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.
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5051 Industrial RdWall Township, NJ 07727
From Business: Tiger Well Drilling has great knowledge of the water well drilling market and delivers high quality service. Dennis, owner, is an ethical contractor and is pre-qu…
304 Gower StStaten Island, NY 10314
From Business: B. Altmans Remodeling, established in 1992, is a full-service construction company. We are family owned and operated. You can rely on our experienced in-house sta…
196 Fremont AveStaten Island, NY 10306
From Business: Red White & Blue Contracting is Staten Island’s roofing, siding, replacement windows, and waterproofing experts. We offer a wide range of services and only use qu…
1687 Richmond RdStaten Island, NY 10304
From Business: All Bridge Contracting Corporation is a professional roofing contractor. Our office is centrally based on Staten Island, allowing us to conveniently serve all 5 B…
1207 49th StBrooklyn, NY 11219
09/08/2018OverallExpertiseProfessionalismPromptnessour sidewalk had a serious sitoution.The workers com on time M M T general contrator. We are more…
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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When you're short on time, squeeze in cleaning tasks that will help minimize your effort, organize your home, and remove the filth…
well versed in restoration and construction. i own a 1900 house and david came in and guided me on how to restore the floors, plaster walls and moldings. i wanted everything new and they wanted to save and restore all. in the end we remove tile and restored plank flooring and oak moldings, restored plaster walls instead of demo and sheetrock and restored staircase. i did insist on a new kitchen and bathroom, which they did well.
Mike is not a trustworthy man. He takes your money and runs! He convinces you to pay him extra instead of using the payment plan. Then, he won't show up unless you pay him more. Then, he never comes. our 3-4 month plan is on month 14. When we questioned him about it, he swore at us and then told us that he quits. Now, we have to find a new contractor to try to finish the job. It's horrible. Bad man! DO NOT USE! He never finishes the job.
Moe did my sidewalk and my front facade which consisted of beautiful brownstone. He finished my interior including kitchen and bathroom tiles and i was so satisfied. I highly recommend him!
My husband and I purchased our first home in July which needed a complete gut job. Initially, we contacted several different contractors to get estimates and it wasn't until we met Paul from Clean Sweep Contracting that we finally felt we made the right decision in buying a house that needed so much work. Compared to the other contractors, Paul was the only person that we felt wasn't going to nickel and dime us for every little detail. Other contractors left things out of their estimates that we spoke about in the walk-through while Paul's quote included EVERYTHING we talked about. Paul's prices were extremely reasonable and fair. It was a no-brainer for us to hire Clean Sweep. Paul made us feel so comfortable and offered his expertise to us on so many different areas throughout our house and was right about every single one of them.From the very beginning Paul was on-time, honest, and thorough. Paul is truly a man of his word! Paul and his workers gutted my entire house from attic down to the basement and truly made it our dream home. I never believed my house would come out looking the way that it did. All the men who work for Clean Sweep were amazing, super clean, and very respectful of us, our property, and our neighbors.Not only was Paul and his crew fantastic throughout the 3-month renovation (which was absolutely on schedule!), Paul has even come back on several occasions to perform some touch-ups from small damage caused by our moving company (which he did NOT have to do at all.)You will not go wrong with giving your job to Clean Sweep. For the quality of Clean Sweep's work, you will NOT find a better contractor or price. Every time I turn the key into my house, I couldn't be happier. I would recommend Clean Sweep to anyone!Thank you to Paul and the Clean Sweep crew for everything you have given us!
Staten Island Maintenance Corp., (SIMCO), was selected after interviewing several contractors for our project. We were very comfortable with Andrew, the owner, who was polite and professional. His integrity speaks for itself. His planning is careful and perfectly calculated. His presence and promptness every Monday-Friday, 7AM-3PM, is impressive. Our job entailed gutting and remodeling an attic and a basement. This included, two bedrooms, bathrooms, stairwells, tiling, electric and plumbing. At the close of each day, work areas were left organized and spotless. His helpful suggestions definitely enhanced the finished project. The entire project was completed in 5 weeks as agreed to. The finished job was an amazing transformation of a much needed renovation. I hope this review gives the reader a little insight into a very reliable company and a totally hands on owner. Andrew was in constant contact with me, as I was not present every day, and was available to speak to me and address any questions or concerns immediately. My family is 100% satisfied with our decision to choose SI Maintenance Corp. Yes we highly recommend you give Andrew a call and you will not be disappointed.
Heard they had hired a new foreman so figured I'd give them the job since their prices were very reasonable compared to others.Had siding done to my house and the job came out immaculate! Have had many compliments and the men working were onsite each day 8am sharp!Recommended them to all my neighbors after Hurricane Sandy and they were all very pleased with the outcome of their properties.
Very professional and reliable Contractor. They did our exterior as well interior work very impressive. Moe is honest and trustworthy guy!
R & L TEAM WORKED WITH THE BUDGET. VERY CLEAN & PROFESSIONAL ON TIME THANK U . I RECOMMEND R&L FOR ANY REMODEL.
Very professional , This man did a BEAUTIFUL job on my home , His workers a very respectful and get the job done !
My wife and I are not well-to-do and had to be very careful in the selection and cost of a contractor to renovate our roughly 5' x 8' bathroom. Paul and his crew did an outstanding job. From demolition through repairs, construction and final cleanup Clean Sweep took every care to ensure that the areas around the bathroom were protected, and the work was first rate. George and Steve were true craftsmen. They would not stop until everything was right. Paul purchased a tub, toilet and sink/vanity combination that were superior to the ones I originally thought I would have had installed. Two cabinets in the kitchen had to be removed from the walls to ensure that the plumbing for the bathtub drain did not leak. These were replaced without damage when the work was done. Overall my wife and I are extremely pleased with the completed work and final cost, and would not hesitate to have Clean Sweep come back for any future projects that may arise.
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.