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.
438 Grayson Pkwy Suite AGrayson, GA 30017
From Business: Let’s face it, there are not enough hours in the day to complete everything you need to get done. Whether you’re facing a large project or a number of smaller cho…
985 White RdAustell, GA 30168
From Business: A Commitment to Excellence Our company was founded on the principles of hard work and integrity. Our experienced staff, state-of-the-art equipment, and connection…
1072 Stovall Ridge CtLawrenceville, GA 30043
Excellent management - Carpenter for attention to detail and pride in work. I would use them again in a heartbeat and recommend highly without reser…
4170 Bradford Walk TrlBuford, GA 30519
From Business: We offer more than just painting. We do interior and exterior work on just about anything you desire. We offer Residential Painting, both Exterior and Interior. W…
Serving the Suwanee Area.
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Can't give any stars to this company - they were contracted to build a spa and hardscape decking in my back yard. After weeks and weeks of delays, saying they were literally on their way, then no one showing up, taking thousands of $$$$ up front and not completing anything except putting a hole in my yard, I finally fired them. It cost me over $14,000 and I had to pay to have rebar and a hole removed. This guy lied to me over and over again. I spent hours and hours texting and phoning him and every time he made a promise, he broke it. I was exhausted just dealing with him on a daily basis. Don't hire him, you will be disappointed!
On 08/18/17, we signed a contract for Southeastern Pools to build our pool for $75,000.00. Per the contract, we paid $7,500.00 (10%) at signing. Ryan promised work would get started right away with removing several trees, demolishing our existing patio, and stabilizing our deck. Despite daily promises of people coming to start, no work was done.On 08/30/17, Ryan said all was set up now (relating to getting the permit) and asked if he could get the 2nd draw, and also wanted to let us know he could save us another 5% if we paid him the 3rd draw as well. We wrote Ryan 2 checks, $20700 made payable to Southeastern Pools and $22500 made payable to Ryan Duncan per his instructions as he was going straight to the distributors for the materials for our pool. Both checks were cashed immediately, but no materials were ever brought to our house despite requests for it. The last week of September, workers finally stabilized the posts on our deck. To date, that is the only work Southeastern Pools has completed.We ended up needing to apply for a variance due to a creek behind our house. We were approved for the variance on 11/21/17. On 11/28/17, the City of Johns Creek sent Ryan informed Ryan of the mitigation plan needed with the building permit submittal. Ryan did not submit the plan for over a month. He was also told by the City of Johns Creek that all they needed to approve our building permit was a copy of his business licence and payment for the building permit ($417.88). Despite daily phone calls and texts to Ryan, we have not received any form of communication from him since 01/10/18. We gave him a final demand to get our building permit and deliver the materials to our house by 01/26/18 or we would be turning this over to our attorney and contacting the police. He did not do either of our requests.Ryan Duncan of Southeastern Pools has stolen $50,700.00 of our money.
This guy has no idea about construction. We lost a lot of money and time due to his poor workmanship. He uses fancy equipment to show you what your project will look like, when in reality it's all in his head. He's good at demolition but that's it. Please do not use redeFinest...... call a handyman instead.
We signed a contract in March of 2017 and paid Ryan almost $70,000. Nine months later, our back yard is still a dirt hole with plumbing. We have an attorney. Check the Better Business Bureau and Attorney General's office.
Mr. Ryan Duncan is the owner, very nice and polite but he doesn't pay the subcontractor that use to perform the jobs, We ask for his service on August/2017 we sign the agreement we pay him they finish the pool.we received a visit of Mr. Rick Matzo demanding $4,000.00 for the concrete that was used in the pool, He's going to put a lean in our property if Mr. Ryan Duncan don't pay him Please be careful... I don know what to do I'm worried
My preferred general contractor. Incredible work, especially for the $. Roofing, Plumbing, flooring, carpentry, etc.
These people Took money and left the project in between. Delayed first and then left. Very bad attitude and no professionalism at all. beware of these kind of people.
Liars, don't pay, use un-licenced subs, won't return phone calls. worst company i've worked for it years, how are they still in business?
Awful. They are liars and thieves. They WILL NOT pay. It took 4 years and thousands in legal fees to get paid for the work we did for Talbot Construction.
We were a sub contractor of theirs.... 7 months later still not paid!!!!! Can not get any response out of them... DO NOT WORK FOR THEM!
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.