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?
Barbara asks: We had to build a new basement under our home and hired an architect to develop plans. The job included enlarging our downstairs bedroom and adding a garage off the bedroom. The former back entrance was a split-level (you either walked up 5 stairs to the main floor, or down 7 stairs to the basement). The exposed foundation wall at the entrance was about 2-1/2 … [Read more...] about Who Pays for Architect’s Mistake?
Dawn writes: I need help! I am a homeowner who is doing a major remodel. I should say up front that I really like the GC we have picked... good reputation and references, been around forever. He has been very fair about working with us to change wording in our potential contract so that both of us feel like our interests are covered, etc. We have not signed a contract with … [Read more...] about Allowances — What’s Fair? Also Fixed-Price vs. Cost-Plus Bids
Nadia writes: Hi, I'm planning to have a home built in an established subdivision with a couple of vacant lots. I have the option of either buying the lot and then building, or having the developer build and then buying the entire land-home package. I'm leaning towards doing the land-home package, but I want to have control over the process. I want to be able to make site … [Read more...] about Buy a Land-House Package or Hire a Builder?
Gina writes: I am a self taught decorator who has recently been asked to assemble a specification book for an architect on a project he is working on. I need a template for this information, any suggestions? Steve Bliss of BuildingAdvisor.com responds: I suggest you start by reading the section on specifications if you haven't already. A widely software package widely … [Read more...] about Where to Find Residential Construction Specifications