How to Avoid Changes, Extras, and Surprise Charges on Your Next Job Q: We were hit with a $20,000 extra for changes in our new home after the framing was completed. We had a fixed-price contract. The changes including a revised stair layout (U-shape to to L), removing some windows, and moving a bathroom. The framing was completed, but no plumbing or electrical was done. Does … [Read more...] about Is Our Contractor Overcharging Us?
My contractor and I have an ongoing issue with the final payment of the contract and has filed a mechanic's lien. The contractor demanded final payment before all of the items in the contract were finished. Our main concern, among others, was the fact the contractor wanted final payment before they took all of the trash they piled on my patio for the duration of the … [Read more...] about How Can We Fight a Mechanic’s Lien?
Q: We built a custom home. Builder did not follow installation guidelines for siding, roof or paver driveway. We are withholding last payment which puts us in violation of OC. No ice shield, missing drip edge, wavy roof. The lists are long. Incorrect installation voids the manufacturer's warranty. We don’t want builder’s incompetent workers to “fix” issues. How do we move … [Read more...] about How To Fire A Contractor — The Right Way
Q: At the end of remodeling my home (original contract price $149,000) I was hit with an extra $24,500 for items I was unaware of. The contractor said every time that they were ordered by my architect. But I don't have an architect! I only had the architect to draw up the original plans but not stay involved with the project. Some of the items are door change, tearing down … [Read more...] about Should I Pay Extra Charges at End of Remodeling Job?
AB writes: On a pretty large remodel job, the contractor has not abided by the contract terms he has written up. He insisted I was limited to a “discount” granite slab he had already purchased, and if I wanted to pick my own slab, there would be a $1300 extra charge. In the language of the contract, any item that is already installed cannot be rejected. So in effect he limited … [Read more...] about Resolving Disputes Over Specs, Change Orders & Cost Overuns
Q: If a ceramic-tile floor is failing in our less than 10-year-old home, does the builder have an obligation to replace it if it was not installed properly? Are there minimum requirements that have to be met when installing a ceramic floor in new construction? — Sheila A: There are well-established industry standards for setting ceramic tile, published by the Tile Council of … [Read more...] about Warranties and New-Home Defects
Bryn asks: On a cost-plus bid, what be an average to high-average markup to expect from a contractor with a strong reputation for doing good work? What is the highest percentage one might expect? Are there other factors in comparing bids? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: There is no industry standard for markup percentage and the numbers vary a lot depending on … [Read more...] about Cost-Plus: How Much Markup?
Alex asks: Our contractor wants us to take out the building permit for an addition under our name and says that is standard procedure. Does it matter whether the owner or contractor takes out the building permit? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: In general, you are better off having the contractor take out the permit. If you take out the permit in your (the … [Read more...] about Who Applies for Building Permit?