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.
370 E South Temple Ste 100Salt Lake City, UT 84111
I love this place! I've had knee problems for about 3 years and physical therapy just wasn't enough on its own. Since coming to the chiropractor (Dr…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
My 91 year old uncle, recently released from the hospital before the holiday had come down with the flu. Being out of town, I contacted Harmony Home Health and they had a hospice nurse at the door within the hour to do an evaluation on his health. As a result, and at her professional advice, we moved him to the hospital for additional medical care. Thank you Harmony for your professional service.
We are selling our house and had some small leaks to fix based on our home inspection. The company called to change the first appointment the day of because they overbooked. So there is strike 1. Then they came out to fix our leaks as said. Took them 45 min. The next day we receive our bill, and it is $267 for 2 small leaks. I thought it was very high and upon looking at the bill, we were charged not only 1.5 hours for what they did (only there for 45 min), we were charged that twice because they had 2 technicians there. When I called and asked about it the owner of the company (John) and told him that those leaks did not require 2 technicians, he proceeded to tell me that the job after ours requires 2 so it didn't make sense to leave one guy at the shop and then have to go back and get him later, so they both came to my house...that is not ok. I am not responsible for the job after mine. If my job is small enough to require only one person than I should be charged just for that person doing the job and only for the 45 min it required! Also, found out that they found a leak in the shower (we did not ask or tell them to fix this!) and they took it upon themselves to fix that leak instead of the original leak on the master bathtub so they called my realtor and made another appointment to come back out and fix the original leak that was supposed to be fixed. This company is rude and unprofessional and will try to rip you off any chance they get! DO NOT hire these crooks!
18 months ago at the end of her life, our mother was given the utmost care and respect at Care Source as she prepared to pass away. Additionally we siblings and family were supported in every way. The care was individualized, family was welcome at all hours. The non-institutional feeling was welcome to us as our mother had been hospitalized and in rehab often in the last few years of her life. At Care Source there were no medication carts, meal carts, and homey atmosphere. We were aware that our mother's hygiene was serviced often as well as with maximum privacy and sensitivity. Even after her passing extreme sensitivity was given as mortuary had been given special instruction per Care Source. Very impressed with all feature. As Senior Citizens ourselves, my husband and I have decided we wish our final days to be spent at Care Source Inpatient Hospice if necessary. This will be designated in our Family Trust to avoid confusion among our family. Susan BeyerFor Susan BeyerGerrí TaylorSeth KleinLee Klein and Extended family.
Jeff and his crew (Brenda) worked so hard to help me get a crazy rate of 3.2 in October. They called me constantly working to get any kind of information that would help them give me such a great deal. I love these folks, you can't go wrong with them.
Jeff does a great job simplifying the mortgage process and I can always trust him to give me the best mortgage options for me and my family.
It has taken over 45 minutes for the man at the front desk to check in three single reservations. There are 5 people in line behind me. I won't ever stay here again, by the time he gets me checked in I will need to go get to the airport for my flight!
BED BUGS!!! Nasty!!! Don't go there! Only go here if you're on meth. This place is nasty. Meth dealers live there and they sell meth to the same people every night. Every three hours or so the same people comedy around. Our heat went out and the night worker said they turn the heat off sometimes if they feel like you're using too much. For some reason every dude that stays there thinks they can intimidate everybody that stays there. If you don't back down, they scatter like cockroaches. A guy in a white Honda sleeps in his car every night. He pees in a cup and pours it out every morning. We watched it every morning that we were there. A motorcycle comes by at 2am and 5am every night. He came by every 3 hours or so. He's either making a meth delivery or picking up. It's a ridiculous haven for drug activity. Then the motorcycle guy will rev his engine while he's out there in the middle of the night. It makes for a great sleep experience. The management doesn't even change the blanket on the bed between customers. The floors will get your feet black. If you made the mistake of paying for a week and try to clean up a little, the management will treat you like crap because you bring back a dirty wash rag from cleaning THEIR floors. It's so so so nasty. They accept cash only. There are several tenants that have lived there for years (for over $1000 a month), and most of them are dealing meth. There's hoards of people roaming around at night. There's tenants with junk in the parking spots that the herds of meth addicts tweek out on almost every night. It's just a nasty place. Don't stay here unless you're on meth!!!!!!!
Disgusting, dirty, and full of prostitutes and drug dealers...The place should be shut down permanently.
I had the pleasure of having Mike S. out to service my garage door. He was out right during the planned on appt. He brought great knowledge and quickly identified the issues and provided training on how to take better care of my door. He remembered me from an earlier appt he had done years ago where he repaired my Air Conditioning Blower Motor and I had only positive memories of the experience even though the work was more involved and the solution not as easy. he worked until he had it right! Thanks Mike at @ Home Service. - K in Lehi
If you can avoid it, don't use this company. They are not of any help and cannot seem to follow simple instructions. We needed them for just 8 days and they completely failed to be of any use.
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.