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.
My project turned out exactly like I wanted and more importantly like A Best Remodeling promised. They showed up on the site 8 am sharp every morning. Their guys worked hard on my kitchen and in my bedrooms. By the time they were finished each day, I knew I was one step closer to having the home I've envisioned for my family. Once they finished, they showed me before and after pics of my kitchen and newly remodeled bedrooms. It was a mind numbing difference. Hire them.
I just hired A Best Remodeling for remodeling our kitchen. They gave us a full layout of the project, accurate pricing, and additional information regarding the process. Once the project started, their crew came on time every morning starting at 8 am sharp. They did a great job cleaning up after themselves after each day. Never tracked any dirt in the house or did anything unprofessional. They were straightforward and easy to work with. They were respectful to my family. I strongly recommend A Best Remodeling for your home improvement needs.
If I could give a 0 out of 5 star review for EZ Builders I would. All potential customers should beware we would never recommend their business to anyone. Owners Jacob Kesablyan and Eli are really bad to work with and very unprofessional. We were excited to start our retail store construction with them after promises were made. We even had an official contract to ensure the work was completed correctly. The project started smoothly but about 1-week into the project their team slowly stopped answering our calls or texts. We confronted them about this and they told us it was a busy time for them. Quoted from our project manager Jacob "We have a 3 million dollar project that we just started, so we're busy." When deadline after deadline for our job was missed we again showed our frustration and can you believe what they said? They told us it was bad to be so negative and our negative energy was hindering their team from working. HA! When you go into business with Eli and Jacob they don't take responsibility for their missed deadlines and errors. We technically could take them to court for not finishing the job. Now over a month later our work still isn't finished. We had to hire additional guys to get the store opened and spent more money then projected. And the saddest part is, is that E-Z Builders isn't paying their subcontractors. After the store was opened their sub contractors startled trickling back asking if we heard from Jacob or Eli that week. We of course hadn't, and we learned the guys they hired for the job hadn't gotten paid. Moral of the story, if you want an unfinished job and hours/days wasted in managing the project manager you hire for the job, call E-Z Builders. They're sure to leave you empty handed.
We used this guys. They been phenomenal.I'll definetively recomend them
My wife and I met Dennis for an estimate for laminate install and we hired them on the spot! The install went smoothly as possible, although there were some unforeseen subfloor repairs needed before laying the floor. The end result is beautiful! We truly couldn't be happier with Sequoia and their entire crew.
I was searching online for some reputable company around the area and came across these guys. I gave them a call and they were more than helpful. Sent them some pictures and we worked together to make something great. The quote was more than affordable so we went with EZ Builder.I was so happy when i saw the outcome of the project. I am proud to show my guest where the bathroom is now, its not an eye sore anymore !! The workers were also very friendly and they even took off their shoes since my wife is a neat freak so that was awesome. And they only took 3 days !!I had the best experience with EZ Builders. Their customer service and affordable prices drew me in and their amazing work was the deal breaker. I will be recommending EZ to my friends and if you are reading this... CALL THEM TODAY !! thanks for all your hard work !!
fred did a great job on my home, he did a complete remodel on my home, kitchen, bathroom living room. all was done on time and a great person to deal with.
Hired 7 Construction Inc. ("7C") December, 2015 to redo our master bathroom, add a closet, a couple floor to ceiling cupboards and resurface/redo our double sided fireplace hearths and design a mantel. Workmanship problems surfaced the 2nd day on the job (Jan. 5th). A large hole was cut through flooring and support joists in the bathroom to gain access under the house. Foreman had no explanation why no one called to ask if there was an access panel. Showed them one in the adjoining room, 4 ft. from the hole. Almost every day thereafter, there were substantial, serious problems, creating as much corrective as new work. Meetings with the owner, Izi, and two employees who were supposed to be monitoring the job (David & Mike) were fruitless. Day-to-day communication remained poor and the quality of work never improved. 7C's workers appeared to be generalists and not trade specialists. The same worker was doing plumbing, installing a pocket door painting. All three of these jobs had to be repaired/redone at a later point because of poor workmanship. We were a month beyond the completion deadline, the job was about half completed and we were forced to terminate 7C. We hired a reputable GC to make repairs and finish the work at considerable additional cost. During one repair, the (new) electrician remarked "this is a combustible event". We discovered non-code compliant installation mistakes, one of which was sealed up behind a wall and could have potentially caused a fire later (a junction box with live wires had been cut away to allow for installation on a 2x4). FINAL INSULT: 7C had completed installation of all tile, stone slab and fixtures, before being terminated. The shower glass was installed and we used it for the first time and discovered the pan leaked. Unbelievable! There are no code-compliant repairs for this defect except a complete tear-out of the shower pan area, including all NEW tile, stone and slab. CAVEAT EMPTOR!
Great service! Always on time and professional. The work done is top notch! Gene makes sure the area is protected while working, and leaves the work area cleaner than when he started. He is very quick, but meticulous. Highly recommended!!
i had a project a month ago that could have been real costly..and i called for an estimate first..and when they came they did the estimate and i decided..right there and then that i would take it one step at a time..so i had them..do my bathroom and need less to say they did a great job...and were neat and tiy to boot..sometimes people leave a mess when they finish a job and people end up cleaning behind them..but not these guys,,they were great..and my bathroom looks really good..
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.