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.
4430 Lehman DrSan Antonio, TX 78219
From Business: WE HAVE OVER 30 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN THE FENCING BUSINESS. COME TO US FOR GREAT DISCOUNTS & SERVICE. WE WILL MATCH & BEAT ANY PRICE BY 10%. GIVE US A CALL TO RECEIVE SAVINGS & QUALITY...
San Antonio, TX 78245
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6211 Linus StSan Antonio, TX 78238
From Business: Welcome to South Texas Roofing. We have been in the area for 10 years and have over 20 years experience helping homeowners with their roofing needs. Excellent craftsmanship, communication and quality are yours with a phone call away. Call today for your free estimate!
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Had the exterior of our home completed in Stone Oak and we were blown away with final result! Great guys you have working with you. Thanks for everything- Salinas family
Did not complete the project in the 3 days he stated. Failed to show when he stated he would. I put 3 stars because the frame was done okay (not level for window and door opening and all part were not secured) but most importantly, it was not supported correctly. Without sending an invoice, he messaged me with threats for payment. HIGHLY UNPROFESSIONAL.
Siding deck fencing and porch
Clean up was okay. However contractor, Fernando ripped us off for over 5000 dollars. We were over 30 days after paying sitting in a hotel and our home a mess. We finally took a stance at the 45 day mark and hired other contractors to come in and do the work. Rapid Restoration kept 5995 dollars and it's been 8 months and not even the owner has tried to contact us. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY.
We hired Bravi (previously Lone Star remodeling and renovations) back in May to remodel four rooms in our house (3 bedrooms and a laundry room). The project was supposed to cost $43517 and take about 2 months. After working on the project for a little over a month and paying them $38930 they disappeared off of the face of the earth. It has been four weeks since we have seen anyone and anytime we have been able to get a hold of them it has been nothing but excuses. None of the work we have paid for has been fully complete, and they have left us with a huge mess. We also prepaid for a bunch of materials that we still haven't even seen pictures of. We've estimated that they owe us about $20000 in labor and materials that we have not received. We're currently trying to figure out how to get that money back so we can hire someone else. In summary, the work that was done isn't awful, but once they got paid they bailed. This is the most stressed out I've been in my life, and I wouldn't wish this on anyone. Look elsewhere.Edit: We were finally able to get a hold of them after a month and a half and they informed us they no longer had our money as they had spent it on another job and had been stalling us hoping they would get money from elsewhere to finish our job. I'll update again if we ever see our money again. I definitely recommend you hire anyone else.
Do not use these guys. They will take your money and disappear before the job is done. Very unprofessional.
I have no idea what this person is talking about below, but I worked for Nick and he always paid on time and still, sadly I heard about his most recent loss on a job, a lot of his tools were stolen from some dishonest craigslist helpers, and he lost the job because of it. All in all Nick is a true craftsman
Allowing Galvez Works into our home was a HUGE mistake. Jaime Galvez seems to use whatever measures possible to cut expenses to maximize profits and then inflates his costs to the consumer. He refused to send over licensed professionals unless told that we'd hire our own at his expense. His crew rarely had their own tools, we still wonder how many of our tools walked out of our door with them. His crew damaged numerous items in our home due to lack of care or concern for a client's belongings. Jaime rarely would respond to request for a completion date. Rarely would he respond to an request for communication. He just ignores calls and texts. His crew flooded our house twice, ruining 2 sets of wood floors. He then replaced the original hardwood floors with an inferior grade wood that is now cracking and buckling. When he installed the new windows, he didn't use tempered glass and didn't use flashing, which is not to code and the lack of flashing will cause the windows to rot out of their frames and cause the wall around them to rot. The gas line that Galvez Works installed is touching electrical line, which is a potential fire hazard. The cabinets, which are much taller than average, are only bolted to the wall with ONE screw! The paint on the cabinets is cracking. The tile on the backsplash is chipped and the pattern doesn't match. His crew had no clue what a herringbone pattern was and we had to print an example for them. The plumbing isn't to code. The sink piping is installed backward so that the dirty water will back up. Jaime stood in our kitchen when payment to the general contractor was discussed. He knew that the general contractor was getting payments and wasn't paying him. Instead of demanding payment for his work from the general contractor, Jaime inflated his costs and filed a lien on our property.
Where to start.. I have worked with many contractors in the San Antonio area. These take the cake for dishonesty and unprofessionalism. "Worked" in my house for over two months and didnt get a thing done. During demo messed up multiple items which now have to be repaired and demo-ed with little regard to the end product. I was told work would be done in a couple of weeks and all I received were excuses for why work wasnt being done. Ive seen other reviews about these people and I tend to agree. Apparently this family has many problems going on in their lives and it is reflected in their quality of work which is just piss-poor. At the end of the day I had to hire someone else to do the job they were hired to do. Those people have now had to go back and redo the little work that was done as it was done very poorly. Glad I wont be working with these people again.
Replaced roof and took two years to start repair. Still not complete after 23 contacts. Probably the poorest company and services that I have ever had contact with. AVOID at all cost.
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.