The 2nd Annual Hess Select South Beach Seafood Festival Finalizes Weekend Restaurant List

The annual festival will take place in Miami Beach this October 2014, with an impressive array of participating eateries.

Crack Open Your Fall with the 2nd Annual Hess Select South Beach Seafood Festival Week, October 22-25,2014, with the main event, the all day South Beach Seafood Festival, on Saturday, October 25th from 1-9PM on 7th & Ocean Drive, Lummus Park in Miami Beach, sponsored by Title Sponsor, Hess Select, and hosted by Coca-Cola, Festival Foodamong others. The week of events will feature a delightful mix of the very best of what South Florida has to offer event goers in the areas of entertainment, wine & spirits, and culinary scene showcasing Miami’s finest culinary masters and signature brands all to support the Community Initiatives Foundation and their new EAT SMART Campaign.

The CI Management team has worked diligently to create an experience not to be forgotten and most definitely will not disappoint, as they provide South Florida locals and visiting “foodies” an opportunity to enjoy signature seafood from multiple premier local restaurants with a little taste for everyone.

Below is a list of each event with the list of participating restaurant and event sponsors joining to host the culinary foodies in South Beach for the weekend:

Wednesday, October 22: Kick Off Dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab

The Kick Off Dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab will be limited to 50 guests and exclusively hosted for the weekend major sponsors as well as the most VIP seafoodies out there as this event will kick off the weekend with a 4-course meal filled with pounds of Fresh Joe’s Stone Crabs with the season just beginning the week before. Each course will be enhanced by a Master Sommelier experience featuring wines from the Hess Collection and delicious beers from Tenth & Blake Brewery along with a special educational experience from the Joe’s Team. There are only 1 or 2 seats left for this exclusive dinner in Jesse’s Private Room. Tickets are $500 pp.

Thursday, October 23: Seafood Shuffle

The Thursday Night event will host approx. 150-200 guests as they kick off the Seafood Shuffle at Equinox on 5th and Collins Ave, receive samples and enjoy chef demos from City Hall the Restaurants, before they pick up their tickets and make their way leisurely to different restaurants participating in the Shuffle down Ocean Drive, Collins Ave, and Washington Ave. Each restaurant will provide each guest with a complimentary glass of Hess Select wine or cocktail, sponsored by Bacardi, Stoli, and Herradura and then there are $5 bite menus for guests to purchase as well as opportunity to purchase additional beverages. Be a guest of our restaurant partners and enjoy an experience with friends. Hop on a freebee or walk around and make your way to visit over 10 restaurants around South Beach. Participating restaurants include Siena Tavern, Red the Steakhouse, CJs, Park Central Café , A Fish Called Avalon, Clevelander, Pepe Nero, Poseidon, and Naked Taco. Tickets for the event are $50 per person and include giveaways along with the 10 complimentary cocktails or glass of Hess Select Wine. Event goes, be sure to #SeafoodShuffle !

