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.
9030 Bellhurst WayWest Palm Beach, FL 33411
From Business: Greg s Masonry, Inc. is a locally owned and operated company that has been in business since 1989. We provide the residential and commercial communities of centra…
1558 Palm Beach Lakes BlvdWest Palm Beach, FL 33401
What a great company and nice showroom! World Kitchens knows what they are doing! I would highly recommend them for any kitchen or bathroom remodel.
1700 Juana RdBoca Raton, FL 33486
From Business: Offering experienced roofing services for either residential or commercial properties that include built-up and sloped roofing; metal or asphalt roof repairs, mod…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Since solar installations are powered by the sun, they are typically installed on the roof of a home. Below are some facts to cons…
Find out the questions to ask a roofing contractor and what's involved in repairing and replacing your home's roof.
Re-coated the roof of our property in Jensen Beach, FL. They were very knowledgeable regarding insurance regulations. They mailed us a contract explaining the entire job. We mailed a check for 1/2 the price. Our Florida neighbor told us they showed up when we told them they were scheduled and the work was done correctly to the insurance company's standards.
Pressure cleaned metal roof, sand rusted area's, prime rusted area's, prime roof with metal primer and paint roof with metal paint finish. The owner, Dominick Agostino was very knowledgeable, very professional and responded to every email or call very quickly. The workers were professional and courteous. The office staff was very helpful and friendly. The job took two and a half months to complete. Not as fast as I would have liked, but we did have some rain to contend with. I believe it could have been finished sooner. They may have been very busy. I did tell them I was more concerned in doing a good job than I was in doing a fast job, and they did a very good job. Good clean up also. I would use them again and would recommend them to friends and neighbors.
Repaired two roof leaks. Replaced approx. 10 feet of rotted facia, replaced cracked roof tile, drip edge, etc. We initially received a quote from Roof Pro for roof repairs in June for previous leaks. However, we decided to go with a cheaper company. Big mistake! I contacted Roof Pro a second time because we were unhappy with the previous roof company. Roof Pro continued to be professional and thorough. Mike and Justin gave us the estimate. They flooded the roof and inspected the attic for leaks. They found 2 areas that were leaking. One area that had supposedly been fixed by another roofing company. My husband and I were so impressed that we called to schedule the repair the next day. They took pictures of the work the previous company did and we are now in the process of trying to get a refund. Mike and Justin's work was neat and thorough. They explained what they did and we highly recommend them!
Horrible company doesn't pay employees on time or for weeks and makes them jump through hoops to get paid also tells them if they quit they won't get paid at all
We made the grave mistake of hiring Steve Cury/SEC Construction Development. Inc. to remodel our house on Washington Road in West Palm Beach, FL. Based on our experience, we don’t think we could have found anyone worse than Steve Cury. SEC consisted of Cury & his bookkeeper. Cury took our money, did not build per plan or to code, permanently altered the design of our house, built an unsafe structure & Cury refused to provide back up billing to our cost plus contract. Cury never finished one thing & everything he built was wrong & unsafe. Cury’s damages were so severe that the Chief Building Official of West Palm Beach had to step in to manage our project. We are suing Cury & SEC.We purchased the house 08/14/14. Cury started working without a permit, then when Cury obtained a permit, Cury excessively demoed & eventually practically leveled our house without permission, proper permit our plans when the scope of work was only to remodel the house & we only had a remodeling permit. Work was to be completed in 5 months, but Cury did not put the house back together. Cury & his bad subs abandoned the project in about 5 months while all were overpaid. Cury built an unstable shell, did not follow minimum code requirements, architectural or structural plans that had above minimum code requirement specifications. Cury wrongfully change ordered & then ran off. The only way to get the house per plan it is to level it & start all over. Because of Cury, it took us 3 years & hundreds of thousands of dollars to get to a stage where we could move in to an unfinished house on 03/14/17. It is 06/28/17 & we are still dealing with the issues. Cury told inspectors that he was going to provide letters to conform to what he was building instead of following our permitted plans, but Cury never produced those letters, did not call in for inspections & continued building not per plan and not to code. Cury told us we passed inspections, but he left us with “Incomplete” & “Failed” Inspections.
Excellent job with Kitchen and bathroom remodel. Competitive with pricing but very friendly and detail oriented. Would highly recommend.
Repaired flat metal roof that was leaking. Removed all roofing material very neatly and power washed, sealed and applied white sealant. Salesman very professional, repair men were great. Previously had roof repaired three months ago. Didn't work and wanted my money to perform repairs. We had some heavy rains and all looks good so far.
New metal roof and replaced flat roof. The roof was replaced due to constant leaking. The time frame was not as promised, but George, the company foremen was the most professional, courteous and timely individual. Turned my opinion around to most positive.
Old roof removed. Repair of bad wood. Underlayment. Metal roof installed. Excellent roofing company with very good workmanship. Roofers showed up early every day, taking few breaks. Even with weather delays, this big job was done within 2 weeks. Quality products used.
My husband and I used ranger roofing for a foreclosed home that had been badly neglected. There was much work to be done up there. This company was great on giving us a fair price for work and helping us with sample selections. We are in an HOA neighborhood, our job site was always neat and they were quiet considering. Work was done in a timely fashion and on schedule. This company gets extra bronnie points for handling me so well during my remodel breakdown I had over a unrelated to roof whole house gut job. We have recommended this honest family business to many. T. J
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.