Why You Should Hire a Professional General Contractor

We all have the desire to save money when we start large projects like a home remodel. Fortunately for you, I totally Untitledunderstand the urge to act as your own general contractor and really get involved in optimizing your investment
while saving money at the same time.  However, I am here to tell you that is the wrong approach. Here are some reasons why you should hire a professional general contractor:

The typical property owner does not have the experience required to act as a general contractor.
It is quite difficult, if not nearly impossible, to coordinate so many subcontractors while holding a full time job or running a business. There is much more than meets the eye in the construction business. There is a method to the madness and it is imperative to take action in proper order during construction. This avoids having to spend more money for a botched plan or performing tasks in the wrong sequence adding to construction costs.

There are many dangers associated with the legitimacy of the subcontractors you hire to complete the work.
A general contractor will navigate these dangers for you. They will ensure that the subcontractors on the job are well qualified and carry adequate insurances. They will also close out all of the permits once the work is completed so in the future when you go to sell your property, you are not stuck holding the bag with an open permit. If a subcontractor doesn’t close out a permit properly, and you acted as the general contractor, then you would have to track down the offending subcontractor and pray they are still in business. If they are, then you must get them to close the permit.  If they are no longer in business, you will have a costly mess on your hands. In this event, the city will require you to find another subcontractor to open a new permit, have the existing work inspected and if it passes, close the permit. However, if the work does not pass inspection, the property owner has to pay again to have the work redone – costing him twice as much for the same improvements. Even explaining that process is tedious, so do yourself a favor and let a general contractor do their job by hiring subcontractors that they have standing working relationships with and with whom they can trust to do your property’s work.

Money is not the only consideration when deciding to act as your own general contractor.
Think of all the time you will be saving and the advantages that a general contractor brings to the table. One of the greatest advantages of having one contract with a general contractor is that they will pull a master permit. This can only be closed out by the building department in your municipality. Once you confirm that they have closed all permits, you can pay them the final contract amount. Also, the general contractor gets releases of lien from the subcontractors so the property owner doesn’t have to worry about this. If things go wrong with the general contractor, at least the property owner knows the subs have been paid. Many people fail to do this and then have plumbers and electricians come after them personally even though they paid the general contractor, who then failed to pay the subcontractor. Because you had a contract with the general contractor, the general contractor is responsible for the payment, not the property owner. Fair pay for fair work is the way to go.

General contractors bring overall experience to your project.
You want to hire a general contractor with overall experience, as well as one who has specialized experience in the work you want to do and in the city your are doing it in.   This ensures they have connections in the building department. I would definitely get references – don’t just go with “my neighbor or cousin” who is a contractor. I recommend that you check their license, lawsuits against them, and perhaps do a background check.  It is very common for a general contractor to be on their tenth company.  They will go bankrupt with one company and just open a new one. You should ask for a payment schedule that specifies any lien releases and be wary of contractors that ask for very large deposits upfront. Unless the job requires immediate purchase of a large amount of material, 25-30% initial deposit is more than enough to get the contractor going.

A reputable general contractor will provide quality work.
The recent real estate recession brought to light many slapstick renovations as well as illegal, unpermitted renovations. It’s like the rose colored glasses have come off because today’s buyers are more wary then before. They will ask their Realtor to check if renovations were permitted.  They also look much harder at the quality of construction and the renovations.  Many badly done renovations are already starting to fall apart just 2-3 years later, and the buyers out there are far more educated now than before in the property market.  Hiring a reputable, professional general contractor is even more important when renovating luxury properties. These buyers definitely know quality and have likely owned luxury property or completed luxury renovations in the past. A luxury home buyer will not pay for subpar finishes on a property, and will want to re-renovate to a higher standard which throws the money previously spent on a subpar renovation down the drain.

Madeleine Romanello 
ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Weekly Events & Promotions: June 30th

Sweltering Summertime Specials at Villa Azur!