Friday, October 24: Chef Showdown @ Seafood & Sneakers Ball

The night before the festival will be the Chef Showdown @ the Seafood & Sneakers Ball, sponsored by Range Rover and Bacardi, hosted at 9th & Ocean Drive in the GOYA Culinary Pavilion at the event site. The Chef Showdown will bring together some of the area’s most beloved restaurants as their chefs compete head to head for the title of the best seafood dishes in various categories. The most exclusive ticket of the weekend, the new Chef Showdown @ Seafood & Sneakers Ball will be hosted by Celebrity Chef Ralph Pagano and feature Miami’s finest participating in cook-offs on the 305-KITCHEN.com Demo Stages around the venue with the “Cutting Board” experts lending their expertise to choose our winners in each category. But, don’t worry, they don’t have all the say. Attendees will participate in the public vote as guests will visit the tasting stations around the event space showcasing the 12 participating restaurants, sample their signature dishes showcased on the demo stages, and vote on who is the best in each category. Guests will vote like a pro and help choose the evening’s winners! In addition, there will be signature raw bars, featured wine and cocktails, interactive zones, a fashion show featuring #MadeinMiami brands, and more. All sustainable seafood for the event will be provided by event sponsor, Whole Foods. So put on your swankiest footwear and join in the fun for the “gala” evening of the weekend to kick off the fundraising for the new EAT SMART Campaign.  Tickets for this event are $150 per person and include all Chef Showdown samples, full raw bar tastings, access to all event open bars featuring the Hess Selection Collection, delicious beers from Blue Moon & Peroni, as well as signature cocktails featuring Bacardi.  This event will also be hosted with a private Media Lounge, sponsored by South Florida Executive Magazine, which 40 media representatives will be selected to join in the fun and get exclusive access to the event as well as the restaurants participating in the showdown. Participating restaurants for the Chef Showdown include: Lure Fishbar, Siena Tavern, Red the Steakhouse, Florida Cookery, Oceanaire, Dolce Italian, City Hall, Café Avanti, CIBO, De Rodriguez, Naked Taco, Park Central, and Poseidon. Chefs will be paired based on their signature dishes and the 6 competitions will be announced shortly.  Help us decide who makes the best Lobster Roll on the beach or who has the best take on what an outstanding Surf ‘N Turf should be? With your help, we will know who will win this year’s #ChefShowdown.

Saturday, October 25: Hess Select South Beach Seafood Festival

Over 6,500 seafood-lovers supported the newest culinary event of the year in 2013, now considered one of Miami’s annual “do not miss” festivals. Guests agreed after attending last year that the perfect equation was created, one comprised of the beautiful ocean, amazing food and lots of great activities to partake in. The bar has been set high and CI Management is ready for the task. The Hess Select South Beach Seafood Festival will again draw local and visiting foodies, celebrities, and VIPs with participating restaurants featuring Mini Café’s on the sand, entertainment by some of the most popular live bands to include Spam All-Stars, cooking and mixology demonstrations, retail activations, and multiple full bars that will feature a variety of wines from entitlement partner, HESS SELECT, cocktails by local mixologists featuring:  Bacardi, Stoli, Tequila Herradura, and Gold Coast Beverages beer, to include Blue Moon, Peroni, Crispin Cider, and Coors Light, and non alcoholic drinks and samples provided by event host, Coca-Cola. Confirmed sponsors to date also include: Premier Beverage, Goya, featuring a new on-site Goya Culinary Pavilion for Premier All Access Pass holders, Warren Henry Automotive Group, Range Rover, Equinox, Coca-Cola, Badia, Doctors Hospital, Walgreens, Arquitectonica, Flowers Baking Co., Metro Signs, Le Cordon Bleu, 50 State Security, US Army, and SFM Services Inc. Participating restaurants for Saturday’s Festival include, but are not limited to: Joe’s Stone Crab, A Fish Called Avalon, Altamare Restaurant, Café Avanti, CIBO, City Hall the Restaurant, CJ’s Crab Shack, Naked Taco, Park Central Café, Poseidon Greek Restaurant, Red the Steakhouse, Tarpon Bend, Smith & Wollensky, and Whole Foods. Each restaurant will showcase 2-3 Menu Items featuring a variety of options to include Grilled Lobster Tails and filet for a Surf ‘N Turf from Red or choice of Seafood tacos from Naked Taco, stone crabs and crab cakes, linguini with clams, mahi sliders, shrimp and grits, bang bang shrimp, lobster mac ‘n cheese, raw bars featuring freshly shucked oysters, and more. This is an eating festival, not a sampling so guests are encouraged to come ready to dive in! The Hess Select South Beach Seafood Festival invites you to come out with friends and enjoy this year’s event. Don’t forget, you can bring the kids too as Goya hosts the “little chefs” in the GOYA Kids Zone for a great day of family fun! Festival General Admission tickets are available for $25, Seafood Lovers for $50, which includes food & beverage tickets and discounted admission, and Premier All Access Pass for $150, which provides a variety of benefits to include access to the Premier Hospitality Village & Lounge and the GOYA Culinary Pavilion, featuring open bars and signature interactive demo stations by partner wine and spirits brands as well as culinary demos, lounges, air-conditioning, and more interactive activities for our “Premier Seafoodies”.

