Here’s how to protect yourself and get the finished product you want.
Proper planning will dramatically reduce the number of costly changes you make once your construction project is underway. Create a precise plan and budget with a specific list of materials, fixtures and finishes you want. …right down to the make and model number of the appliances, lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, flooring and more. You can do a little work now by planning….or pay a lot more once construction is underway. Find out what your real numbers are and make the adjustments before you begin work. A qualified builder with integrity and good planning skills will help you in the planning stage.
#2 Stick to Your Plan
Once you have created the plan and related budget, stick to your plan. Every project is going to require some changes, so try to minimize these changes by sticking to the plan you created before the construction began. Change orders and add-ons to the original plan are the biggest mistakes homeowners make. One of the most common complaints from consumers are the outrageous costs that come from “change-orders” or work that arises after the contract is in place and construction is underway.
#3 Written Contract
Make absolutely sure you have a written contract that specifies the full scope of work and a detailed breakdown of all material and labor costs. Watch out for “allowances” …they are the easiest way for a contractor to add huge increases to the total cost of your finished project. You should also make sure the contractor you choose to work with has a transparency policy that permits you to see all the costs of items and a policy that clearly states how they will handle changes and what those changes will cost you. Transparency and disclosure are key and you are entitled to both.
#4 Check the Contractor’s Credentials
In the Consumer Reports findings; almost 20% of the general contractors either did not have a valid State License or proper insurance. Make sure you check the contractor’s credentials and know who you are dealing with; their reputation, qualifications and proper licensing & insurance is essential.
#5 Make Your Contractor the Point Person
You hired the builder to manage the work. Let them do their job. Your builder should constantly inform you of all activity, conversations with your architect or designer, weekly if not daily progress reports. A qualified GC is experienced in keeping everything moving and everyone on task. You will simplify and streamline the communication process if you make your contractor the point person. If you know everything that is going on and have a qualified builder, they will be certain to address any of your concerns and remedy any issues immediately.
#6 Stay Involved
If you know everything that is going on and have a qualified builder, they will be certain to address any of your concerns and remedy any issues immediately. It’s your job to stay involved and regularly communicate with your contractor. When building or renovating a home, the most crucial decision you will make is which contractor to hire to oversee the build. At Fein Construction, we want you to be fully educated so you can avoid costly mistakes.
Contact Us anytime for guidance on your next project!