Construction site conflict is a familiar refrain; site managers may get frustrated at changes to the building plans or delays caused by homeowners while they, in turn, may not be getting what they asked for. So many prospective homeowners have their dream homes turn into construction site nightmares that there are whole TV channels devoted to this theme. But there are some precautions you can take to ensure that your home build goes off without a hitch.
The success of your build is dependent on the efficacy of your contractor. When selecting contractors, ask friends and family members for referrals or search online for options. Search business rating sites like the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List to read reviews from previous clients.
Ask your builder to show you some projects that they have already completed. Ensure that they have experience with all the building techniques and any new materials you will be using in your home. For example, if you opt to use a super-insulating ICF wall system to save on your energy consumption and create a stronger home, select a contractor that has already trained for and installed an ICF wall system before.
Know your stuff
Do your research and know everything you need to in order to make informed decisions and to recognize mistakes when you see them. Knowing what you want and how you want your home to function will be an enormous asset to your builder and designer.
Make as many of the design decisions as you can prior to the start of your build. Work with your builder and designer to make plans as comprehensive as possible. When designs are altered or builders have to wait for you to make decisions, misunderstandings and delays occur.
Get it in writing
Always get more than one estimate and ask for detailed quotes. You don’t want to accept a quote on labor alone only to learn that materials are exorbitantly expensive. Ensure that the quotes cover the same things so that they are comparable.
Establish timelines and responsibilities prior to the start of a project. That way everyone knows what they are supposed to do and when they are supposed to do it. Create contracts and sign them; always get everything in writing.
This includes changes you make as the job progresses. Discuss changes with your designer to ensure that they comply with building codes. Discuss them with your contractor and if they agree to the changes, get a quote, get it in writing and have everyone sign off on the altered building plans.
Should a disagreement occur, always remain calm. Take some time away from the site if you can’t meet with a resolution and tempers become frayed. Be reasonable and offer a compromise; remember that it is in your best interests to resolve disputes amicably as delays will only increase your costs.