Recently Recieved from the BAEC home office:

Congratulations…You’re deciding to proceed with your remodeling, renovation, or building plan.                                              

If you do your homework before the first hammer blow, you can avoid many of the potential pitfalls and stresses.

Are you clear about exactly what you want done?

Before you contact a contractor or an architect, you have to know what you want done to your house.  It’s unrealistic to expect a contractor, who doesn’t know you or your life style, to be able to build your dream.  If you have only a vague idea of what you want your” new kitchen” to look like, spend the time to look through magazines, brochures on kitchens, or take snap shots of friends’ kitchens that you love.  Your vague ideas will begin to clear and you’ll be able to be specific about what you want.

A good FUNCTIONAL design is important.

Good contractors are able to bring together the design requirements with their creative knowledge, practical application and hands-on experience.  When utilizing the services of an architect, consider the benefits of including your contractor in the design process.  Having the contractor and architect working together from the onset will alleviate many potential problems from occurring.  By having a well-planned, functional design you will make the best use of quality materials and craftsmanship to assure the outcome you desire.

Where Do I Find A “GOOD” Contractor?

Choose your contractor carefully. The advertisements in the yellow pages won’t tell you the things you most need to know in the process of choosing your contractor.  You want to know about the quality of workmanship. Client relations, references, job history, reliability, honesty, etc.  Good contractors become known by word-of mouth for the quality of the work they do and the client relationships they have developed.  Many of their jobs come through referrals from satisfied customers.  Capable, dependable contractors are in demand and may need to be scheduled months or even years in advance.  Talk to friends who have had building, renovation or remodeling work done—network; take a drive around your area to explore work being done.

Before you decide…Get the Facts!

The Builders Association of Eastern Connecticut, Inc. can help you understand the building process and give you information you need to know to select a reputable contractor. Visit our resource center in Salem to see what's available at little or no cost.

In Choosing a Contractor Consider:                                                                                        Can you communicate openly with the contractor?                                                  Does he/she take the time to really listen to what you want?                                      Look at both recent and past jobs. Talk to past customers.                                             Check litigation history.                                                                                                       Can the contractor “really” start and finish when he/she says they can?             Check current workload.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Help Your Contractor:                                                      Communicate your objectives and clearly from the beginning.                           Provide the necessary money—pay promptly.                                                       Provide good access to the project.                                                                                   You have chosen a contractor you trust—follow his/her lead.                                          Be available for meetings.                                                                                               Make decisions promptly.                                                                                               Have reasonable standards of performance.                                                                 Be prepared to accept unpredictable weather conditions.                                             Be responsible for your own actions which affect the job’s progress.              Remember, treat others the way you would like to be treated.

Having contractors bid on your job may not be the most effective way to choose the best contractor for you.  The abilities of contractors, how they bid and how they run their jobs can vary greatly. 

Negotiated Contracts are a very positive alternative with little to no downside.

Competitive Bidding                                                                      More risk to owner.                                                                                                                More risk for contractor.                                                                                               Adversarial relationship among contractor, architect/engineer and owner Contractor protects self interest.                                                                                        Gets low cost bids.                                                                                                                   High charges for change orders.                                                                                         No contractor involvement during planning stage.                                                      Requires good estimator.                                                                                          Emphasizes price.                                                                                                         Assumes that the quality will be the same with all contractors.                                   Price is the deciding factor.                                                                                               Legal costs can be much higher.                                                                                                        

Negotiated Contract                                                                      Less risk to owner.                                                                                                                 Less risk for contractor.                                                                                                   Team relationship among contractor, architect/engineer and owner.                   Contractor works for owner.                                                                                       Emphasizes quality.                                                                                                     Reasonable charges for change orders.                                                                           Heavy involvement of contractor during planning.                                                      Requires good conceptual estimator.                                                                  Emphasizes service.                                                                                                       Chooses contractors on the basis of work and track record.                                 Considers experience, quality, reliability, on-time completion and creativity.                                                                                                                                Legal costs usually lower.  

 

                                                     

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