Celebrate the 4th of July with our mouthwatering Independence Day specials! We’ll have you seeing fireworks once you bite into our tender Truffle Kobe Beef burger, served alongside a basket of thick-cut French fries. Moreover, beat the heat this summer with our revamped cocktail menu, at 50% off as well as any bar drinks, during our acclaimed Happy Hour, extended from 6:30PM-9:30PM every Sunday through Wednesday. As always, to show our appreciation to our loyal patrons, we offer the Privilege Card, entitling diners to 20% off their bill Sunday through Wednesday; please inquire within for more details.

Make your reservations today by calling 305.763.8688.


Watch the World Cup at Sriracha House!
Get 50% off all Craft & Asian beers during all the games (just mention this ad)
Sriracha House
1502 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139



Picnic with the Pets at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden – July 5th
Celebrate the dog-days of summer at this FREE pet-friendly picnic in the Garden on Saturday, July 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring the whole family to this free community event with animal adoptions, live entertainment, and freshly grilled hotdogs and soy dogs for $2 and $3.

Children can get their faces painted, make their own dog treats, or grab a balloon animal in our Art Activity Tent.
Leash walking-workshops at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Doggie Fashion Show at 2 p.m.
Hair and beauty services available by donation courtesy of our sponsors. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the Garden.
All leashed dogs with current shots are welcome.



Chamber members! Save on Closing Costs with City National Bank
City National Bank (CNB) is pleased to offer members of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce a discount on closing costs for our Home Equity Lines of Credit. Closing costs are comprised of Recording Fee, Doc Stamps, Title/Name Search, Intangible Tax, Tax Service Fee, Flood Certification Fee and Flood Certification (life of loan).

CNB will take $750 off of the total closing costs for lines of credit over $100,000. This is applicable for credit lines starting at $10,000. Offer is available on new lines of credit only. Property and/or flood hazard insurance may be required. Member FDIC / Equal Housing Lender, www.citynational.com. Please contact Mirielle Enlow with any questions at 305-798-2393.


Event Sponsor Spotlight: The Flower Bazaar

The Flower Bazaar, located on 5th Street in South Beach between Michigan and Jefferson, opened in 1994 in its current location. The once tiny design studio continued to transform over the years, and in 2011, a French interior designer and decorative painter, Thierry Adam, took over the company.

Since then, it has delivered a sophisticated, cosmopolitan flair to all their events and customers. ImageThe Flower Bazaar sources flowers constantly from the most trusted and reliable sources all over the world. And that in turn allows them to deliver emotion and exquisite design to the events and weddings they design, and to the manifestations of affection that are entrusted to their designers every day. Their philosophy is simple, “to be the best, offer exceptional product and create beautiful floral gifts that convey originality and artistic design.” Image

Along with recently hosting a “Coffee with the Chamber,” The Flower Bazaar will soon be celebrating 20 years in Miami Beach, and they are gearing up for “additional growth with new personnel additions in the marketing and sales area, dedicated to commercial and hospitality services,” says partner, Leonardo Lanaro.

Visit them at 920 5th Street Miami Beach and check out their website www.theflowerbazaar.com


Photos from June 27th’s Coffee with the Chamber

U.S. Soccer Star Alex Morgan Joins Coca-Cola and City of Miami Beach to Inspire Youth to Get Active

Soccer fever has hit Miami Beach: On Sunday evening, soccer superstar, Alex Morgan will join Coca-Cola and McDonald’s for a private meet and greet with locally invited guests of Miami Beach. Along with receiving copies of Morgan’s signed book, Kicks: Sabotage Season, she will share her advice about the importance of being active, staying hydrated and being mentally prepared. Morgan, an Olympic Gold Medalist and member of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, participated in FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Final and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. In 2012, Morgan was named the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year.  

On Monday, Coca-Cola and the City of Miami Beach have a special treat in store for the city’s youth.  Participants in the City of Miami Beach’s Summer Camp Program will have the opportunity to meet and interact with the soccer star. Campers will gather at Scott Rakow Youth Center. Here, Morgan will share useful tips about how to stay active and have fun doing it. Afterwards, Morgan will join the participants for lunch, where she will read an excerpt of her book. Morgan also will be available for onsite media interviews upon the conclusion of the days’ event.


