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.
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
When a car is damaged by an accident or weather, what can be repaired and what must be replaced? Or is it time to buy a new car?
No matter whether an accident involved a freshly licensed teen or an experienced driver, knowing what to do (or not do) is essential to bouncing back.
Regarding RIPOFF Review by Travis C on 2/4/15Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Travis. At Bert’s Gene Brown Transmission we encourage our clients to openly communicate any and all concerns regarding, price, quality and customer service issues. Therefore we are surprised that you did not bring this to our attention earlier so that we could address it as soon as possible. With all due respect, the cost of the transmission was $1500 exactly- not $1800 and you paid an additional $165 to have work performed on the drive shaft. The only item that comes to mind on your transmission that may have been siliconed is the governor cap. The application of silicone is standard procedure in sealing the governor cap to prevent leakage. Originally we repaired your transmission on February 13, 2013 which was 24 months ago. The repair had a 12 month or 12,000 mile warranty. To date your warranty has already been expired one year. However, as you clearly stated in your review, Steve still offered to fix your issues although the warranty had been expired approaching a year. Our intentions to satisfy your complaint was evident and clear as we willingly made efforts to reach out to you. However when I made phone contact with you to resolve the issue, you strongly rejected my request to allow Steve to join our conversation for the purpose of achieving complete clarity on the situation and you then ended the phone call. Your refusal to allow Steve to participate in an effort to resolve this issue has rendered a solution to your complaint unattainable. However, should you reconsider to take us up on our offer, we are ready and willing to stand behind our work. Please call the shop at 210-637-5555 and ask for me, Bert, directly. Once again thank you, Travis. *******Updated Response: February 7, 2015******* Hello Travis, my purpose for reaching out to you was not to create a situation that would produce an argument. The purpose of Steve being a party to the call was not for him to rebuttal you. It was for the purpose of Steve listening so he could get a complete understanding as to why you are dissatisfied since he offered to fix your issue even a yr out of warranty. I even assured you there would be no communication between you and Steve. No argument nor rebuttal from Steve will be allowed. Once again I ended my first response by offering you an open invitation should you choose to take me up on my offer. Please contact me personally. You have nothing to loose. Bring your truck so that I can check it out and test drive it. Also, please bring your receipt showing what's been repaired or replaced along with proof of payment so that we can determine an amicable agreement. It's that simple. My offer stands for 72 hours. Once again, please feel free to contact me. Thank you, Travis.
I bought a house in 2008 as an investment property, even though I knew nothing about investing in real estate, of course then the market crashed. I couldn’t find anyone to buy it so I decided to flip the house. I hired a contractor who never did any work. I heard about Armando Montelongo from one of his TV shows and watched a lot of people flipping properties. I watched all of his episodes, took a bunch of notes, then realized I was ready to flip the house. I hired a new contractor and flipped the house and made $30,000.00. Fast forward to 2015 I heard about his real estate training program. It was going to be $1,500.00. No one believed that this was a good thing, everyone told me it was a waste of time, but I’d made $30,000.00 just from watching Armando’s TV show! So, I went and was totally blown away.What was undeniable was how much I learned in those first three days of the seminar that I decided to go to the bus tour. Everyone told me that was just their way of upselling me into spending more money, but I knew it was the only way I was going to get out of the rat race. The bus tour was everything and beyond. I ate up all the information, I took pages and pages of notes. It was an amazing experience. When I get back home I knew I had the education I needed to get going. I realized I needed to take the wholesaling class to be more prepared to get going.I spent all summer after that hustling. My first deal was $10,000.00, my next deal was $5,000.00. I realized that I needed a good realtor so I could see them without delay and get comps, etc., but after working with a few, I realized it would be best if I became a Realtor so I could acquire and sell the properties I flip myself.. so that's what I did. Armando Montelongo literally changed my life.
I went to the free seminar and signed up for the program, however, due to my work I was never able to get away to the next part. Wow, working so hard, with no days off... 2 years went by so fast! One day I was feeling pretty regretful about not being able to follow through and attend. So I was REALLY happy when they called me within weeks of that and offered me another opportunity to get involved! I jumped at the chance. I was going to get to that meeting in Sacramento no matter what and it was powerful. I couldn't imagine going back home to my same life and not being a part of the team and life changing opportunity. I went on the Bus Tour Training and other trainings and it's been an absolutely fantastic decision. There is a lot of information and Armando is well versed in a multitude of learning techniques, including keeping it fun, and therefore, easier for the information to become a part of you. He listens and values his students, putting a lot of effort into making sure we are successful by providing ongoing trainings, plus almost daily real time online trainings AND all the hands on help you could ask for by his superb team. Since the bus tour, I have taken other trainings, also. Armando has also provided crucial support in other related areas like Asset Protection. It is such a positive and caring organization. Friends and family know what I am doing and are excited and are involved and supportive in various ways, referring properties to me, as well as, people who need help. I know that with this program you can be guaranteed that the outcome is equal to the effort you put into it. I believe you cannot ask for more than that. I’m very satisfied with the training and I would highly recommend it as the best there is ever.
