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.
1992 Bridget AveSimi Valley, CA 93065
From Business: McFadden's Home and Office Improvements serves nearly all of the Los Angeles Metro area, helping clients, both residential and commercial, with their Fine Finish …
550 Orangewood AveNewbury Park, CA 91320
From Business: At All West Coast Tree Company, we know that well-groomed trees enhance the appearance of any property. Whether you own a business or home, we have the skills and…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
They did a good job painting and re-roofing my house .
I am not sure about the veracity of the reviews on Yelp for this company. I had the best experience from the initial sales call to the installation of my new roof.
So far so good the kitchen is looking nice and my wife is very happy .
I heard a knock on my door about mid day when i answered a young man introduced himself and showed my his business and state licenses. He gave me his pitch i heard it and was blown away on how professional he was he asked if my roof or paint was a future project for me i told him yes i was thinking about my roof it was pretty old he asked if i would be interested in a free inspection and quote i said sure he took some simple information and scheduled an appointment for the next day. The next day two gentlemen came to my house on time introduced themselves after some small talk they got to work after a good hour of inspection we sat down and they wrote me a quote that was good for a year once again i was amazed by there professionalism i couldn't help myself but to sign up for the work i am going to start with the roof first then my paint im also thinking of changing out my old Windows after there warranties are exceptional and i am confident i made the right choice with this company. I would like to thank Victor Valdez for taking the time to knock on my door.
The reps, Alex Minn and Geovanna, gave me a very knowledgeable demonstration of their product, and, feeling comfortable with them, the financial arrangement and the product, I went ahead with the project. Project managers, foremen and workers were exceptionally professional - polite, careful with my home, cleaning up after each day's work, and finishing within a reasonable length of time. Andres and Jorge were always courteous and answered all of my questions. I ask a lot of questions so, almost daily communication with Kyle Toshimitsu kept me informed of daily activities with Mike Javier. handling the on-site progress. I am delighted with my new roof. With the completion of the roof, I decided to have my home painted as well with a product called Cool Wall. Again, I was very impressed with Homeworks employees - the demonstration of the product to be applied by Alex and Geo, and with Scott, the project manager who stayed in communication with me to make sure all went according to plan. I was most concerned with the prep work needs and execution and the painting, itself. Israel and Jose were very careful to cover all non-paintable areas, to clean up everyday, and again, were extremely polite young men. I believe Pacific Homeworks, Inc. to be a very fine company. I recommend them for their professional conduct, the quality of their work, their integrity. It must come from the top as it shows in all with whom I encountered. Thank you!
My husband and I have been thinking of remodeling our house. We wanted to put in new windows, new painting to our house, and also new stucco. We had called several companies to get a quote and Pacific Homework, Inc. was one of the company that gave us superior service. The sales representative was very professional and patient in dealing with my husband since he had a lot of questions. After several meetings with the sales representative, we finally decide to go ahead and get the work done. New windows were replaced, new stucco, and new painting were done and we were very happy with their service. I'm thinking of remodeling my kitchen and I am considering hiring Pacific Homework, Inc. to do my kitchen remodeling.
I was very happy when I answered a knock on my door and there was a very nice young man selling home improvements, his name was Ryan. He works for Pacific Homeworks and he was very nice, accommodating to my needs and was not pushy at all. He looked over my home and advised me that his company could replace my old windows for a great price with a great product. I told Ryan yes please send me a salesman to go over the pricing. I was surprised at the low price for such great windows and I am happy to review this company as a five star company. I thought it was appropriate to give this company a good review because I love my windows and they were so nice! Keep up the good work. I will call and make an appointment after my tax refund to have my stucco redone. Thank you again for the great service!
Pacific Homeworks came to our home, and inspected our roof to which we needed a new one. Phil went over how bad our roof was, and gave us in detail the material that would used for the new roof. WE LOVE IT!!! We are so happy with the final outcome of our new roof. Phil gave us a presentation in detail of what would be taking place, and it was right on target! We are now ready for the EL NINO storm and feel safe in our home. Thank you for taking care of us and our home. I would recommend Pacific Homeworks for all work on your home.
They were prompt, cleaned-up well, and kept us apprised of the progress each day. We were most impressed by Walter's work ethic of doing the job right (which he and the crew did!) and not just quickly preforming a repair to get by. Overall, we were extremely satisfied with the warranty service provided by Pacific Homeworks.
David Reyes team did a great job on my house. They came out and did a thorough evaluation of the house and informed us the work they recommended. They were not pushy or overbearing and so we were pleased to hire them. They started the work and David's team were careful to do the proper covering of windows and other exterior parts that were not to be painted and make sure everything was protected to do a nice neat clean job. They did a great patching up job on cracks and holes in the stucco before priming and painting. They finished as promised in a very timely manor and cleaned up after themselves and left no mess. Thanks David Reyes at Pacific Homeworks and your team for a great outcome.
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.