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?
Q: Please explain the difference between General Conditions and Overhead & Profit when you want to separate them in a proposal for your client. What items fall into each category? Also, what percentage is the norm for General Conditions in a proposal? -- Tonka S. A: Let's first define terms. There are two types of overhead expenses. Some contractors mix the two together, … [Read more...] about How Much Markup For General Conditions, Overhead & Profit?
Q: I am trying to challenge my property taxes without going through a big expense. I have 14.5 acres. Six acres are considered unbuildable. Of the remaining 8.5 acres, all are considered buildable. I don't understand how they can be buildable when there is no access or frontage to any of this property, Is there any type of definition as to what makes land unbuildable? … [Read more...] about Appealing Assessment of Unbuildable Lot
Q: My wife and I gave earnest money for a piece of land to build our dream home. Before we paid the full amount, the seller contacted us to say the drainage plan failed on the land and had to be re-engineered. NOW the land has a drainage pond in it, which my wife and I don't want as it is too much upkeep etc. I asked the seller to refund our earnest money and he said NO. What … [Read more...] about How Do I Get Earnest Money Refunded?
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?
Faith writes: Where do I start to make my six-acre unimproved lot buildable? Though there is a house on the lot adjacent to my land, in addition to three to four homes in front of my property, the planning and zoning department in my county is saying that my land is not buildable. Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: The place to start is by talking with the … [Read more...] about Building on an “Unbuildable” Lot
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 Will Modular Homes Save You Money?