“We’re excited to see the Hess Select South Beach Seafood Festival grow and provide innovative support to the community

with the new EAT SMART program,” said Timothy Persson, Chief Executive Officer of The Hess Collection, “and we’re equally pleased to see the festival’s continued success benefit the other beneficiaries of the Community Initiatives Fund.”  Pairing wine and seafood is a natural fit, he noted, and partnering with Premier Beverage to celebrate the Stone Crab season was an easy decision to make.  “Hess Select wines are involved in several sustainable seafood programs, and whenever we can share this message and have a bit of fun along the way, it’s a great pairing.”

To purchase tickets to the Hess Select South Beach Seafood Festival and satellite events leading up to the festival please visit: www.sobeseafoodfest.com. Follow us! Facebook: Hess Select South Beach Seafood Festival | Instagram: @SobeSeafoodFest | Twitter: @SobeSeafoodFest use HASHTAG: #SobeSeafood

Additionally, check out participating event restaurants during the month of October and enjoy signature “SEAFOOD SLAM” Menu items and featured Hess Select Wines to get your pallet ready for our week of fun.

The Hess Select South Beach Seafood Festival Week is taking place on October 22-25, 2014. For more information and media inquiries please contact info@creativasgroup.com, 305.595.7888. Photographs and interviews are available by request.

Brighton Collectibles Goes Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month to Benefit Force

BOOK SIGNING BY AUTHORS CINDY PAPALE – HAMMONTREE & PATRICIA SAN PEDRO (Positively Pat)

FORCE, the organization serving the Hereditary Breast & Ovarian Cancer Community is the chosen beneficiary of the proceeds from the Annual Power of Pink promotion at Brighton Collectibles, Aventura Mall. As one of the promotional events, Sunday, October 5th from 2 pm to 4 pm, the public is invited to join us to meet noted Breast Cancerlogo survivors and authors Cindy Papale-Hammontree, The Empty Cup Runneth Over and Patricia San Pedro, also known as Positively Pat. They will be at the local store signing and selling their books to benefit the South Florida Chapter of FORCE.

The Cancer Dancer” author, Patricia San Pedro is a four-time Emmy-award winner who documented her entire breast cancer journey, in order to help others diagnosed with the disease. Her book, THE CANCER DANCER. Healing: One Step at a Time will guide you and your loved ones from a cancer diagnosis to discovering a new and more joyful way to live.  

In THE CANCER DANCER, Pat shares more than 400 patient-to-patient and caregiver tips and information learned in the midst of her own breast cancer roller coaster.  It also includes great advice from other sisters who’ve walked the same path. Pat’s goal is to ease you through your own healing maze in the most fearless, comfortable, educated and empowering manner . . . helping you shift from shock to love, appreciation, gratitude and healing. Her Positively Pat community inspires and gives hope to all going through any challenge in their life.  www.PositivelyPat.com

Diagnosed with Breast Cancer at age 46, The Empty Cup Runneth Over writer Cindy Papale-Hammontree is currently working as a bubbly medical administrative assistant making everyone who treats everyone who comes to the offices where she works with kindness and compassion. In her book, “she transforms her own wrenching experience into a way to inform and educate us about many aspects of dealing with breast cancer. Cindy has done an amazing feat. She not only openly shares with us her own very personal story from shock at the moment of diagnosis, through the terror of making decisions about treatment and the fears one faces with this diagnosis, but she has drawn together an amazing group of specialists who write chapters on everything you would ever want to know about this illness. Although it is written especially for high school and college students, the information in here would help anyone navigating through the struggles of breast cancer, or wanting to understand them. The Empty Cup Runneth Over

Other events planned at the Brighton Collectible store include art shows and the Launch scheduled for Friday, September 26th.

FORCE, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, says South Florida Outreach Coordinator Debbie Setuain who is working closely with the Brighton store management team to bring additional promotions during Breast Cancer Awareness Month to the store. This will not only help sales and benefit FORCE, but also help with bringing attention to Breast Cancer and Hereditary Breast & Ovarian Cancer during the month.

