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.
I started with Jason and TC Contracting over a year ago BEFORE all of the negative reviews started under this business name. I found them on Craigslist, credentials checked out. Jason was kind in showing me cabinets, countertops, & flooring knowing that I may not even choose to do business with them as I have a brother that can do the work—I just needed to know what my options were. Jason met me on time at different locations to show me several options of each. I explained I was on a strict budget. He showed me the least expensive ways to an end and yet still have a nice outcome. We started with swapping out my wood burning fireplace for gas. I purchased the gas insert and it took several months for him to finally get the project completed but it did happen—before winter. After waiting 2 months for cabinets, kitchen was demo’d. Drywall work & flooring were completed. I was left for a month with nothing but flooring and an old refrigerator. Then a sink. It did take several months of begging, pleading, then demanding, threatening and a LOT OF CRYING(UGLY CRYING!)to get the cabinets purchased and placed. That’s where it all stopped. This is where all of these negative reviews started. It appears the business grew way too fast. Seems as though they were “robbing Peter to pay Paul”. My money was gone. A lot of money. I was told that an employee they hired was the start of their downfall. I WAS ALSO TOLD IF I WOULD JUST HOLD ON THEY WOULD MAKE IT RIGHT. I was promised if I would be patient the company would make it right. THAT TIME IS NOW. I did not hire a lawyer(I had gone to the BBB but that got me NOWHERE). I simply(HA!)had to be patient, somewhat understanding and they would make it right. THEY ARE!! They gave me half of what I was owed back in cash and they are helping to complete the project now. THEY ARE MAKING IT RIGHT AND NEED A LITTLE FAITH AND UNDERSTANDING TO TURN THIS COMPANY AROUND. THEY WANT TO DO THE RIGHT THING!
Very impressed with Adam and his crew. I highly recommend Capstone as my go to for restoration work.
We requested bids from several roofers before choosing Alpine, they were not the cheapest. They moved our project up, were reasonable after finding unforseen issues. Would highly recommend and use again.
This is not the correct phone number for this business. I wish they would change it so I would quit getting their phone calls 😐
The one star is a favor. You give these guys 100k for a house remodel you will get at most demolition. 100% guaranteed to fuck you and take your money. Then not answer there phone then when you are so frustrared with them........... he will ask you for money. Out of despair you will give it to him. Then he will go back to ignoring your calls. And him and his little sidekick will give 90% of your money to the caaino. The other 10% will be for dope and pocket change. If jason tells you the sky ia blue you better verify yourself. There are 2 crooks hiding behind the company jason father in law rex the owner and jasons embezelmental wife heather. Say hi guys.
Jason Griffin and Rex Rickard have obviously scammed a lot of people with a few different companies. Both don't follow through. They take your money, don't finish the job, and do not return your money.
Please do not deal with these people. They gave me a bid, I accepted. They wanted half down and I paid. After some prodding they said they would start the project Sept. 27. They gave me the runaround but not work. I asked for my money back which they agreed to but have never sent. I contacted a lawyer to tell them to complete the job or return the money by Oct. 31st. I have heard nothing from them. If this has happened to you, please notify the Better Business Bureau and the State's Attorney General. I believe this is a scam.
CONSIDER YOUR SELF WARNED. DO NOT USE THIS BUSINESS ! These people are unprofessional. They have mastered the art of lying. Do not use this contractor. They do not show up, they do not return phone calls but they do take the deposit and never even provide the supplies and never start the job.Hired to do dry walls and insulation for the basement. Jason Griffin from TC contracting asked for a down payment. I wrote him a check which he cashed out the next day. No one from TC contracting showed up on the day they were scheduled to start the job. I didn't receive a call about a cancellation. When asked about the reason for the no show, Jason explained he didn't have the materials to start the job yet but later stated he had to return the materials he purchased for my project in order to provide a refund. All along it has been one excuse after another. Very poor communication and very difficult to get a hold of. I finally asked for a refund of the deposit and cancellation of contract. Jason had many excuses that were contradictory. Finally he provided a check for the full amount which ultimately bounced due to insufficient funds. I have given him many deadlines to pay back the full deposit. Finally he asked me to go down to the office again and someone there will be giving me a cashier check. When I went down there I was told by the office staff that they did not have any money for me and they used foul language and kicked me out even though I asked to come down and get my money. They did that on purpose just to bully me. At this time I believe this business in unprofessional that takes peoples money and who knows what they do with it.
Did not show up for scheduled appointment through Home Advisor. After reading several poor reviews around the net I told the office gal to forget it! She had no clue. I am a busy person & I waited all morning for a no show. Be warned!
Jason Griffin is operating using a contractors license under his father in-laws name (Rex Rickard). Once they have your deposit they nearly stop answering the phone and returning texts messages. My project never was started (it should have been completed 3 weeks ago). He would tell me someone was coming by to deliver material or start the job and it would never happen. Ive spent numerous days waiting at home for them to keep appointments to no avail. When I would call or text to get an update I would get no reply. Typically later that night I would get an apologetic text saying I'll call you tomorrow or I'll personally stop by. I got every excuse imaginable except my dog ate it. If you google Jason's name you will find numerous complaints against him and several of his prior business's (Spokane Flooring, Griffin Furniture). Including a $5000 fine for soliciting/conducting business without a contractors license. Don't rely on HomeAdvisors screening process either. I Called HomeAdvisor to complain about him the rep seemed concerned and he said they would call me back in a few days to follow up. They didn't call me back as they said they would. I called a second time and got a Voicemail saying they would call back in a few days. No help there ....Clearly Jason figured a way around it by using his father in-laws name and license. HomeAdvisor has Jason listed as a contact but clearly didn't do any background check on him. I'm probably out some money and will have to file a lawsuit to get my deposit money returned.Just an update: After posting many negative reviews about TC Contracting....They returned my deposit...
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.