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Find a general contractor near Haverhill, MA

Find a general contractor near Haverhill, MA

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What kind of jobs can a general contractor do?

General contractors can complete all types of projects, from small home repairs and new construction, from building a new home to landscaping an entire yard. General contractors may specialize in plumbing, framing, electrical, foundations or roofing projects, and they can work on commercial or residential buildings. 

Before hiring a general contractor, make sure the contractor holds the proper licenses, registration, insurance and certifications required by your city or state. 

What is a general contractor?

When starting a home remodel or new construction project, you will probably hire a general contractor. A general contractor is a professional who is qualified to take a set of building plans and construct them as outlined. The general contractor may help perform the day-to-day building, or they may just hire workers and oversee all the work activities. In either case, the job of the general contractor is to see that your project gets built.

When you have a building project, ask for bids from various contractors. The bids tell you how much each will charge and what their scope of work will be. Once you have selected a bid, you sign a contract with that general contractor outlining the specifics of the project and the milestones during the project when they will receive payment installments. Once the contract is official, the general contractor will bring in their crew to begin construction. The contractor will manage the workers and subcontractors (anyone who doesn’t work directly for their company but that they need to outsource, like a marble installation pro), order all the materials, obtain work permits, and confirm that all the workers and subcontractors are completing their projects as planned. They typically handle all the payments to the workers and subcontractors, and send you invoice. For all these reasons, it’s also especially important to follow a few smart hiring practices when it comes to finding a general contractor.  If you are organized and competent to oversee construction projects, and are able to make sure everything is being built properly and meeting code, it’s possible you can be your own general contractor.  

How much do general contractors charge per hour?

On average, a general contractor will charge around $50 per hour for their services. However, the range of their fees varies between $30 and $85 per hour, depending on your geographical location and the type of project they’re undertaking. 

You can get a better idea of how much it will cost to hire a general contractor by requesting free estimates from contractors near you.

What do general contractors charge?

If you’re doing a home remodel, building a new home or embarking on a commercial building project, you’ll hire a general contractor. A general contractor is a professional who is qualified to oversee and execute construction projects. Each construction project is unique; even two duplicate homes built on lots next door to each other could have different construction costs due to factors like different excavation costs when building the foundation. Since each project is unique, many general contractors make bids on potential construction projects. These bids can then break down to a per square foot cost that encompasses the labor of all the workers needed for the job, materials, the scope of work, and any equipment needed. Materials and finishes make a major difference in your cost per square foot. For example, choosing standard kitchen tiles at $3 per square foot will result in a lower total project cost than imported marble tiles that cost $63 per square foot. Where you live will also affect how much general contractors charge, as labor and the cost to do business can cost less in many regions than in high-cost areas like New York or San Francisco. Here are some examples of average costs general contractors typically charge in various regions:

  • Home addition in San Francisco: $250-$270 per square foot.
  • New home construction in Knoxville, Tennessee: $100-$200 per square foot.
  • Kitchen remodel in Tennessee: $40-$80 per square foot, depending on finishes.
  • Bathroom remodel in Vancouver, Washington: $110-$170 per square foot.

Be sure to check out our smart hiring practices when it comes to finding a general contractor.

How do you hire a general contractor?

You can use Thumbtack to find local general contractors, read their customer ratings and get cost estimates. First, read the written reviews to learn about their professionalism, paying attention to photos for evidence of their workmanship. You should also verify their license, insurance and other credentials.

For more tips, read our guide on how to hire a contractor.

How do you choose a commercial general contractor?

A commercial contractor provides similar services as a residential general contractor but specializes in working with large-scale projects for businesses, schools, nonprofits, governments and development firms. When researching commercial general contractors, review their portfolio of work and confirm they have ample experience working in the area you need. For example, if you are building a small strip mall, ask if the contractors have experience successfully incorporating all the needed elements such as a parking lot, meeting ADA requirements, accessing the proper permits, and completing work on time.

Once you’ve identified several qualified candidates, request bids for your project and then compare the scope of work with your needs and budget. Your commercial general contractor should oversee design, permitting, construction, materials purchase, and adherence to building code and zoning regulations, as well as sticking to an agreed-upon budget and schedule. It’s important to establish clear communication with your future commercial general contractor, as this will mean a smoother process for everyone. For all these reasons, it’s also especially important to follow a few smart hiring practices when it comes to finding a general contractor.

What does general liability insurance cover for contractors?

For contractors, general liability insurance is an important part of protecting businesses and contractors. This type of insurance will vary in its details and scope, but it can generally be expected to cover damage to the property and injuries. Here’s how you can verify a pro’s insurance.

How much does it cost to remodel a bathroom?

Nationally, the average cost of bathroom remodeling varies greatly. Bathroom remodels can vary widely, from standard makeovers to luxurious master bathroom revamps.

