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.
7711 Louis Pasteur Dr Ste 105San Antonio, TX 78229
My mother, sister and I have been patient's of Dr. Karen Hasty for over 10 years and we love her! Truly a great doctor as well as a good person. Never a long wait in the office and very efficient staff.
1844 Fredericksburg RdSan Antonio, TX 78201
My fiancee and I are getting married next year. We saw the beautiful set ups in the store so we made an appointment to go over their packages. We waited outside the business for 15 minutes for the owners showed up. Stuff happens right so I let it slide, we picked out a package and set up another…
San Antonio, TX 78248
I wish I could give ZERO STARS!\r \r BE VERY CAREFUL - DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY.\r \r Jeff Flores is a very slick and deceitful salesman. He performed services for which he was not competent to do but claimed to have the experience and knowledge. He claimed to warranty his work but he has faile…
San Antonio, TX 78257
It was ok. The man who came to do it was nice enough. They do nickel and dime you however, what you think was one window can end up being charged as 4 - it depends on how many winow panes there are, regardless of size. For example ( http://dailyhomerenotips.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/window-…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Loved how nice the staff was everything was easy and clear good customer service would recommend to everyone
Wonderful customer service and overall excellent experience !!!!! Place is clean and organized and staff is very friendly !
Super friendly people! Great atmosphere!!! I tell everyone to come here! They treat you like a person and not a number!
From the moment I walked in the door the staff was extremely helpful and friendly, any question's or concern's I had were addressed quickly, will be recommended to my family and friends
The selection was great and the staff was amazing. Best place to buy a can. Just as they said no gimmicks!
The entire project was pleasant and I would prefer this company to anyone. They kept their schedule and I liked the price
JD Byrider helped me get into a vehicle when no other car lots wanted to because of my credit. They are very friendly and quick to get you into a vehicle. They do everything they can to help you get into a vehicle the same day. I highly recommend them. A+
Bought car took 3hrs to take out lot. Drove 20min to work and motor mount broke i called valencia and explained what happened. Nobody helped me got no call back. I had to leave car stranded. 2 days later they call back. Takes them 2 weeks to fix mount. Never fixed ac or other problems they asked me about. Christian said car was for his daughter but didnt want it.After i let them no my motor mount they just installed got loose again it took themmore than a week to call me back. Then right after my harmonic balancer broke and left me stranded. Next day they picked up car i called everyday and they said mechanic was looking at it. Then he ordered the wrong part it didnt fit. Had to order new one 2nd week i called everyday christian was in meetings or junkyard or auction but no calls. Finally he calls tells me it wasnt due to motor mount breaking that balancer broke but it was at mechanics. I asked them if i gave him more money if i can get another vehicle because car was a lemon to begin with. No answer. 3rd week i call all week i get no answer and when they did christian again not to be found. I show up that friday and find my car in parking lot walk to it and car is unlocked and my radio torn out.. Stolen.. And they said car was at mechanics. All that time it had been sitting there not being touched. All they were was lies. And christian has the audacity to say he told me to remove radio from car every time i leave car so they wont steal it.. They left my car unlocked and its my fault. He finally calls me the next day and pretty much tells me its my fault about radio. And all these lies and excuses. They didnt want to help me not give me back my down payment or help me get into another vehicle. All he did was screw me out of money and car. I told him it left me and my kids stranded on a hot day with my autistic daughter and had to walk to drop them off at there grandmothers house. And he told me that he didnt care about that. I told him i was getting a lawyer and reporting him to the BBB. And he didnt care anyways. He got his money and his car back. And hes gonna resale it and make more money on it. Hope people read this and stay away from here.
I was disappointed when I ate dinner at this restaurant. The waitress was rude when I asked if she could explain what was in the menu that I selected. She acted agitated as if she was doing me a favor to serve me. She never came back to ask if I was ok with the food. She nor the receptionist ever said thank you for dining with them. I will never go there again.
They were very helpful and kind. Their service was awesome.
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.