Zuckerberg to Keynote Next Galaxy’s Virtual Reality Focused Business Innovation and Growth (B.I.G) Summit

Next Galaxy Corp.(OTCBB:NXGA) a leading technology and content solutions company developing dynamic, innovative consumer virtual reality experiences and technology, is proud to announce that Randi Zuckerberg is scheduled to be the keynote speaker for the company’s Business Innovation and Growth (B.I.G.) Summit.  Each year, The B.I.G. Summit welcomesRandi Zuckerberg sold out audiences of visionaries, thought leaders, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, media, business and community leaders to a day of BIG Ideas for propelling business forward.  The next B.I.G Summit produced by Next Galaxy Corp in partnership with the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce will be held at the New World Center in Miami Beach, Florida on Tuesday, January 20th 2015.

We’ve seen technology change the way that the world thinks and communicates over the past couple decades and I think that we are getting ready for another major shift with the emergence of Virtual and Augmented Reality,” said Randi Zuckerberg.  “No matter how much people think they know what is coming, these revolutionary technologies are likely to exceed all expectations with applications canvasing social media, entertainment, business and much more.  I am excited to be able to share my thoughts at The B.I.G. Summit.

Randi Zuckerberg is a New York Times Bestselling Author, the founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, a media and production company, and Editor-in-Chief of Dot Complicated, an online community helping us navigate and “untangle” our wired, wonderful lives. Randi recently released her first books with HarperCollins, The New York Times Best Seller, Dot Complicated, which addresses the multifaceted complications of our socially transparent world, and a children’s picture book, titled Dot. As an early executive at Facebook, Randi created and ran the social media pioneer’s marketing programs and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2011 for her innovative coverage of the 2010 mid-term elections. Since starting Zuckerberg Media, Randi has produced shows and digital content for PayPal, the Clinton Global Initiative, Cirque du Soleil, the United Nations, Bravo and Conde Nast, with many other projects in the works. Most recently, Randi launched her own radio show “Dot Complicated with Randi Zuckerberg” on SiriusXM’s business radio powered by the Wharton School Channel.

“Randi Zuckerberg continues the tradition of superstar lineups that the B.I.G Summit is known for.  The outstanding group of global thought leaders including Ms. Zuckerberg presents a rare opportunity for attendees to network and gain insight from the very best in the industry. We are excited to partner with the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce to bring this extraordinary event to Florida,” commented Mary Spio, President of Next Galaxy Corp.

With each B.I.G. Summit focusing on trends that are disrupting business and consumers, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Interactive Entertainment will be the primary topics of the upcoming event.  Randi’s keynote will focus on future trends, based on her knowledge and insights from the front lines of Silicon Valley, into how the world is going to change in the next 2-5 years and what consumers and businesses need to do to make sure they aren’t left behind.

“We are excited to partner with Next Galaxy’s Business Innovation and Growth (B.I.G) Summit and welcome visionaries, business leaders and entrepreneurs to Miami Beach,” said Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Chairman and SVP of Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust Michael S. Goldberg. “Randi’s keynote speech regarding the future of technology and how it could positively impact the economic development of Miami Beach will surely be one of the highlights of the summit.”

Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jerry Libbin added  “Miami Beach is quickly emerging as a technology and innovation hub. With all the great tech companies, pristine beaches and attractions, it is the perfect meeting place for the best and brightest minds in the industry to convene.”

Call for speakers for the event opens today, with opportunities for founders, thought leaders, C-level executives, venture capitalists and other industry visionaries to submit an application to offer insight and inspiration. Visit www.bigsummit.biz to register for the B.I.G Summit.

About Next Galaxy Corp:

Next Galaxy Corporation is a leading developer of innovative Augmented and fully Immersive Consumer Virtual Reality technology and content solutions. The Company’s flagship consumer product in development is CEEK, a next-generation fully immersive entertainment and social virtual reality platform featuring a combination of live, virtual and augmented events and experiences. Next Galaxy’s CEEK simulates the communal experience of attending live events, such as concerts, sporting events or business conferences through Virtual and Augmented Reality. In short, Next Galaxy is building the meeting places of the future.

