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.
13016 Player StHouston, TX 77045
From Business: Vulcan Foundation Repair-Full Service Foundation Repair A Trusted Name For Over 30 Years! Lifetime Transferable Warranty Our Family has provided reliable Foundati…
1105 Northville StHouston, TX 77038
From Business: Welcome to Barnier Building Systems Inc.! rnrnBarnier Building Systems, Inc. is a full-service general contractor with the ability to provide quality general cont…
4008 Louetta Rd # 263Spring, TX 77388
From Business: Here at R3Build We look forward to building lasting relationships and guarantee your satisfaction! We are a locally owned and operated company that values honesty…
11745 Jones RdHouston, TX 77070
After hurricane Ike we had quite a few other quotes for other roofing companies, but by and far they were they best, not just because of price, but …
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Find out the questions to ask a roofing contractor and what's involved in repairing and replacing your home's roof.
Since solar installations are powered by the sun, they are typically installed on the roof of a home. Below are some facts to cons…
I was in need of a new roof. I recommend Spring Roofing Services. Buying a new roof is one of those stressful purchases and they made this experience painless and dare I say enjoyable. First off, the owner of the company showed less than 24 hours to quote the job. He was knowledgeable, professional and addressed all concerns and answered all questions on the spot. There company was affordable and offered top quality product for price that was reasonable. They got us on the schedule immediately and the crew showed up on time. The crew was also professional, respectful and finished in a timely manner. The crew Forman had constant communication on work progress keeping us in the loop. We were extremely pleased with the outcome. If you are needing a roof this company is the right choice and will create a pleasant experience! They even recommended other contractors that did some other work around the house.
Absolute garbage company. Unorganized and unprofessional, these incompetent people turned what was supposed to be a days-long project into a months-long one. We had them replace our roof, windowsills, fascia, and flashing and were told it’d be done in about 3 days. The “crews” they were supposed to send out ended up being one or two guys, so the work took sixty times as long. What was supposed to be a matter of days stretched to SIX MONTHS. Here’s an incomplete list of only SOME of the problems we faced.1. Scheduling conflicts. We were guaranteed a window of completion. My spouse took that time off work to be there in the house when the workers were there. They failed to complete the work. My spouse could not get more time off. I had to take time off. They failed to complete the work, again. My in-laws had to take time off to be there when I couldn’t, and they STILL failed to complete the work on time. Our entire family took personal time off to be in the home while the workers were there, and the workers utterly wasted it.2. They were unreachable 90% of the time.3. They flat-out ignored emails.4. They refused to fix noticeable problems.5. They had the audacity to ask for payment while we still had roof imperfections we wanted them to address.6. The project manager for our roof resigned/was fired and we weren’t notified. We didn’t find out until we couldn’t reach him and called to ask what was going on.7. They failed to pull a permit for the roof, causing the city of Houston to slap an unsightly sticker on our window that would have incurred a fine to remove. The supposed professional that was the project manager claimed he “didn’t know he needed a permit.” More likely, he probably hoped to pocket the money for the permit by attempting the repairs as quickly as possible, before the work could be reported.8. They expertly decided to paint our fascia after a hard freeze, and the melting ice stripped away some of the paint. It took them weeks to send someone out to fix it.9. They had to redo our windowsills because the first guy didn’t use matching wood.After our roof work was “done,” we noticed dips, where water could easily collect. Workers who worked on the roof even said they saw the dips, and the project manager (the one who conveniently “resigned”) even said it would be easy enough to fix. The company asked for ADDITIONAL money to fix the dips that shouldn’t have been there in the first place, had they done the job correctly.Overall, our experience with this company has been nothing short of a nightmare, and this entire business deserves to fail.Take your business elsewhere. We will be notifying our insurance company of this fiasco and demand they no longer recommend this terrible company to its customers.
Dennis and DJ Roofing and Construction have replaced 3 roofs for us at 3 different houses. Dennis is honest and fair with his charges. We have done business with him for over 30 years. He is the Best!!! Nancy A.
Frontier has impressive showroom and a wealth of floor plans for your choosing. Staff turnover seems quite high. We have had 3 different project managers after signing our contract. Process is slow but we are still hopeful. It's been 5 months they have not completed framing yet. Will post again after next stage
Came out and fixed my roof after receiving information on referral. Came out immediately (same day). Explained everything that needed to be done and would be done, with pictures. Excellent work and will use/recommend again.
Tripeak roofing removed my existing roof & installed a new roofing system.They are not one of those companies that try to rip everyone off after a disaster. They are from here, live here and their word is solid. I truly enjoyed dealing with Tim and his crew. They were efficient and completed the work in 2 days, the first day they worked from 7:00am that morning until 9pm the evening all in 98 degree heat, unstoppable. He used quality materials at a very good price. Tim was always on time and did what he said. His crew did a good job of cleaning up after themselves as well. I am pleased with the quality of the work and have received many compliments from my neighbors. I strongly recommend Tripeak Roofing and would not hesitate to use them in the future.
I would never use this contractor again. I have pictures of some of the poor workmanship. I strongly suggest that you obtain another contractor work to be done to your residence.
Avalanche Contractors helped us deal with our insurance company after being turned down for a hail damage claim. All our neighbors got new roofs but us. Seemed odd that the storm hit everyone's house but ours. He went up there with the adjuster and showed them the hail damaged that he had obviously overlooked. It sure makes a big difference using someone who has experience with storm claims. We are very grateful and wanted to share our experience.
This company was very professional and very fast. My roof was so bad and needed so much work. The Company fixed it all without breaking the bank. Now my roof is amazing! It looks incredible! I recommend them to everyone!!
What a great experience, the service was so prompt, They had our old roof off and new roof put on in less than 8 hours. They did a great job cleaning up, and made sure we were totally satisfied before they left. I would recommend Tim, with tripeak roofing. Fast, friendly, and most important, honest.
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.