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Unfortunately, most new homes (particularly those built by developers) are built with little regard to quality and durability, by less-technically-savvy tradesmen at the lowest price point possible to appeal to a prospective buyer's sense of value.
Should you be concerned? Most of these sorts of issues are not conditions potentially leading to structural failure but rather finish failures and just generally less-than-desirable quality.
There are many industry specification references for quality, and likely your builder references a spec which is more forgiving of such issues. For instance, a spec for drywall might say "out of level or line x inches in x feet" or simply "imperfections not visible under normal lighting conditions when viewed from x feet away". You may want to research which specification may have been referred-to as quality guaranty when the home was sold.
Of course, this is a generalization and does not apply to all new construction. One would want to engage a building professional to determine what may be happening in the particulars of your home.
To help you I need to ask a few questions:
1. Do you have a good contract?
2. Does the contract state in writing start time?
3. Do you think you have paid money to the contractor more than the work completed?
4. Does your state require a licence?
5. Is the contractor a friend of your?
Hello Katrina, sorry to hear about your experience thus far. Regarding cutting your losses and hiring someone else, all states are different, but a contract cancellation clause should have been outlined in the contractor's contract / scope of work. If it was not spelled out in your contract, you might want to contact the licensing board in your state for additional information. Next step would be contacting an attorney.
Mark I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble with your contractor. I certainly wouldn't understand all of your situation, but I'll try to offer some general advise.
First and foremost you should try to resolve any disputes with your contractor directly. (I assume you may have already taken this step) Sometimes it is best to think about listing the reasons for your concerns out in written form and what resolutions you would like. While you shouldn't expect everything to end up perfectly, knowing what you are looking for is a good start and as a contractor it gives them a place to start working toward a resolution with you.
Second you should work with CCB for your state to resolve your dispute if the first step does not work out. The CCB is an independent party and will work in the best interest of both parties to try to find a mutually agreeable resolution to the concerns. Knowing the reasons for your dispute and the resolutions you are seeking will help both the CCB and your contractor in working with you towards a resolution.
Third, if you are unsuccessful in those endeavors you can explore further action based upon the contract you and your contractor signed at the oustet of your project.
Again, I'm sorry to hear of your situation and wish you the best of luck in finding a resolution.
Congrats on the new home! I think you have started off on a really good foundation with open dialog with your new neighbors. A few suggestions.
Make sure you communicate with your neighbors about you project and how long it will last. Let them know that if there is any concern that they can talk to you about it. Give them an easy way to contact you.
Have your contractors be respectful. There will obviously be early mornings or late nights for work to be done, but be respectful of your neighbors. Maybe offer some earplugs for them to block out the unwanted noises or ask the guys to start later on a Saturday or Sunday so your neighbors can sleep in.
Clean up.... Make sure that anyone who is building and installing cleans up after themselves. Cigarette butts, trash, cursing, loud music and loose nails are only some of the concerns of an active work sight. And those concerns grow for neighbors with children.
My biggest suggestion, at the completion of the job have an open house. Invite your neighbors to come see your new house and the project that was goign on next door. It will offer you a time to get to know one another better. Use it as a way to say thanks for dealing with the last few months.Good luck!!
There is mudh information about how to find an architect/designer for new home construction or remodeling additions. Unfortunately, many decisions end up being based on numbers, specifically the cost estimate to prepare the design and specifications. Basing such an important decision and arguably one of the largest investments of your life on mere numbers is at least incomplete and at worst, a potential nightmare scenario.
It is recommended that a comprehensive approach be undertaken that admittedly takes a little more time than just providing an initial cost estimate but one that can result in truly finding the firm for your unique situation and budget.
It starts with identifying what's "right" for you, a unique definition that requires a solid vision for your project and some personal introspection. For instance, if you are planning on undertaking a large whole house remodel or a contemporary/modern design style, you should look at architects and/or design/build firms in your area that specialize in and have a track record of building those types of projects.
Narrow that list by investigating each company's websites, calling their references if available, the Better Business Bureau, and your local building association chapter.
You should consider the types of personalities you like and respond to best. You won't know if you're 'compatible' until you meet face-to-face. If you're confident in one firm either from your research or a strong referral, you may not feel the need to meet with any other candidates. But if you are truly starting your search from scratch, without a referral from a trusted source, it is suggested that you develop a short list of 3-4 firms and invite them to make a presentation in your home -- as much to glean their methods as to gauge compatibility and their interest in your project.
At those meetings, be open and honest about your project. If you have a draft fllor plan or inspiration photos, show them. Request that each candidate bring photos of projects that are similar to yours in style and size. Inquire about how they differentiate themselves from their peers.
Finally, ask each candidate on how they price their services and, in turn, share your project budget, There's no sense in trying to forge a good working relationship if you are not forthcoming about what you can afford..
Once you find an architect or design/build firm that's earned your confidence in their skills, understanding of your project, and (most important) their ability to communicate with you, it's time to refine and sign a contract and get them involved in the project as soon as possible.
Ask for references and speak to past clients to find out if the architect can design within budget. Find out if the architect has experience doing residential remodeling. Get a complete price for the entire design development and construction document package including consultants i.e. engineering, permit processing etc. Don't pay a retainer until you check hiring an archictect against a design - build firm who will handle the entire process for one fee.
I aggree with everyone above. In our experience the most common thing that tends to happen in the design process is that the design tends to overrun the budget and often there can be delays and added expense as a result.
How will they integrate design, selections, and construction?
What is their track record for being able to design a project that meets a target construction budget, and actually complete the construction project?
How do they help to ensure that the project ends up on time, on budget, and as beautiful as imagined?
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