathetic because I knew the stylist had good intentions, but you can only be misinformed so many times when paying your bill at the end that the info you’re receiving is incorrect again. The owner acts sweet, but has a different side to her. My stylist charged me more than normal for a service on my last visit & very kindly, I said, why is it so much higher this time? The stylist is unsure & charges me the price I’ve paid in the past. I get home & see 4 missed calls from the salon, a voicemail from the owner demanding I come back to the salon immediately along with several texts from the owner telling me she is waiting for me to come back to settle my bill & when should she expect me, with screenshots prices. I call & I’m greeted by a not so friendly Eraka (the owner) telling me prices are clear & that I need to comeback & pay her. I paid the same amount I’ve paid to get my roots done & she acts surprised saying, you only had your roots done? I said yes, just roots & can hear her say to my stylist, you said she got an all over color & then says, She told me you had all over color. I said it’s crazy that she just treated me like this without even talking with me first to find out all the information. It shows that she never believed that my stylist was giving me wrong info if she’s not going to take 2 secs to call & talk to me to figure out what was happening, before demanding more payment. It made me feel very uncomfortable & embarrassed. She told me that from a mom to a mom I should be more understanding of the way she just treated me!! I told her I am very understanding & I understand mistakes happen, obviously I kept coming back to support the salon even after the miscommunications. I didn’t expect anything from her, but perhaps an I’m sorry about all this, or maybe my stylist reach out to apologize for yet another miscommunication, but I got nothing.
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.
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.