Homes are often the biggest asset someone owns. Building a home is thus an expensive undertaking. Remodeling a home is generally less expensive, but it can range from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. If a building contractor makes a mistake, they are liable to be sued or have to pay out of pocket to correct the mistake. Here are some of the most common mistakes home-building and remodeling contractors make.
Not Creating a Precise Scope of Work
What are you building? Is it a deck, a new chef-grade kitchen or a shed? Get specific. How large will the deck be in terms of square feet? Will you be replacing the cabinet doors and installing new appliances, or are you expected to rip everything out and build a new kitchen from the ground up? If you don’t make the customer get specific about what they want you to do, you can get into fights later because you imagined something very different from what the customer expected.
Not Having the Right Insurance Coverage
Too many contractors try to work without insurance, licensing and bonding. Home owners should reject a contractor who isn’t licensed to work with plumbing or wiring because of the literal threat mistakes in this area pose. A contractor who lacks a plumbing license can’t get permission for that new hot water heater installation, either. Then there’s the fact that unlicensed work can make the home unsellable later.
Contractors themselves may try to minimize or avoid having insurance, since it is an overhead expense. They should have liability insurance to pay for the damage their mistakes may cause to the customer’s home. Another mistake is failing to have worker’s compensation. They may think that because most of the work is done by hired contractors and day labor, they don’t have to have worker’s compensation. In reality, they are bound by the system due to the fact that they’re hiring people, especially in something as dangerous as construction. If you’re having trouble obtaining your compensation, work with an attorney who can defend your rights.
Not Having the Right Safety Measures
Never take shortcuts when it comes to safety. Don’t expect people to arrive with the right fall protection systems, hard hats and protective gloves. Provide it. Ensure that everyone on the site has the right training, and don’t let them take on dangerous work if they aren’t qualified. This means you can’t hire day laborers to work on a second story roof installing shingles, and you shouldn’t ask someone to clean up lead-based paint without the right safety training or safety gear. Invest in scaffolding for painters more than four feet off the ground.
Poor Project Planning
Poor project planning can take a variety of forms. A common mistake is failing to set a schedule or not managing the schedule. If you’re building a house, you should know when the carpet goes in before you pour the foundation. While there may be delays, you need to have a well-defined schedule. This ensures that your team isn’t idle because a critical task hasn’t been completed. You have to have a detailed schedule so that material is there on time but doesn’t sit so long it gets stolen or goes bad.