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.
Rick the owner is the most professional contractor we have ever met. His presentation and knowledge makes you feel very comfortable. He gives you all.of his attention and is very patient. I have to admit we would call him at least twice a day. We were ordering materials we liked and it was a confusing process for me and my wife. Rick and his team were there for us every step of the way. They even used heavy duty floor paper and blue taped everything so our floors wouldn't be disturbed. He and his crew even cleaned up every nook and cranny when the remodeling was completed. Impeccable service from start to finish. Rick was right when he said I'm not your average contractor. If your serious I will be here in the am. He was from beginning to end. We did not have to wait for him to return a week or two later like some contractors. We have him on our speed dial! Thank you Rick to you and your crew. Thank you for that generous gift at the end. A nice gift card for me and my wife. If anyone needs a honest reliable contractor. Rick and his company are the way to go.
Number is inactive. company may no longer be active. may want to check for your self. my comment is only this long because they made me write 100 characters
THIS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY BUILT THE WORST BUILT BUILDING I HAVE EVER LIVED IN (GRAND CENTRAL AT KENNEDY 1208 E. KENNEDY TAMPA 33602, ALSO 1120--SAME SET) AND I'VE LIVED ALL OVER THE WORLD); THIS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY WILL RIP YOU OFF OVER AND OVER AGAIN UNTIL YOU LEARN TO STOP DOING BUSINESS WITH THEM. HERE IS MY EXPERIENCE WITH ONE OF THE PROPERTIES THEY BUILT. PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE FLOOR ISSUE. IT WAS A HARDIN CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR WHO RUINED OUR FLOORS AND OUR PAINT JOB AND LOST US OVER $10,000 BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO CHEAP TO BUILD WELL AND USE GOOD EQUIPMENT AND TOO CHEAP AND DISHONEST TO FIX THE PROBLEM PROPERLY WHEN THE ISSUE IS THEIR FAULT! I DON'T KNOW HOW THESE PEOPLE SLEEP AT NIGHT.Sure it looks nice but since we moved to a new unit in 2007, right when it was built, both toilets, the a/c, three light switches, and the kitchen cabinet hinges (at least 5 of them) and the kitchen faucet have broken and needed replacement. Because we own our unit, the management does not include these costs in our monthly fees so we incurred an enormous amount for the repairs. The plumber had to replace one toilet already because the first one the builders installed (Hardin Construction) was defective, and now it's broken again, as well as the other one! Also the windows leak and they repaired them supposedly, but they are leaking again. They ruined our hardwood floors and when they tried to fix them (TWICE!!) the workmen gouged holes in the floor and left varnish handprints on our walls. We contacted management and their insurance paid us half the price we actually paid for the floors in the first place. The adjuster was even appalled! The management is unhelpful and rude. Today at 8am workmen woke me up drilling cement on the pool roof over my head! The management will make rules for what tenants can't do but will NEVER inform you of what THEY ARE DOING which can affect your life in a myriad of miserable ways. The fees are ridiculous for any services; the recycling sucks; and the management are liars and cheats! STAY AWAY!!!!! (Green Acres Property Management and Hardin Construction--NEVER deal with these companies if you don't want to lose your hard-earned money.I WISH I COULD GIVE MINUS STARS OR AT LEAST A ZERO BECAUSE HATED IT IS NOT STRONG ENOUGH FOR THE UNETHICAL PRACTICES OF THIS COMPANY.
We hired this company to do a bathroom remodel. The contractor did not pull a permit or use a licensed plumber. The unqualified person doing the plumbing work failed to do so properly, resulting in a major flood in our condo. Our condo sustained significant damage. Water also went through the walls and flooded the condo next door. The five-year-old boy next door slipped and fell in the water, hitting his head on the tile floor. There was also property damage in the adjoining condo. The contractor filed a claim with his liability insurance company. The claim report detailed what work was to be done. The majority of our walls were torn out about 12" up from the floor. Much of the work included in the insurance claim report was not done. Our condo sustained more damage by the contractor's employees during flood damage repair. The contractor's insurance company has accepted liability for that, too. The insurance company paid out before the job was complete, and the contractor took the insurance money but did not finish the work. The work from our original bathroom contract and its change orders was not finished, either. January 23, 2015 was the last time any workers showed up at our condo.Most notable are the following: 1. The insurance company paid the contractor to repair our walls from floor to ceiling. He only repaired the 12" up and did so quite poorly. 2. One of the contractor's employees broke our floor tiles in four different places in three different rooms. The contractor refused to replace the floors or file an insurance claim for it. The insurance company has accepted liability for the floors. 3. Many of the newly installed bathroom tiles are broken, cracked, and not flush to the wall. The grout is cracking throughout.We are currently in settlement negotiations with the insurance company. Not all work was done, and the work that was done is of such poor quality that the insurance company will cover the cost of tearing it all out and doing it again. The estimate for all of this is roughly eight times the amount of the original contract. Our condo will need to be emptied and our possessions stored for 6 - 8 weeks during this second round of repairs. We will also have to find someplace else to live during that time. Hillsborough County has cited the contractor with the following: 1. Failure to obtain the required permits (contractor appealed but citation upheld) 2. Aiding or abetting any uncertified or unregistered person (contractor appealed but citation upheld) 3. Gross negligence 4. Misconduct in the practice of contracting. The Florida Construction Industry Board will be notified of these citations by the county, and the matter is currently under review by the Florida Department of State, Office of General Counsel. Currently, our condo remains in a state of disrepair.
Property Owners & Sub-Contractors BEWARE!! Geradi Construction will lie & manipulate you. They do NOT PAY their Sub-Contractors. You've been warned.
Property Owners & Sub-Contractors BEWARE!! Gerardi Construction will lie & manipulate you. They do NOT PAY their sub-contactors either. You've been warned!
Do not due business with this contractor, they do not pay their sub-contractors. The door to their office is Locked, No one returns phone messages
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.