Building a home, office space, or completing a renovation is exciting, and it’s easy to get caught up in the fun and lose track of some of the things your builder is doing. Read on to learn about a few things of which you need to be aware, and how to double check that you’re protected.
1) My low bid is probably dishonest
It’s normal for homeowners to solicit at least three bids before choosing a contractor to begin a project on their home. If one builder is coming in with a bid significantly lower than other builders, there’s a good chance that he or she is not giving you the full story, and is either going to do a subpar job on your home, or is going to eventually jack up the pricing.
When a builder gives you a low bid, it’s a good idea to show them the bids of the other contractors and ask them what exactly is different that allows them to come in at a significantly lower price. Most contractors in a single area use the same suppliers, so it’s rare for one contractor to be able to get a better deal than others.
2) My contract has built-in extras
Many tradesmen hide extras into the contract. For example, the original contract may suggest using low-quality building materials, and over the course of the project, the builders may try to convince you to upgrade. Builders may also lowball the amount of time that the project is going to take to complete, and then add on additional hours to your bill.
3) If I’m not insured, you could end up footing my bill
It’s vital that you make sure that your builder has builders insurance from a reputable company, and that their policy covers both liability and worker’s compensation insurance. A quality contractor is used to being asked about insurance- he or she should be happy to provide you a copy of their policy upon your request. If the builder gives you any pushback when you ask about insurance, it’s time to consider going with someone else.
4) I might cut corners
Hidden projects, such as drywall and plumbing, may be done poorly, and you would be none the wiser. While most builders put in supreme effort to make sure that the parts of the project visible to the eye (such as tile, paint, and flooring) are done well, many builders cut corners behind the scenes. It’s a good idea to supervise the builder’s work at least some of the time- having you in the area that the work is being done will keep your builder and their staff on their toes for doing things right. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for something to be re-done if it does not meet your standards.
5) You should come to me- not the other way around
Many scam artists go door-to-door looking for vulnerable people whom they can convince that repairs need to be done on their home immediately. Reputable builders do not go door-to-door. If someone knocks on your door and tells you that there is a problem with your home, thank them and tell them that you will be contacting your builder to look at the issue.
6) I may not be licensed
It’s important to make sure that your builder is licensed for the type of project that you’re asking them to do. When you look at your builder’s license, make sure it matches the project- for example, a commercial builder may not be licensed for a residential project. It’s important to do your research to make sure your builder is certified to complete the task at hand.
So, next time you go looking for a builder, make sure you take these 6 things into consideration. Otherwise, your builder probably won’t bring them up and you could end up with an overprice or poorly done job.