Peter writes: I received a quote from a building company for a new customized, pre-fabricated home. The quote and specifications are quite complex. How can I tell if the price is reasonable and competitive with a site-built home? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: To find out if the bid is in the ballpark, you can compare it to similar new homes for sale in your … [Read more...] about Modular Housing Costs vs. Site-Built?
Bud writes: Our contract is a fixed fee tied to the final cost per square foot, and it provides the builder a bonus for meeting the cost target. Should the bonus be held until the punch list is completed or paid at the final draw before punch list? Second, who typically pays for the punch list, the builder or the owner, if issues arise and the workmanship was not up to par … [Read more...] about The Final Check and Punch List
Terence writes: How would you recommend paying a project manager? Would it be a percentage of the building cost or a daily or hourly rate? What would the rate be? Steve Bliss of BuildingAdvisor.com responds: Construction management is still primarily used on large commercial projects, but is gaining in popularity in residential work as it promises to reduce costs and give … [Read more...] about Hiring a Construction Manager
Travis writes: We are in the planning stages of building a house. We will be paying cash and have gotten quotes from three builders. We have been told by three different insurance agents that as the property owners paying cash, that we should have the Builder’s Risk insurance and the builder should have liability insurance. Two of the builders told us that they are the ones … [Read more...] about Who Should Buy Builder’s Risk Insurance?
Budd writes: I am building an addition to my home. My contractor is charging me a 22% markup, which is fine. However, in his contract, he states that if I find someone outside his business to do part of the work (like put in flooring, for example), he will still charge me 22% of what the flooring guy is charging me, since he says he is still in control of the entire … [Read more...] about Owner-Supplied Labor for Part of a Job?