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.
3702 N Frisco RdSherman, TX 75090
From Business: Sisemore Services has been in business since 1973 and we are a family business right here in the Texoma Area. We are Licensed, Bonded and Insured for your protection. We do Air Conditioning and Heating, We also install and do fixture replacement. We do Water & Sewer Lines. We are your Water Heater Specialist.
201 N Walnut StSherman, TX 75090
I dealt with a person named Mark. A tenant had flushed items in the toilet that ruined a $1500 lift station which had already been previously replaced. Roto rooter, installed a new sewer line to a lower location sewer connectoin that resulted in the elimination of the costly, high maintenance li…
Serving the Sherman Area.
From Business: Economy Sewer & Drain Cleaning was established in 1992. Our family-owned and -operated business serves residential and commercial customers and all their plumbing…
2405 Interstate 30Mesquite, TX 75150
Exceptional Service - Reasonable price! Al diagnosed the problem and fixed it in no time - with minimal expense! Will definitely use again in the future, as well as recommend to friends. Cannot say enough good things about our experience with Flow Plumbing!
1012 Luke StIrving, TX 75061
From Business: We are a full service heating and air conditioning contractor offering, residential and commercial heating and air conditioning repair, maintenance, service and replacement to our customers. We take pride in meeting our customers' comfort, needs and providing exceptional service every time. We are an American Standard Cust…
215 N Denny StHowe, TX 75459
From Business: Baker Air Conditioning & Heating Inc has been providing the Howe area the best quality Air Conditioning and Heating work for over 20 year. With highly trained specialist you can trust they will get your job done quickly and correctly the fist time. What are you waiting for give us a call today!
11024 Indian TrlDallas, TX 75229
They are very, very expensive for one.I called in about a natural gas leak once with the furnace, and they sent someone over with a carbon monoxide detector. WTF! I also found it strange that they had to first send someone from the mechanical division to check the gas lines in the attic, and the…
11055 Plano RdDallas, TX 75238
From Business: As a family owned and operated company since 1903, Dallas Plumbing Company continues to serve the Plumbing, Air Conditioning and Heating needs of homes and commercial businesses in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We service ALL MAKES & MODELS of Air Conditioning and Heating Systems and Plumbing products. In 1955, the company a…
2830 Storey LnDallas, TX 75220
From Business: The Drain Doctor professionals are experts at sewer and drain cleaning. Since we first opened our doors to serve the Metroplex back in 1973, we have provided drain service only. As a result, Drain Doctor is the Dallas Plumbing industry leader with clean equipment and the most thoroughly trained, courteous service technicia…
7780 Harwin DrHouston, TX 77036
From Business: Tri State Professional Services is your "go-to" construction/contracting/building contractor for just about any service you need. Whether it's plumbing, roofing, electric, or just general building needs - we've got you covered!We have crews ready to handle your job throughout the state. All our crews are of course insured …
Dallas, TX 75225
C&C is hands down the best!! We've used them for over 10 years and have NEVER had a problem. They're the CHEAPEST around, work you into their schedule as quickly as possible and do awesome work. Whether it's a major problem or stopped-up potty, C&C can get it done! We recommend them to e…
4181 Billy Mitchell DrAddison, TX 75001
Local company , guys always showed up on time. Replaced entire gas line in back yard . Did good clean up afterwards . Workers were good guys shot straight . I think they look out for the customers. It was a bad situation but they fixed it and got it done. Very pleased with their perfo…
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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Rude and didn't listen to my concerns about where the water leak was coming from. Broke the compression water valve to my toilet. I only needed the wax ring replaced to prevent leaking. They LIED and told me a full rebuild or replacement of the toilet was needed; and wanted to charge me over $460 for the toilet PLUS labor. The total bill would have been almost $600. As soon as they left, I cancelled the plumbing service right away. I sued them for lying, breaking the water valve, etc.
Horrible, I only called and asked for a simple estimate only at this time on work needed for kitchen sink move. RUDE told I needed to remove all cabinets, wall sheetrock countertops and still did not want to give me an estimate. Finally after talking to BOSS was told 2 k for 6 ft piping move on a house with crawl space under it to work with. More $$ if I did not want to tear up the whole house to make acces easy. Would not leave until he got $85 for the visit. BADS BAD BAD.
For sure the worst plumber I have ever had to deal with. Think his name was Rick. Very rude and threatened to keep charging me if I didn't pay him as soon as he was done. Receipt didn't say hours for labor, didn't include pricing for parts. Only had the total on it. Very shady. He also left for over 1 hour to retrieve only a few parts to fix 2 broken pipes (the entire job). Of course I have to pay for that 70 minute delay at full labor cost. He even tried to charge for coming out the day earlier when he didn't inspect under home or do any work. He had decided he would come the next day and left after staying for 10 minutes. I will never use Pruitt Plumbing again. Would strongly suggest looking elsewhere for any plumbing issues.
I live in a new housing project where about 20% of the new homes have had their one inch water meters changed out and replaced with 3/4 inch meters. Many different plumbing companies have done the work in our area. Average cost 225 to 300 dollars. Rick Pruitts price 550.00 dollars. Even after getting a estimate for 275.00. firstname.lastname@example.org although there was a problem with the final charges, when Pruitt Plumbing was made aware of it they made it right by settling for 300 dollars.
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.