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Duffy & Feemster

How can I make my residential construction project a success?

While there is no way to eliminate all problems in a project, there are certain things you should keep in mind. Most disputes arise from misunderstandings about the details of the work. Some things that you should have are:

(a) Competent house plans which show the work to be performed in sufficient detail.

(b) Specifications or a list showing the actual materials to be used in the house. If a particular brand and SEER rating HVAC unit is to be used, it should be on the list. A certain brand of faucets, roofing, a certain type of wood for flooring, etc. – If it is supposed to be in the house, it should be on the list.

(c) A written agreement which identifies the work which will be done and the price for that work as well as the other pertinent rights and obligations of the parties.

Owners, remember that is very important to consider very carefully the contractor that you are using on the job before you hire them. The most inexpensive option is not always the best. Consider whether the contractor has a good reputation in the industry, is insured, and has performed projects of this size and scope and complexity before. For certain aspects of construction work, the builder has to be licensed.

Contractors, remember that the duty to make the agreement between the parties clear goes both ways. Make sure your contract protects you. Making sure the parties are on the same page before you start work can save you a lot of trouble. Also remember that a little communication or patience can go a long way to avoiding bigger problems.

For a job of any size, you may save considerable amounts of money by consulting with a lawyer in the contract phase of the construction project. However, a lawyer cannot represent both sides of the transaction. Ideally, each party would get their own attorney.

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