For further information, visit www.nextgalaxycorp.com

Forward-looking statement:

This press release may contain statements of a forward-looking nature regarding future events. These statements are only predictions, and actual events may differ materially. Please refer to documents that Wiless Controls Inc. files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a discussion of certain factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements.

Contact:

Tina Brown Next Galaxy Corp. (877) 451-0008 Tina@ceek.com

 

Transplant Foundation, Inc. Encourages Individuals to Tee-Off For a Great Cause

Proceeds secured will go towards critical services funded by Transplant Foundation   

Miami Beach, FL (September 5, 2014) Golf enthusiasts will tee off in the 2014 Ed Morse Golf Classic to benefit Transplant Foundation on October 6th at the Miami Beach Golf Club with a 1:00 PM shotgun start. Registration begins at 12 PM, with a shotgun start for the scramble format set at 1 PM.

Lunch and dinner will be served for players and their guests as well as an open bar from 5:45pm to 7:45pm. Participants will also enjoy a silent auction filled with prizes varying from a basketball signed by the entire Miami HEAT team, Dolphins memorabilia, hotel stays, a Nike R11 Driver golf club, and more.

2014 Ed Mose Gold Classic Flier

This tournament will support transplant patients and raise awareness about the importance of registering as an organ donor by furthering the Transplant Foundation mission of helping the community by providing assistance to transplant patients and their families, educating the community of organ and tissue donation, and funding research. The lives we touch through Patient Services funded by this tournament is a tribute to our corporate and individual supporters.

This cause it critically important because there are currently over 123,000 people on the organ waiting list in the United States. Approximately every 10 minutes, another person is added to the list. 98% of adults have heard about organ donation, but only 45% of Florida is registered. Furthermore, 90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know the essential steps to become a donor. Because one organ donor can save up to 8 lives and impact up to 50 people, it is vitally important to share the gift of life and make an educated decision to register as an organ and tissue donor, knowing that donors receive the same quality of care and that all major religions support this choice.

Transplant Foundation Patient Services provides financial assistance to pre or post-operative organ and tissue transplant patients to cover emergency costs like medication, transportation, and other necessities. The emergency grants we give patients allows them to handle the burden of high medical costs while they apply for other funding. Because of our referrals from statewide transplant hospitals, we were able to double the rate at which we are assisting patients. We are proud to provide them with other benefits like the Mentor Program and education forums.

The tournament fee for golfers is $300 per person and $1,000 for a foursome including a boxed lunch, practice balls, golf fees, cocktails and dinner. In addition, each player will have the opportunity to win a car provided by Largo Honda for a hole-in-one shot.

“Golfers are encouraged to enroll as teams or as individuals to play. Tournament attendees will enjoy a full day at the links and help benefit this dynamic cause,” added James Konschnik, Chief Executive Officer for the Transplant Foundation. “A silent auction will take place and proceeds raised throughout this event will support the Transplant Foundation.”

For further information regarding the 2014 Ed Morse Golf Classic visit www.transplantfoundation.org/golfclassic  or call (305) 817-5645.

 

Miami Beach Chamber and Miami Association of Realtors to Host Real Estate Luncheon “Miami Tomorrow: Visionaries And Their Global Insight”

Panel Moderated by World Renowned Architecture Critic Paul Goldberger

On Friday, September 19, 2014 from 11 am to 2 pm, the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Real Estate Council and the Miami Association of Realtors come to together to host the annual Real Estate Luncheon at the luxurious Loews Hotel Miami Beach.

“Miami Tomorrow: Visionaries And Their Global Insight” will be a discussion centered around the transformative projects appearing in Miami Beach and Miami and the cities design Real Estate Luncheon Picture (Edited for Blog)evolution. Moderated by Architecture Critic for Vanity Fair and Author Paul Goldberger, the panel will be comprised of Landscape Architect Raymond Jungles, Executive Vice President of the Related Group Carlos Rosso, Partner at Richard Meir Architects Bernhard Karpf and CEO from the Miami Association of Realtors Teresa King Kinney. Representing a melting pot of cultures, Miami Beach and the Greater Miami area has developed into a unique city of cultural diversity and exciting architectural explorations and each panelist has a unique point of view regarding the subject.