I have been coming to this shop for about 25 years. Mr. Yang and his son are expert and thoroughly honest mechanics. They are also conservative in their approach - never recommending things be worked on unless they believe there is a clear need. Do not let the modest setting mislead you – you will get the highest quality service at a fair price at Yangs.My first car to bring here was a 1983 Honda Prelude which I drove for fifteen years until it reached 340,000 miles. I liked this car – obviously – and Mr. Yang kept it running well until I just wore it out. I then bought a used Lexus SC 300 which I drove for seven years. The car was more finicky than the Honda but Mr. Yang kept it running well until I sold it at around 180,000 miles.Finally I bought a used 1999 Lexus GS 400 which I still drive. It is because I trust the Yangs that I am comfortable driving a car that is now 14 years old.I have never felt the need for the service of the Honda or Lexus dealerships in town. While I am sure that some of the dealers offer good service, I believe that my cars have been professionally maintained at a significant savings because I have used a great independent mechanic. Furthermore, I have introduced three of my friends to Yang’s and each of them are very happy with the quality and cost of the work that has been performed for them over the last fifteen years at Yangs.Finally I am always a little uncertain about glowing reviews of small businesses but I am not related in any way to the business and my recommendation is offered in the hope that if you have an Asian vehicle that you will be happy to find an honest, fairly priced, and expert mechanic.
I first heard about Armando Montelongo in January of 2016 through an internet ad. It caught my attention because I had just gotten my real estate license in New York. I had recently left 20 years of being a facility and construction manager in Manhattan. I went to the free event in my area and from there to the three-day seminar. This even was where I thought Armando's people help you decide if you are ready to commit to the next level of investment. The presentation was about changing your mindset. Clearly everyone there wanted to be successful, but they help you determine if you are ready to change your habits so that you can be successful. They helped us understand if you're sitting on the fence, whether you're ready to move on to the next level. Chris Sanders was probably the most dynamic speaker who had the ability to electrify the room. He taught us about the rule of 72 which opened my eyes to how long it would take for the money in my 401K to double. I realized that I needed to do something different.I did the bus tour that April in Dallas, and Master Mentor in May. The bus tour was kind of a party atmosphere which I think helps people learn how to break down barriers with strangers. In the end it was the bus tour which helped me really understand the flip process. Another valuable aspect of the Armando program is the Facebook group where we can connect and speak a common language about real estate. I went back to San Antonio for asset protection, and I think that is all the training I've done with them so far. I've put some bids out on foreclosures and online auctions.
I did my first flip a few years ago before I had any knowledge or experience in Real Estate, but we managed to make about $40,000 from it. So I was interested in learning more, thinking that if I can do that without knowing very much imagine what I could do with some real training. When I saw the infomercial for Armando Montelongo’s program on TV I decided this would be a good way to go.I went to the 1 day free event with my wife, I was ready to get into it and she was a little bit hesitant. It was very informative and it was something that I was very interested in. My wife started to become more and more interested at that point and we went to the bus tour together in Scottsdale, Arizona. The bus tour was very encouraging, I didn’t expect all the energy, but it made it very exciting to learn. It goes from morning until night, not just 8-5, non-stop energy. We made some great friends at the event who we stayed friends with to this day. We do a monthly meetup in Arizona that we oversee, we get anywhere from 20-30 people at those meetings. Now my wife is fully on board, in fact she’s the one who signed us up for the training on commercial deals. We’ve been working on a couple of deals and this weekend were finalizing our first wholesale deal.The support we received from the mentors has been top notch. You just have to reach out and they are there. There’s a ton of support, they don’t just give you the information and then it’s done. You can always call and get help which is huge for us. I’m now doing this full time, and in a few months my wife will be full time as well.
