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.
16018 University Oak, Suite 101San Antonio, TX 78249
I’m very pleased that I got my money’s worth from this San Antonio AC repair company when it comes to the tune up. I just saw my first power bill and my AC unit is significantly more efficient than it was before the tune up was done.
7614 Susan Elaine StSan Antonio, TX 78240
My heater had stopped heating, and a friend of mine referrred me to this company, I got a same day appt. , the girl answering the phone was very knowledgeable, got work done same day and was VERY satisfied with the fast and great work. I would recommend this company to anyone, Keep up the good w…
11403 Jones Maltsberger RdSan Antonio, TX 78216
These guys helped me out of a huge jam. Woke up on a Sun. morning and the house is super hot. Called Comfort Air Engineering and they came within an hour. The tech said it was a freon leak and wouldn't be able to fix until tomorrow but would add freon to get us through the day. I told them i …
10927 Wye Dr Ste 102San Antonio, TX 78217
The customer service rep and Eric, the technician, were both extremely helpful and professional. The issue was resolved quickly and Eric was great about explaining what the problem was and maintenance strategies moving forward. He also took a moment to make sure my son felt more comfortable ha…
15440 TradesmanSan Antonio, TX 78249
From Business: Mission has been installing and servicing plumbing, air conditioning and heating systems of exceptionally high quality since 1956. We have the expertise to handle all of your mechanical system needs. We provide high quality installation and service at competitive costs. We are proud of our policy: do your absolute best to …
12747 Cimarron PathSan Antonio, TX 78249
From Business: Our Business Is Built On A Reputation For Excellence Behind every Mueller and Wilson job stands decades of construction industry experience. Originally incorporated in 1949, Mueller and Wilson is well-known throughout South Texas for its emphasis on job quality, cost efficiency, business integrity, and dependability. Muell…
3700 Fredericksburg RdSan Antonio, TX 78201
Love these guys. They've done eveything from installing a first time air conditioning with all new ductwork in a 70 year old duplex to troubleshooting small problems in a newer home. Honest and great quality. Highly recommend.
5522 Rittiman RdSan Antonio, TX 78218
From Business: Holt Mechanical has been serving Columbus and the surrounding area for nine years. Holt Mechanical's partners combine their knowledge and expertise to perform plumbing, heating, and cooling work.Todd Holt brings twenty-six years of commercial experience in plumbing, HVAC, welding, and commercial kitchen equipment work to t…
12700 Oconnor RdSan Antonio, TX 78233
From Business: TDIndustries delivers a comprehensive approach to Facility Services and Mechanical Construction. TD partners with clients across the entire lifecycle of a facility from engineering and construction to operations and maintenance. For more than 65 years, TDIndustries has provided innovative design and performance of world-cl…
4843 Bucknell StSan Antonio, TX 78249
Made an appointment and someone was able to come the following morning. Robert arrived on schedule, was courteous and fixed my plumbing issues in an hour. Highly recommend this company for fast and reliable service.
1914 Breeden AveSan Antonio, TX 78212
From Business: International Mechanical Services, Inc ( IMS ) is a Texas based mechanical contracting company specializing in HVAC and Plumbing. IMS offers a complete range of mechanical services and we aim to get your job done on-time and within your budget. IMS is dedicated to keeping ahead of our industries' advancements in service an…
1441 S WW White RdSan Antonio, TX 78220
From Business: Accu-Aire Mechanical provides commercial heating and air conditioning service, implementation, and maintenance. Accu-Aire Mechanical provides customized air quality solutions for working environments. Accu-Aire, LLC is dedicated to providing guaranteed satisfaction to our customers through close personal attention and thro…
93San Antonio, TX 78209
I called Schmidt Mechanical Group, Inc. after hrs. and the technician arrived with an hr. He did a great job of diagnosing my system and explaining it to me. Thank you for the honest and reliable service. I would recommend this company!!
7439 Saddle Bend DrSan Antonio, TX 78238
JP Mechanical has helped our family and friends with all of our A/C and heating needs. He is friendly, courteous, and always on time. His prices are very reasonable! We highly recommend him! Thank you JP Mechanical!!!!
250 Treeline ParkSan Antonio, TX 78209
Looking for a air conditioning contractor you can trust? Look no further! We’re committed to the craft of air conditioning contractor and serving you with honesty, quality, and value.
