Sunday, August 30, 2009

Home Building - Homeowner Tips

Like most people you have heard the nightmare stories from family and friends about the home they built or the remodel they did and how things didn't go right .The project took far too long and ended up costing more then initially discussed. The owner blames the contractor, the contractor blames the owner and it's the same old song and dance. What's the key thing usually missing in the scenario?

Communication between all parties

As an owner builder you may look at the process and think how hard can it be, hire a guy to do this another to do that and it's done right? most likely it's not. There are so many things that can be overlooked or go wrong, and you may be surprised to learn that most people working in the trades simply just don't care about quality nor do they care to work with other trades for the common good of the project. It takes someone to orchestrate, and someone with experience to get the job done right.

You may be hiring an architect and/or building contractor and more often then not they can't seem to get it right either, they simply don't understand that it takes a team working together towards a common goal. The goal being making sure your project comes together as you envisioned it, on time, and on budget. As a building contractor we have built many custom homes and in most cases struggled through the process using plans and specifications that frankly just weren't thought through completely.

Nine out of ten times the building contractor doesn't even see the plans until it is time to put the numbers together for the project.

On average most people looking to build will hand off their plans to about three contractors for pricing before they make a decision. Now let's assume the plans and specifications don't have all the necessary information needed to price the job out correctly, these three contractors now have to call the architect and the customer to get their questions answered, or they don't bother to ask any questions at all and the customer is left with the contractors interpretation of the plans.

We have seen time and time again where the customer says, "I thought that was included" and the typical response from the contractor is, "it wasn't on the plans", and or "you didn't ask for it.

Or how about this one, the customer states to the contractor, "why didn't you tell me I shouldn't use this type of stone in my shower?" the typical response is usually I didn't know, or you didn't ask. So many times the architect will call out for materials in their specifications that they saw or read about in a magazine without understanding the application process, what it takes to be installed properly, or how it will adhere to the other materials surrounding it.

The point is, there is so much to know about building a home correctly, it takes years of actually working with the materials, and doing the installations to understand the what, when, and how.

The bottom line is, if you're thinking about building yourself or decide to hire someone to do the build, hire yourself a consultant first, most likely it will save you time, money, and more importantly your sanity.

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