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.
749 Heathrow LnPalm Harbor, FL 34683
Owner does all work...very meticulous in work with reasonable prices and quick to get back to you. Would definitely recommend to others!!!!!
15921 N Florida AveLutz, FL 33549
From Business: Independent Plumbing of Florida, NC.Independent Plumbing was established in 1975 in Tampa Florida. Since then we have grown to serve the entire state of Florida. …
7216 21st St ESarasota, FL 34243
We called Best Home Services when our bathroom drains stopped draining. The service they provided us from the phone call to the plumber leaving our …
298 S Schuyler AveBradley, IL 60915
From Business: Heatwave Home Services Inc. is a locally owned and operated residential and commercial heating and air conditioning company serving the Bradley and Kankakee, IL a…
18845 Sakera RdHudson, FL 34667
From Business: Solar Water Heaters of Hudson is a locally-owned and operated company with the experience needed to handle any project. We heated the Olympic Pool in 1996 and hav…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Decide if a traditional water heater is right for you, and how to find the right one.
Hard water can cause scaly buildup on your bathroom and kitchen fixtures; increase water bills; and clog pipes. Learn what you can…
Great. Honest service I would recommend this company to any one. So hard to find a legitimate ac contractor
We discovered our AC went out after midnight, on a Saturday evening. We contacted Gator Mechanical Sunday morning and the service tech had us go through some troubleshooting tips before he came out. It worked! He saved us a bunch of money! We will definitely be using them in the future!
When the rep finally arrived (almost two hours past the window we were told he would be there) we discussed the problem and the options. The rep was willing to work with us and go in through a riskier pipe to avoid the chaos of removing a brand new toilet that was installed and grouted into the tile. He was patient yet persistent and it paid off - he got to the clog in our pipes and all was good. He was very tidy while there and cleaning up completely after himself. I would use Roto-Rooter again and I would recommend them.
WESLEY WAS FANTASTIC! After the 2 clowns that were here less than 24 hrs. When u pay $190 u should expect a DECENT JOB DONE WELL! Why does it take 2 polish guys to clear a toliet...it was a circus? I will give Wesley the highest recommendation!!!!! Give the man a raise!!!!!!!!
Initially, I would have given Buba and Barrow Construction a B or B+ for the work performed despite some minor things that were never completed. As to the length of the project, I would have to give him an F. What was suppose to be a 2-3 month timeline from start to finish, ended up taking a full 6 months, and then not everything was finished since Buba had already moved on to other projects and was not willing to attend to the remaining work. What was so frustrating for me was the constant excuses he would give me as to why things were taking so long. Finally it occurred to me that Barrow Construction was either over extended in it's projects, was having serious financial problems, or both. As to the financial problems, that's a certainty. Upon near completion of the project, Buba was given a deposit in the amount of $1,500 for some roof work I was going to have him do as well. Shortly afterwards, he told me he would not be doing the roof and would refund my deposit. It's now been over two months and despite my many efforts to reach out to him, he has chosen to ignore my demands. If that wasn't bad enough, a few weeks ago I received a lien notice from one of his subcontractor's lawyer stating that I was responsible for an unpaid bill in the amount of $1,100. Finally, his stated 12 month warranty will not be honored in regard to a plumbing problem I encountered two weeks following completion, or a window that I pointed out was cracked at the time it was installed or soon thereafter. Since it now spans the entire length of the window, I notified Buba again after numerous previous efforts that my tenant was concerned for her safety as Irma was approaching, but again my concerns were completely ignored. I pleaded with him in my last e-mail to please just make this right and avoid the headache and expense that we're both going to have to endure through this process, but again my efforts were ignored and no response whatsoever. Doug Ronco Wabash Rentals LLC 727-459-3937 10/7/17 It's now been over 3 months and I'm preparing to take Barrow Construction to small claims court. He has chosen to ignore the extensive documentation I've submitted to the BBB and will soon have his rating lowered substantially when his second 10 business day timeframe has expired to address my grievances. This week I'm going to be filing a complaint with extensive documentation to the Pinellas Board of Licensing Contractors to see if they're willing to do anything.
Terry G Perkins Construction did a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, utility room addition to my house. I am completely unsatisfied and angry. My hardwood floors buckled almost immediately. Terry tried 3 or 4 low costs ways of fixing the problem, everything short of fixing the problem. He never refinished the floors although he promised to. He also chose a horrible HVAC system from a company with a horrible reputation (Nordyne). From day one it would not cool the addition. The installer came back multiple times and was unable to make it cool properly. Parts rusted on the outside compressor and two coils have failed. Terry acknowledged that it was a poor system but did nothing to correct this problem. I asked him if he would pay half the cost of a new system from a reputable company, and he refused to do that. He did acknowledge that it was a poor choice but he basically said his choice was my problem not his. In addition literally thousands of dollars worth of jewelry was stolen by subcontractors working the job. There is no way of proving this but they were the only ones with access to the house when the jewelry went missing. I have not tried to hold Terry responsible for this, because I know that he would just blame the subcontractors (that he chose). I cannot recommend him and will certainly never use him again.
Anglo did a remodel on my dining room and was supposed to fix a leaky slider. The next rain it still still leaked. They came back and again said it was fixed. During the Aug storm we had a major leak no flooding. I had an inspector out to find the problem. He wrote a description of a slider pan installed incorrectly that was causing the leak. I have spoken the Adam once and he said he would get back to me. That was 3 weeks ago. I have left many messages with the owner Henry as well. I am very dissatisfied..
We were very pleased -- they were professional and did a great job! I have no reservation in recommending them.
We had a problem with a rental condo we have and didn't have an A/C company we were comfortable with. I read a bunch of 5 star reviews so called them. We had Toni call and they were out that day. The problem was fixed and renter happy. Two days later one of our home a/c units stopped cooling. We called Toni again and they were there later that day. He and his partner , Josh I think, were professional and friendly. Main thing is they had the problem fixed within a few minutes. Was just a contact and they didn't try to just over sell the problem. Much Appreciated.
First, this company goes by multiple names to include: WSV Group, The Metal Roof Experts and The Metal Roof and Window Experts. I arranged for an estimate at the local home show in Tampa. The owner arrived promptly and had samples available. The price was comparable to other contractors in the area. I signed a contract with the company on the same day. The employees were very professional and cleaned up every day. My only complaint about this company was that it took three weeks to complete the roof. I suggest that others get a performance period in writing.
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.