The title sponsor of the event will be award winning architectural interior designer Alfred Karram Jr., from AKJ Design Concepts, who received the prestigious 2013 Stars on the Rise Award by the Design Center of the Americas.

“This panel discussion will focus on the Miami of Tomorrow: A discussion with visionaries on how they engage design and development in our South Florida Communities and what makes this place unique compared to other evolving cities,” said Reinaldo Borges, Design Principal of Miami based architecture firm Borges + Associates and Chairman of the Chamber’s Real Estate Council. “The discussion will also address how this creative process affects the value and dynamics of our Real Estate Market and creates value and an enhanced sense of place in our communities. We were thoughtful when selecting this all-star panel that are shaping the landscape of South Florida and the world and world renowned moderator Paul Goldberger who has written extensively on Architecture in America and the American City, this is a thought provoking conversation to expand the conversation on this most active Real Estate Market which is the focus of the World development and investment community.”

“The Chamber’s Real Estate Council is fortunate to have Reinaldo’s leadership and insight as a prominent Architect in his own right, and does an outstanding job of identifying the shifts and trends in our real estate market and bringing together the community to educate its leaders,” said Michael S. Goldberg, Chairman of the Chamber and SVP of Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust. “I look forward to hearing these dynamic panelists as they explore the unique nuances of design and architecture in Miami Beach and the surrounding areas.”

The world renowned moderator Paul Goldberger is an American architectural critic and educator, and a Contributing Editor for Vanity Fair magazine. From 1997 to 2011 he was the Architecture Critic for The New Yorker where he wrote the magazine’s celebrated “Sky Line” column. He also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in New York City. He was formerly Dean of the Parsons School of Design , a division of The New School. The Huffington Post has said that he is “arguably the leading figure in architecture criticism.”

The Real Estate Council at the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce hosts informational seminars and workshops with the goal of sharing experiences and offering guidelines to other Chamber members within the real estate industry. Please RSVP to this event as soon as possible before it sells out to guarantee your spot at this exciting event. You can RSVP by calling the chamber at 305-674-1300.

General admission tickets are available for $70, or $60 for Chamber Pillar members. Table sponsorships are available for $750. For more information on the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, visit www. miamibeachchamber.com or visit us on Twitter @MiamiBeachBiz or Facebook: Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.

18th Americas Food and Beverage Show to Showcase Global Culinary Scene and Generate $200 Million

The vibrant and diverse cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean take center stage at the WorFood and Drinksld Trade Center Miami’s 18th Americas Food and Beverage Show (www.americasfoodandbeverage.com) Oct. 27 and 28 with more than 500 top food producers from 24 countries, each showcasing their top products, recipes and delicacies.

The 18th Americas Food and Beverage Show at the Miami Beach Convention Center is the largest specialty food trade event in the Western Hemisphere and is expected to generate more than $200 million in actual and projected sales. The show generated $205 million in sales in 2013 and attracted 11,000 buyers to the two-day show.

“By all accounts, this will be the most successful event in show history. We expect more than 11,000 people from over 80 countries to visit the show and pursue trade opportunities with local companies and businesses throughout the Americas,” said Charlotte Gallogly, president of the World Trade Center Miami.

The 18th Americas Food and Beverage Show will feature more than 500 booths filled with specialty products from every corner of the globe, including country pavilions representing Algeria; Argentina;  Brazil; Colombia; Ecuador; Malaysia; Panama;  Peru; Thailand; Turkey; and the United States.

For the first time, there will be a Women’s Pavilion featuring 15 companies owned by women producing some of the best products in the Americas.  Visitors will also be able to take advantage of two days of business seminars geared to restaurants and food retailers.

The Americas Food and Beverage is a trade-only event that is closed to the general public. Attendee registration and media is open at http://www.americasfoodandbeverage.com

 

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