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Old 03-06-2009, 06:46 AM
 
2 posts, read 4,244 times
Reputation: 13

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I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my area, but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:18 AM
 
24,839 posts, read 34,964,121 times
Reputation: 11513
Quote:
Originally Posted by hal.jeck View Post
I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my area, but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.
If you need a well and septic, talk to you local heath department. Also ask them for references on jobs that did not go perfect. We all have them. If they say they do not, they either lack experience or are not honest.
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
15,787 posts, read 18,404,165 times
Reputation: 17088
Angies list is purpotedly a good resource
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,426 posts, read 47,159,100 times
Reputation: 10503
First off where are you?

You will no doubt be getting people posting sites for you that advertise they have prescreened contractors. Dont do it. It is nothing more then a few questions and rarely any backround checks as they claim. Anyone with a pickup truck and a tool box can PAY and register with those companies. These contractors give a commission back to the contractor referral company on jobs they win the bid. Do you see a conflict of interest? I do.

I cant stand to say anything bad about the industry that has been good to me for 3 decades but truth be told. There are a lot of flunkies out there and even more during this economic depression. If you look in the service ads in any cities paper you will see as many handyman ads as you do the cities population. The national unemployment rate might be 8% but specificly the unemployment rate among the contruction trade is over 85%.

It's hard for Joe Smoe Homeowner to find anyone they can trust. The very very best is word of mouth. 2nd you might check the weekly paper your local church gives out before mass/service. These papers always have ads of church members advertising their trades. 3rd you could check (in person) with Building Inspectors at your local Municapality. No one knows better then them who the good contractors are. But Building Inspectors are famous for being snotty nosed azzholes and think their turds dont stink so will probably talk down to you unless you are a young pretty woman.

Drive around your neighborhood. Are their any major renovation projects going on? Stop by and talk to that homeowner without letting the contractor know who you are at first. But only do this towards the end of the job. Most jobs start with everyone in love but most problems arise towards the end of the job. If you get complaints, take it with a gran of salt. Analyse the complaint. Did that homeowner get mad when the paint color is different then what she thought it was going to be? Know what Im getting at?

Probably the worse place to find a good contractor is in newspaper ads, Craigslist ads, billboard ads.....etc. It is said if your great you do not have to advertise. If some one has an ad in the paper then they are sitting home with nothing to do. Then again in this depression everyone is sitting home.

Give those ideas a try and get back with us.
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Old 03-06-2009, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Pocono Mts.
9,482 posts, read 11,464,815 times
Reputation: 11448
based on your zip code on your public profile, you are located in CA, right? I'd ask on the Ca forums, and you can also go to your local builder's association.

It seems to me you plan on being an owner/builder.. there are many resources for owner/builders that advise on the construction process.

Know the Risks of Being an Owner/Builder - Contractors State License Board
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Pocono Mts.
9,482 posts, read 11,464,815 times
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Most owner/builders sub-contract everything out, as you are looking to do. Have all contractors provide you with proof of business insurance and proof of worker's comp on their employees.

You could go to any building supply company/ lumber company in your area, and ask what contractors they recommend. Interview a few, go look at their work..
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:23 PM
 
47 posts, read 218,778 times
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I hope this post helps at least one person. I learned the hard way. When selecting a contractor PLEASE do your home work and SERIOUSLY think of hiring an attorney. I hired a contractor (Major League Builders AKA Manuel Gonzalez out of DE) to rebuild my home that caught on fire. I thought the fire which destroyed my home was the worst thing that could happen, I was wrong. Hiring the wrong contractor was worse. He did faulty work (the home almost had to be knocked down) and stole some of the money. Also he didn't pay for $20,000 worth of supplies that I am on the hook for. Thats right in PA and most states if the builder does not pay for the materials the home owner is on the hook. Well enough about my soap box. Here are a few recommendations I have:

One check the contractor out (does he have lots of judgments against him)
File a lien release with the court house before work starts which will keep you from having to pay for the supplies if the contractor does not.
Consider making the contractor get a performance bond (it will pay to complete the job if he doesnt) this is not the same as insurance, and truthfully insurance is not that much of a help to you. If I can help in any way please let me know ( I am not a builder but just spent the last three years going through this) And everyone stay away from Manuel P. Gonzalez in Bear DE. Good luck
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Pocono Mts.
9,482 posts, read 11,464,815 times
Reputation: 11448
sorry for your predicament, canterm...I read about it in the Pa forum, too.

sounds like you had a Major League Disappointment.

Lien Wavers - How Inportant Are They?
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,426 posts, read 47,159,100 times
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I just did a quick check on Manuel P. Gonzalez in Delaware and he has a clean record with not one complaint against him. He may have just arrived here without a green card.

Yes I agree with lien wavers. Not some states like you said, anywhere they are necessary for homeowners. If your contractor dont pay his tab with the supplier then the supplier could lien on your house.

Why would anyone hire a man by that name? That's taking quite a trusting gullable chance isn't it?
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Old 03-07-2009, 10:14 AM
 
24,839 posts, read 34,964,121 times
Reputation: 11513
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertsun41 View Post
I just did a quick check on Manuel P. Gonzalez in Delaware and he has a clean record with not one complaint against him. He may have just arrived here without a green card.

Yes I agree with lien wavers. Not some states like you said, anywhere they are necessary for homeowners. If your contractor dont pay his tab with the supplier then the supplier could lien on your house.

Why would anyone hire a man by that name? That's taking quite a trusting gullable chance isn't it?
Wow, I know my name doesn't stop me from getting jobs. I am a girl.
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