World Cup Specials Hit Miami Beach

To celebrate more World Cup action, Foxhole will be open at 12PM every day. Watch the game on their 19ft projection screen & enjoy 5 for $15 Peroni buckets as well as special giveaways during the matches. And don’t forget – this bar has a BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) policy if you get hungry.


 Join Sriracha House for happy hour every day from 4:00 to 7:00 and also beginning at 11:30 a.m. for the bigger World Cup matches.

 Hit Tongue & Cheek during the most popular matches for World Cup Game Day specials like $5 appetizers, $4 craft beers, and $8 cocktails

 Celebrate at Mango’s Tropical Cafe!


 Try the daily specials starting at $22 at Quattro Gastronomia Italiana as they broadcast the games live.

 Watch the games on 5 Napkin Grill‘s 12ft screen projector, and every time the USA plays have $5 Sam Adams!

Stop by SuViche for Extended Happy Hour during the games as you watch on their projected wide screens


 Go to City Hall the Restaurant for different specials every big match!

The Premier South Florida Real Estate Event for Buyers and Investors 

Be Part of it and Experience it all – The Miami New Construction Show


The inaugural Miami New Construction Show, taking place August 29-31, 2014 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, will be a unique exhibition, bringing together stakeholders in the market of new luxury condominiums and housing projects in South Florida. Over three days, real estate developers, buyers, investors, agents, specialists, journalists and other related professions will meet to satisfy their business, information and networking needs.  The show is expected to attract 100 new construction projects with scale models, 80+ real estate service providers and will include panel meetings for buyers, investors and realtors. 

Buyers will be able to collect information – regarding prices, locations,and floor plans. Realtors will be able to get an overview about the new construction market, save time and effort by visiting more than 100 sales offices in one location during 3 days. Industry professionals such as architects, interior designers and contractors will be able to meet with developers, learn about their existing projects, and establish contacts for future work opportunities.  Neighbors will be able to assess the impact of these construction sites on their neighborhoods and properties, and journalists, reporters and real estate analysts will be able to get a better understanding of each project as well as the impact of all projects on the urbanism of South Florida.  

There are a number of developers already signed up for the show: Dezer Development President Gil Dezer signed on with a new project, which has yet to be made public. His team plans to announce the details of their latest project at the Miami New Construction Show. David and Pedro Martin’s Terra Group has come on-board with Modern Doral, and Michael Sadov has also signed up with Terrazas and Costa Hollywood, a project spearheaded by Moses Bensusan, of Liberty Grande, LLC, Developer, Michael Capponi and Director of Sales,  Fernando Valdivieso.

The show is also proud to announce that their goal is to donate a portion of the proceeds from the show to a new non-profit partner, TECHO, a youth led non-profit organization aiming to overcome poverty in the low-income areas of Latin America and the Caribbean by building houses for those less fortunate.




Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce’s INcard Program Turns Five Years Old

Hundreds of Party Goers Expected to Fill Miami Beach Convention Center on September 3 For The Carnival-Themed Fete


On Wednesday, September 3rd, the Miami Beach Convention Center will welcome carnival-goers to celebrate the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce’s INcard program 5th year anniversary. Hundreds of consumers and about 100 vendors are expected to pack the convention center to celebrate this momentous occasion for the program, which is sponsored by City National Bank. Party goers will be able to sample delicacies from restaurants, participate in fun carnival games, receive coupons for services, walk away with high end raffle prizes and entertained by DJ Jeff Greene, from 84 West Studios.

“This event will be our biggest INcard bash yet,” said Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Chairman and SVP of Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust Michael S. Goldberg. “The program wouldn’t have been a success without our partners, which include the City of Miami Beach, Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority, and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. We have a lot to celebrate with almost 400,000 cards distributed and several thousand downloads of the app to date.”

To access the party consumers can present their physical INcard or the mobile app version at the party, a recent receipt from one of the participating vendors at the party, a ticket from a vendor, or they can sign up for an INcard at the party. Beginning as an initiative developed by the City of Miami Beach Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce implemented the Miami Beach INcard as a business stimulus program for the surrounding area.

Leading up to the event there will be a social media campaign; don’t miss out on all the giveaways and surprises on the INcard Facebook Page (Miami Beach INcard) and Twitter handle (@MBINcard).