By: Chris C.
Unique Construction Company
If I were to rate the workmanship, I would give them Five Stars. However, the customer service is poor, at best. I originally contacted Unique to work on my driveway a few years ago. At that time, the owner came out promptly and gave a clear and concise estimate. It took a while to get work started due to weather, and the owner wasn't always timely in communicating delays. However, I was very pleased when the work was done, and I knew if I ever had any other improvements in mind, I would contact them first. Fast forward to this year. I'd moved to a new house and needed some work done. There was a little back and forth in getting the appointment for the estimate, but the receptionist stayed in constant contact with me. The person that came out to take measurements arrived a couple hours late, but he did communicate the reasons why. He took the measurements and said he would get back to me in a couple of days with the estimate. This was over a month ago. I haven't heard a word from the owner or the receptionist after leaving repeated messaged...for a couple weeks. This is extremely unprofessional and disheartening. I wanted to support this business very, very much and when you can get them to show up, they do great work. But that I basically have to beg for a response is insane. There's so much work I would have given them that I now have to give to other companies.
Tips & Advices
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. 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.
Absolutely ask. 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, such as paying 10 percent of the total cost for each 10 percent of the work that is completed. Include this payment plan in the contract, as well.
Before any money changes hands, there should be a contract to sign. Make sure the specifics of the work and all costs are listed in the contract, including details. If you forget to have something included in the contract after signing it, there's rarely a chance of recourse.
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.
Yes. 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.

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