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Old 04-18-2013, 02:14 PM   #1
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Uneasy feeling around my builder


We started building our new home. We have been happy with our builder so far. There have been some setbacks but mainly on our township and the bank.

I'm getting the impression that he underestimated the cost and time to move dirt and existing trees. This isn't my fault but I get the feeling when I'm around him on the job site.

We stop in about once a day mainly to see if they need anything and also to take pictures of whats going on.... not to check up but to send pictures to my family who lives away. And we are anxious.

SHould I be concerned about an outstanding balance at the end of this for unexpected issues or should I be concerned about cutting corners to make up for missed costs?

Thanks,
Tom

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Old 04-18-2013, 02:30 PM   #2
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Uneasy feeling around my builder


The best thing to do is talk to him. Ask him if there are any issues or problems he has experienced or forsees.The best thing it to make sure he can be comfotable talking to you so you don't get surprised later on in the project. Accept the fact that there may be unexpected cost over-runs.

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Old 04-18-2013, 02:32 PM   #3
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I have been talking to him. I guess I've been doing all the talking. How does that add up if he creates the quote to have it turn key? Just wondering where I stand. I don't want a tab of $20k tacked on at the end when I was told the house would be complete for X amount.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:41 PM   #4
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Uneasy feeling around my builder


Unless there are stipulations in the contract for unknown issues....you should not be getting a bill for additional work that he did not foresee...

It's one thing for you to say..."Hey, we don't want that door there, put it here instead"....but if you have a contract...you have a contract.

I've seen some guys use that kind of 'attitude' to make you feel guilty and get suckered into paying more....the original contractor I used for my garage foundation tried that....
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:48 PM   #5
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So I guess the best thing to do is sit back and let it all pan out. Also communicate with him.

Thanks
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:51 PM   #6
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Uneasy feeling around my builder


Your signed contract should have specified how overruns would be handled and when prior notification would be necessary? Keep communication with him and if you are concerned, go ahead and ask him?

It is really too early to worry too much. Be careful not to micromanage as it will end up driving all parties nuts. Let him do what you hired him to do.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:52 PM   #7
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I'm far from a micromanager. I deal with them at my office.

blaaa
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:49 PM   #8
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just make sure that any changes from the plans/specs/contract are done in writing. The change order needs to be signed by both, explains how the change is equal to the plans/specs/contract, how it affects your end cost, and any delays in the project the change makes.

remember, pale ink is better than a good memory .... everything in writing
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:01 AM   #9
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You DO have a contract? Right???
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:28 AM   #10
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I hired a guy to install a driveway at our house for $5K. Before the work began the city came out and marked off 35' of sidewalk. I asked the contractor what that was all about and he said "I have no idea". Turns out he just didn't want to tell me that the city tacked on replacing the sidewalk along with the permit for the driveway. His crew came out and cut the curb and excavated the first part of the drive way. Then he shows up an lets me in on the sidewalk and extra $1200. What a schnook! I told him that was not our arrangement and that I had no intention of paying him a cent. He figured that the gaping hole and pile of dirt was going to bully me into submission but I get mean when backed into a corner. Had he been up front with me we could have worked it out in an amenable way.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:04 PM   #11
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Take him and his crew some donuts some morning or light beer some evening when you are there and thank them for the work thus far. A token of appreciation will be returned to you 10-fold if the need arises during the construction process. I have proven this theory to myself many times with sub-contractors on our job sites. The trick is to do it on a Friday, so it seems celebratory and not a transparent "butter up" tactic.

If they like you, you will like them.

Forgot to mention that you can bring up your concerns while noshing on donuts and coffee with them.
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:25 PM   #12
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Uneasy feeling around my builder


Hey Tom,
Sorry to hear about your situation. I always trust my inside voice, trust yours too.

If you have plans approved with a permit from your building department, the scope of the work should include ALL that is on your plans (and specs).

If you have a signed contract, make sure it includes the scope to include your plans n specs.

Additional changes should be for:
• Work not specified on the drawings.
• Unforseen conditions (in new construction should only be limited to underground work).
• Extra work you want to do not included in your original design.

If you have a document that specifies how progress payments are made (either by time or by progress), follow it! Do not overpay your contractor. It is the best way to stay in control. If you don't have such a document, I suggest you create one and add it as a supplemental document to the signed contract (addenda).

Keep an eye on the quality, corners being cut, and a reduction in the quantity of people coming to work on your project. They are all bad signs.

Bottom line Tom, you need to remain active in the process and not passive. Controlling the money is the best way. Asking questions is a good way to announce your contractor you are watching everything. Don't mistaken this as a sign your contractor is a bad dude, just stay alert and keep things honest and clear.

Good Luck!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcaddy View Post
We started building our new home. We have been happy with our builder so far. There have been some setbacks but mainly on our township and the bank.

I'm getting the impression that he underestimated the cost and time to move dirt and existing trees. This isn't my fault but I get the feeling when I'm around him on the job site.

We stop in about once a day mainly to see if they need anything and also to take pictures of whats going on.... not to check up but to send pictures to my family who lives away. And we are anxious.

SHould I be concerned about an outstanding balance at the end of this for unexpected issues or should I be concerned about cutting corners to make up for missed costs?

Thanks,
Tom

Last edited by Gary in WA; 04-19-2013 at 11:35 PM. Reason: removed web link belongs below signature line.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:19 AM   #13
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Uneasy feeling around my builder


Try to be friendly with your builder and talk to him your feeling. Ask him if needs something or talk to him about your curiosity to see your home completed. You can also share your views on the kind of materials he is using and your expectations.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:30 PM   #14
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Uneasy feeling around my builder


your not eating diner with this guy are you.... call for a sitdown and a progress report or unexpected issues (time is the killer) and is it reflecting the cost as it goes. wait till the end with moving in confusion punch list stuff...and he is going to stick you.get a magnifier glass and check the original contract for extras to be flagged and noted to owners.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:46 AM   #15
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Thanks guys. All this has been helpful.

I called him up and I was completely open with him stating that I'm never out there to check up on him or whatever when I'm taking pictures. I take a ton of pictures for my blog. I explained that I didn't want any communication breakdown between us because of that. I asked him if he felt everything was on schedule and money was ok. I think it relaxed him as me.

We talked for a while about some concerns I had with several things.

It went well. I feel much better now.

It's all about the communication.

Here is my blog from the start.: Lots of pictures. This is from day one of finding the property to my fun of tearing down an existing home. etc etc.

http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...ound-some-land.

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