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.
625 Buck Run PassCanyon Lake, TX 78133
This business is a scam. He will take your money as down payment for a barn, do little or no work, and get second payment to pay for supplies, and never show up again. We just won in small claims court against him and he has several pending claims in other counties. Do not use him.
2405 Lifehaus Industrial Dr Ste 227New Braunfels, TX 78130
From Business: For over 100 years, Morton Buildings has provided quality and service to people looking for an attractive, long-lasting building. Because Morton utilizes post-frame construction methods, you get the flexibility you want and need in a building. With offices located across the country, Morton can construct your horse barn, g…
6012 Zangs DrSan Antonio, TX 78238
I called to check on a building and asked for a turnkey price plus asked about any issues that I would have and they stated ""I will only need to get approval from my HOA and nothing else"".\r \r I was all ready to get the paperwork started until I saw on the HOA form that I would be responsible…
1253 County Road 7421Yancey, TX 78886
From Business: At Newman Custom Homes we'll give you the personal attention and service that you want when your making the big investment of your new home. We offer the best in quality construction methods, low maintenance and energy efficient products. We provide the ultimate in service!
14955 Bulverde RdSan Antonio, TX 78247
From Business: The GERLOFF Company is experienced in damage assessment. Demolition requirements assessment and the spectrum of repair services necessary to restore damaged facilities and its contents. The Company offers fire and water restoration. Interior and exterior reconstruction. Structural cleaning and deodorization. It offers a ON…
PO Box 389Ingram, TX 78025
From Business: Jerry Reichenau Construction Company, Inc. has over 35 years of earthwork experience in the Texas Hill Country and is dedicated to high quality workmanship and property enhancement. Jerry Reichenau Construction Company Inc specializes in building new dams, reworking existing dams, land clearing, lake cleaning and roadwork.…
5416 Schertz RdSan Antonio, TX 78233
From Business: E I B Contractors are a Commercial General Contractor Specializing in Finish Out. E I B Has Done a Wide Variety of Projects Ranging From 400 sq. Ft. Spaces Up to 40,000 Sq. Ft. The Types of Jobs We Have Completed Include: *Food Court *Women's Clothing *Hair Salons *Cosmetics *Specialty Gift *Jewelry *Entertainment *Full Se…
115 W McIntyre StEdinburg, TX 78541
From Business: Melden & Hunt is one of the leading providers of civil engineering and surveying services throughout southern Texas. Founded in 1947, it is an engineering consulting firm that offers planning, design and construction management services. The firm performs a range of engineering services, including water and wastewater trea…
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 …
Spring Branch, TX 78070
We have worked with Porfirio and his crew on several jobs. I work for a Home Owners Association so we have needed their work on several rock walls, concrete work, and other various jobs. They have always been fair in price, timely, and their work is beautiful. I actually got his name from my …
Serving the Spring Branch Area.
From Business: North American Dismantling is a leading nationwide demolition contractor specializing in heavy industrial demolition, commercial building strip outs, specialty bu…
Serving the Spring Branch Area.
We had Alpha Omega bid and install replacement windows for us. We were very pleased with the professionalism of Manuel. He was prompt with the estim…
13090 Circle N Dr EHelotes, TX 78023
From Business: K and M Contracting offers Patio Enclosures, Kitchen Remodeling, Bathroom Remodeling, Basement Remodeling, Room Addition, Second Story Addition, Patios, Walkways, Roofs, Home Improvement. Call us now for inquiries!
2009 Flour Bluff DrCorpus Christi, TX 78418
From Business: Cubit Contracting, LLC is a medium-sized commercial / residential company with locations in Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Beaumont. Cubit has been fortunate to be awarded some initial sizable contracts for several projects. Local contacts and competitive pricing should propel rapid growth for the company. Mission Cubit C…
12790 FM 1560 North #216Helotes, TX 78023
From Business: Specialize in providing exceptional civil engineering services to clients in the following service areas: site planning, land development, platting, permitting, infrastructure design, utility coordination, storm water management, hydrologic/hydraulic analyses, water/reuse water distribution and transmission main design, wa…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
We have worked with Porfirio and his crew on several jobs. I work for a Home Owners Association so we have needed their work on several rock walls, concrete work, and other various jobs. They have always been fair in price, timely, and their work is beautiful. I actually got his name from my dad who had used him at his home and he had gotten his name from someone at our church after some work was done there. I couldn't recommend him enough.
Hired for several projects to remodel/repair our home. I received the best quality work. Sal-Tex really does everything to work with and accommodate the customer they are knowledgeable and professional and I look forward for future projects with them.
I feel fortunate to have been introduced to the owner of Sal-Tex through a friend many years ago. Through the years, I've had the very best remodel experiences with them, including a very challenging one this year. I recommend them without hesitation.
They worked with my budget and did the work that I need in a timely and professional manner. I will be looking forward to do business again.
Great company to work with, they listened to what my needs were and they worked hard to accomplish the job to my satisfaction! Will definitely do business with in the future!
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.