1215 San FranciscoSan Antonio, TX 78201
From Business: Gillette Air Conditioning has been providing a variety of AIR conditioning. Heating. Refrigeration and boilers for commercial and industrial facilities since 1959. It offers various services and solutions that include installation. Repair. Preventive maintenance and emergency service. It also provides service for centrifug…
223 Howard StreetSan Antonio, TX 78212
From Business: Staying cool and content on even the hottest Texas days is much easier with a working air conditioning unit. At Flo-Rite Mechanical, we offer all the services necessary to keep your home or business comfortable, even when the temperatures reach as high as 100 degrees.
1446 N Flores StSan Antonio, TX 78212
From Business: A. J. Monier & Co. Inc. is a full-service mechanical contractor. The company offers a range of services, such as plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) services. Located in San Antonio, Texas., its plumbing services include drain cleaning/repair sewer line, gas line replacement/repairs, sewer camera vid…
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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Jose was right on time and fixed my leaking faucet very quickly and Didn’t charge me extra because it was 8pm in the evening. Thanks!!
Elbel Plumbing has now raised their billing to $149/hr for possibly one worker. They have been out numerous times for reconstruction on our lightning struck house reconstruction contractor, and numerous times since we let the reconstruction contractor go. Before they charged $120/hr with two workers showing up. When I spoke with the supervisor he said "Oh we do not charge for a helper". So beware they have raised theit hourly charge by just under 25% and can send out one worker to double the hours they get to charge for.
Timely, efficient, courteous, professionalComments: Enjoyed working with this crew. They were all great people and efficient as well as very polite and professional. Showed up when they said they would. Highly recommend this company for your needs. If needed in the future would use again.Sandi F. San Antonio, Texas
2 Months ago, the master bathroom toilet overflooded. My bathroom was flooded with waste water. Alltech Restoration came, and they removed all the nasty water, dried, sanitized and repaired all the damage. Ilie and his guys were very professional. Lorie S. New Braunfels TexasLorie Smith
We were so happy with Alltech Restoration. They were so nice and professional. When I called and needed assistance with dealing with my insurance company they were amazing and guided me in working everything out. I would highly recommend this company if someone was in need of restoration. I know I will use them again!!! Edward J. San Antonio TX
Don't know what day it is but I do know Project New Kitchen and New Deck has a new name....Project New Entire Downstairs, Backyard and Garage update.....I may have mentioned our crew Alltech Restoration before but I'm mentioning them again, we absolutely love and adore these guys. If you are in need of a remediation team I will gladly give you their number and will know how much you will love them and I will know how much they will fill your hearts with confidence, care and love. It’s truly impossible to put into words having a team demolishing your home with such care. When they are walking out of your home and asking you the story behind different things or handing you family pictures that were floating in nasty water or discovering a hidden safe in the floor and running out to get us to show us. (It's so cool!!) God sent these gentlemen to us, I have no doubt they are angels on earth.Elizabeth S. Houston TX
Great response to a water leak in the wall on Friday night. Larry was here promptly and within an hour the leak had been repaired. This is the second time I've used Shafer Services for water issues. And in both cases the quality of their work has been outstanding. They will be my plumbing service for the future. Great job - thank you, Larry
Called RR for a clogged drain. They were professional and explained all charges prior. I asked about a bathroom drain reconfigure and he happily added it and did an amazing job. I am very happy with the work done! I would definitely call them again!
I am extremely happy and impressed with this company and their employees!! We had a significant leak somewhere in our around our house. We have American Home Shield so we decided to try them first. The company they sent out were able to narrow down the leak to our old water softener to the meter but told us they would have to dig up our years and essentially destroy our brick garden to find the leak OR we could just opt for a completely new water line to the house which also result in major trenching and costly repair. We called Shafer on the recommendation of my dad and they came out the next day we called. Within 20 minutes of detection work Ismael and his assistant Tina found the exact location of the leak!! The next day their diggers came out to prep the area and the day after that they came out early and fixed the leak within an hour!! The cost for the fix was not as bad as I expexted, considering the first company was going to charge $295 an hour labor for the first hour and $195 for every hour after. They were very professional and explained everything in a way I could Understand. I was also impressed with their office staff. I spone to two people a woman (whose name unfortunately I cannot Recall) and Adan! They were both lovely to talk to, didn’t interrupt when I was rambling on and the communication between appointments was excellent. They didn’t give me a 4 or 5 hour window like most companies do. They told me a time and showed up on time or even earlier! I HIGHLY recommend Shafer Services for your plumbing needs and ask for Ismael and Tina or Adan to talk to in the office for scheduling!!
My toilet shut off valve had a leak so I called and within in a couple of hours they sent a plumber right out. Jose did an amazing job he had everything up and running within no time. He answered all my questions. I would definitely hire him again.
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.