OMG!!! I was so amazed arriving today on 3/21/14 to pick up my vehicle after being hit on February 28 by a uninsured motorist that ran from the scene. I was really in-need of getting my 2013 kia soul bumper repaired along with other damages. My insurance agent had listed several collision repairs locations but they was too far from home, so the agent had mention service king on 736 s. w. military drive, san Antonio TX 78221. I had took my car there free of charge for a evaluation by Benny Ortega on the damages, then schedule my appointment on the 3rd of march and still having Mr. Ortega to be my advisor throughout the process of my vehicle being repaired. His services was over-the-top excellent. He kept in touch with me throughout the weeks especially calling my mother to give her the update just incase he couldn't reach me. And the receptionist Jennifer and Javier and the manager Bob McNatt and even one of the service men that was in the garage was such wonderful people that kept a positive face; and that Javier knew his cars right off the bat when he was giving me a tour of what was being done on my vehicle unlike the service man that too gave me a update. I really do appreciate this company hard work of getting my vehicle repaired in an sufficient amount of time while I was using a rental during the weeks of not having my vehicle and now I can see myself using this company in the future and referring more customers to your location. Thank you so very much and now I am a official service queen client.
I brought my brand new 2013 Escape in to have a door ding fixed. I was not having the best of luck finding a PDR tech to fix it. Recent hail storm has everyone busy. I lived with this eye sore on my body line for a month as it was a very stressed dent in my door. Can be seen at a distance and looked really bad in the sun. Desperate still I went to Google and found Dent Dawg. I told Chris my situation and asked if there were any way he could squeeze me in as I know everyone is busy but the hail storm was on Easter. This is now May. No problem bring it in. Sent him the best pic I could. Quoted me a price from the photo which matched previous site seen quotes. Other PDRs said all day job. My appt was made within 3 days and it only took an hour. Jeremy was my tech. Excellent job. Punctual, greeted me immediately, quoted me the price up front and timeline. Offered me coffee ( fresh Keurig) or soda. Handed me the tv remote so I was comfy on their clean sofa. Place is very clean which is not expected from a shop as they use a lot of grease and dirt. Has toys for kids. Great to know as I witnessed they have business with a reputable car rental co. Jeremy told me everything they did and made sure I was happy. I washed my car and I really inspected it and I can no longer see this eye sore. This is a long response but I am so happy to have received excellent service today. I love my car and take pride in it. Thanks Dent Dawg if I have any other problems I'll look you up!
I heard about Armando Montelongo’s program on late-night television back in 2012. I have been interested in getting involved in real estate for over 30 years and thought it was time to get started in it. The three-day event was phenomenal, the speakers were clear and enthusiastic. The material was fairly new to me, although I do have a background in construction. I had always wanted to flip houses, but had never considered the possibility of passive income. The bus tour was next and again, great information and the ability to see it in person while walking through the houses. One of my main takeaways was the systematic approach that Armando takes. There really isn’t any guesswork involved. You keep in mainstream and simple, you leave your emotions out of it. I keep updated with Armando’s webinars and have kept in touch with some of the people I’ve met along the way. Since the bus tour one of my big push was finding an investor. I was able to see that the people I know who have of money understand that it takes money to invest and that they are likely to be interested in working together. I’ve worked with a lot of millionaires and I worked up the courage to ask them to invest with me. Now I’ve done 25 wholesale deals, 30-40 flips, and now I have 26 rentals. It kind of amazes me. I literally spent everything I had to go through this training because I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do. If you simply take action and follow the system you’ll be successful
I heard about Armando Montelongo's real estate program from an infomercial and was very interested in it. I have a background in real estate and wanted to learn more. I had just aquired my first rental property at the time and was interested in having more rentals for the income. The speakers at the three-day event were absolutely wonderful. They seemed to have done what they were teaching which made it feel more doable. The bus tour was great, I liked it a lot. I'm not very outgoing so the party, jump up and down atmosphere was different for me. I did ok with it though, although I enjoyed going through the houses more. Seeing the houses and applying the system to them was great education. They broke us up into teams and had some friendly competition. I guess they are trying to help people like me who are more introverted and to get comfortable with networking. The support that I've received from Armando's group has been incredible. I've been working with a mentor who is there to help in any way I need. I was working on a deal and my mentor was with me every step of the way. He spent so much time with me, he was able to work with me on my computer remotely and was out of this world in his help. I've also taken the Master Mentor three-day class. I think the Master Mentors class was the best investment out of all the Armando courses. I've been working on a couple of deals so far and feel that soon something will go through. I would recommend this program.
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.