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.
Home security comprises a number of different technologies, tools and techniques. Choose one that fits your needs and your budget.
Where do I begin? There are not enough words to express how grateful I am to have met Rose Banker. She saved my life. I met her while searching for help as a victim of narcissistic abuse. I didn't have much hope or much left when I walked through her door the first time. But God knew she was who I needed to receive counsel from. Rose was there for me through everything. I had to take time off from work as I battled with C-PTSD and severe depression. She kept me going when I lost hope, she prayed for me and with me, and she challenged me when I needed it. She helped me to go back and heal in areas I had not realized I had allowed to become so broken. If you are searching for a great therapist, please give her a call. And be ready to do your homework! Rose believes in keeping you educated and active in your healing process. She honestly gives her best to all of her patients, straight from her heart.
I'd like to take a minute to express my heartfelt appreciation for the kindness and excellent service by everyone at the Family Counseling Center. The professional manner and service during a very difficult time in the lives of our family is truly a blessing. As anything in life it is a process to seek healing for damaged souls and the Family Counseling Center of Cypress/Tomball walks along side you during that process.
Rose is awesome. She helped me and my wife with marriage issues, dysfunctional family issues, and my wife's anxiety issues. We would have been lost or divorced without her help. She is accurate and professional.
Rose Banker is the best! She is one of the most professional, thoughtful, insightful, and thorough therapists I have been in front of (and I have seen many counselors). I've referred many people to Rose, and everybody I know loves her, too. Her clinical approach and abilities are top-notch, and I truly do not know of a more qualified counselor. I come from a family that struggles with a number of disorders, and some very difficult dynamics, and Rose has been successful where other counselors have failed to produce results. I even moved out of the area but still travel back 3 hours to see Rose for therapy, because she's the best.I can't say enough great things about her; she's been a lifesaver.
I was very blessed to have Mrs. Rose Banker as my therapist when I was struggling with some very emotional issues in my life. I was looking for a Christian counselor that could help me understand personalities and give me guidance on how to deal with toxic people. Mrs. Banker was the perfect counselor for me. She went beyond my expectations with her support, expertise, and willingness to always be available. She taught me about various personalities including my own. She gave me guidance on how to cope with my current situation and helped me work thru issues from my past. She was always professional. She was willing to schedule my appointments around my work schedule. I feel Mrs. Rose Banker truly cares about her clients. I have recommended her to others and will continue to do so. In my opinion she is the best.
I don’t even know where to start with how much I appreciate Rose Banker! My husband and I were having marital issues. Honestly, I did not see it ending well. From the first session it was like Rose knew and understood us. I finally felt hope and relief. She was able to pin point my husband with Bi Polar disorder. I knew I was depressed but it felt so good to have some recognize that. Now that she has opened my eyes to this mental illness I have been able to spot it other as well. There are defiantly some strong traits that stick out with people. ;)Rose is the most caring, respectful, intelligent, intuitive, strong, Christian women. I am so greatful and blessed to have her in my life. She help us save our marriage and ourself. Rose has helped us to feel whole again. I feel better than I have even felt in myself. My husband and I have more respect and more for one another. We are able to communicate better. We listen to eachother. We are basically a team! I owe a lot to Rose.I would recommend and have recommend Rose to anyone who is having struggles in life. She is an amazing person and therapist!!! Go see her!! Thank you Rose for so much!!!
I cannot show enough gratitude on how lucky i feel to have found this place. The therapist quickly got me in her schedule for a session with her. After about 1 1/2 hours of talking with her, she diagnosed me with depression, and bipolar disorder. It made sense to me after she explained the symptoms of the both, given my past history. She is an understanding person with great advice and is helping me conquer my root issues.She is very knowledgeable in her field of work and suggested i go to a general doctor to get a 2nd opinion, and both said the same thing. I did my own research on the medication (Prozac & Lamictal) before deciding to say yes to taking the medicine. I read many positive reviews from various people. How they felt before and after starting their medication. I honestly cannot believe how amazing the medicine I was prescribed is working. After a month of taking the suggested medication, these are the following things i am experiencing.I feel naturally happy.My mind is no longer racing.My thoughts are collective, and no longer experiencing many different thoughts at one time.I am able to focus on tasks much better.I have motivation to want to do things and much more outgoingI feel calm, passive, peaceful, my anxiety has tremendously reducedMy thoughts are so much more positive, and the now much less negative thoughts seem to no longer have weight on my shoulders. I feel "normal"If you are suffering in your life I highly suggest going here. I feel very hopeful towards my future now and looking towards what my future has in store for me. I seem to have ambition now!
Did not review patient forms or medical records before quickly making a "diagnosis". Very unprofessional.
We had our windows cleaned by Clear Horizons Window Cleaning today. We are so pleased. They were prompt, professional and better yet our windows seem to Gleason. We would definitely use their services again/
Our dealership used this company for a repo and things did not go as smoothly as it should have. We dealt with Frank who was the one who got our truck. I consistently kept asking for a invoice so we can pay them and he kept telling me that no one was in the main office in Colorado to send the invoice. Yesterday, I called Frank and informed him that my boss would be driving down to pick up our vehicle. I asked him who we made the check out to (since we NEVER received our invoice) and he told me Predator Recovery. When my boss arrived, he had already called Frank prior to arriving to let him know he would be there soon. Frank told him that "he was eating and he will be there soon". So my boss waited and finally had to call him back to figure out where he was. and told my boss that we had to pay CASH for our truck. I highly do not recommend utilizing this company for any type of repossession or towing. They are completely disorganized. We also still have yet to receive a invoice.
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.