The factors that affect your bathroom remodeling cost are the finishes you choose (marble tiles can cost 20 times as much as standard subway tiles), the square footage of the project, regional labor rates in your area and the scope of work. Changing the layout or size of the bathroom will also raise costs. Moving electrical wiring and plumbing lines will also dramatically increase costs, as you’ll need to hire plumbers and electricians to handle the work. What’s happening behind your walls and under your floor will also affect bathroom remodeling cost. Rot, damage or mold can lead to additional work and charges. 

Here are some examples of average bathroom remodeling costs:

  • 6-foot by 6-foot bathroom remodel: $3,500, including labor and materials.
  • Standard renovation: $6,500-$10,000. Price includes labor and materials the customer has purchased. Labor may include taking out the shower and shower pan, installing new shower pan and shower, and installing new door, new vanity, new mirror, new bathroom fan, and all new fixtures. Price variation depends on the quality of the finishes.
  • 10-foot by 6-foot bathroom remodel: $7,200, including labor and materials.
  • Mid-range renovation: $12,000-$15,000. Price includes labor and materials the customer has purchased.
  • Upscale renovation: $35,000 and up. Price includes labor and materials. Items might include digital displays for fixtures, multiple shower heads and custom showers.

How can I find out if a general contractor is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

To find out whether a general contractor is considered essential in your area during the current coronavirus pandemic, visit your city or state’s government website, which will have information on essential services.

Find information on national recommendations by visiting CISA’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 webpage. However, not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure. 

Are there ways to be safe if I hire a general contractor when social distancing?

If you decide to hire a general contractor, avoid any physical contact, don’t shake hands, keep 6 feet of distance between you and the pro and sanitize all involved surfaces. Also, use digital platforms to communicate and make payments.

Reviews for Haverhill general contractors
Daniel S.
tl;dr - WM Construction will do the work, but in my experience, there are contractors out there that will perform at a higher bar and produce a better quality output. Our original project was for a bathroom renovation, but we decided to use WM construction for a full renovation of a 1 bed 1 bath apartment. When Henrique (owner) came out to quote our work he was confident that each of the tasks on the scope of work would be possible for him and his crew. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. For our bathroom, Henrique's team tore it down to studs to start fresh, but somehow the walls that were put up were not installed straight. The wall in the shower actually bows inward...The ceiling that he put up wasn't sanded or flattened. The tub wasn't installed in cement, so there's quite a bit of movement when standing inside of it. The pieces that were more plug and play, like laying the tile, and installing the toilet, turned out well enough - but that's something that I could have hired a handyman for. For our kitchen, we had Henrique tile our floors, install some new cabinets, and paint. There were patches that had to be made with the wall, but similar to the bathroom, the patches that were done were done lazily, no evidence of sanding, no evidence of prep work, and no evidence of pride in the final product. The rest of the apartment was painted, and I have some real issues with how it was done. The overspray from initial priming, all the way through to cut-ins on the walls were not up to any sort of expected base standard. This sloppiness was also evident in the complete lack of prep work being done in the areas that were painted, including painting over peeling tape and leaving screws/nails sticking out of molding. I actually came out to the property to inspect the progress and pointed out the many issues that I saw with the work. Henrique's response was one of surprise and he said "I hope you didn't expect this to be perfect!" Unfortunately for me, I did expect something a little closer to perfect, just like Henrique's profile on Thumbtack says that they strive for "nothing more than perfect". Similarly, our ceilings were painted poorly and overall I believe the quality of work that Henrique's crew was able to perform was closer to that of a handyman than someone with a background in construction. Additionally, Henrique always seemed rushed, and that was an issue in multiple ways, particularly for my countertop installation. I asked him not to install the backsplash before our countertops were installed, but he did it anyway. That resulted in the countertops not being installed as designed and a generally disappointing final product. Does it look the part? Sure - but it wasn't done the way that I had asked for. We also had WM Construction lay laminate plank flooring across the rest of our apartment. Similar to the painting, there was no prep work completed. The floor needed to be re-leveled, or even at a base expectation, have some fasteners used to minimize deflection and squeaks, but none of that was done. This means that I will likely have to replace these floors much sooner than if it had been done correctly, and will ultimately cost me more money in the long run. Our flooring is already separating in sections, and I'm writing this just 3 weeks after project completion. In addition to the quality of work, communication with Henrique was tough. He called me multiple times to say that there was something that he hadn't foreseen and he wasn't sure how to proceed - seeking me to make decisions for him or come up with solutions. First, it was that the subfloors were at different levels, then it was that the sink was installed and he didn't have any PVC pipe and wasn't sure where to get it. Small things that he should have experienced before and would be able to solve without pulling the owner in to solve for him. Finally, the team never cleaned up after themselves. We arrived to a dusty, dirty apartment and had to take a few hours out of our day to finish cleaning the tiles, walls, and windows. I've had a few apartments renovated over the past 6 years and I've never actually seen a contractor leave the unit in a dirty condition like that. I'm giving Henrique's team a 2/5 because the tile that they laid was acceptable, not great, but was laid. I will not personally plan to work with WM Construction again, but if I needed someone to take on smaller, specific handyman tasks that didn't require finished work, I would consider their skillset.
WM constructionWM construction
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