Tag Archives: insurance

How to avoid potential disasters when building your home without a GC…

and possible consequences when you choose to DIY

LEGAL ISSUES:

Why hire an architect, designer or builder when you know what you want, and you know how to do it (or have some friends who are willing to help)?  Go ahead and start building!!!

Please don’t, for your own sake.  Are you aware of the local and national building codes?  Are you or your friends versed in civil, structural, mechanical, or electrical engineering?  Will you feel confident that you won’t be electrocuted because your home is not properly grounded?  How do you feel about paying out a large settlement to a friend who is hurt on your property?  If you are comfortable with any of these situations, you have more guts than anyone I know.

Please DO – Go through the proper channels and have your building inspected by the proper authorities (see permit point below) and built by the experts!

Building without a permit might sound like a great way to avoid delays in starting construction.  Plus you get the added bonus of not needing those pesky inspections that are holding back your moving into your dream home.  DON’T DO IT!!!  Building departments not only adhere to most local and national codes, but some may have their own requirements to hire contractors and subcontractors that are licensed and insured within the municipality (and state licensed in some cases).  Unless you want a big fat STOP WORK ORDER, we suggest playing by the rules for your own protection.  Permitting and inspections go hand in hand with doing things right (as noted in the above section).

ARCHITECTURAL ISSUES:

  • Sourcing materials from multiple locations may end up with different lots (tile or flooring may not match even though the manufacturer is the same)
  • Tiles may lay uneven, have bad cuts, or large grout joints. In shower situations, leaking may occur if all proper steps are not completed
  • Ordering cabinetry from a big box store without a designer can leave you with cabinetry that does not fit (especially if the framing and drywall is not plumb and square)
  • Framing is not properly designed for loads on flooring or roof. This is not only an architectural issue, but a structural one that is unsafe!
  • Fixtures may not line up with electrical or plumbing in walls and floors leading to bad or awkward layouts. Ordering foreign fixtures online may have different connections that are incompatible with the S.

Amanda Regelin, Sr. Project Manager (Residential and Commercial Divisions)

Please feel free to contact us at info@crownbuilds.com or 219-488-2400 for more useful tips, and don’t forget to view our latest projects at http://crownconstructionin.houzz.com/ and

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crown-Construction-Contracting/1420513534844348

 

What exactly are you paying for in a builder’s fee (OH&P) and general conditions?

Often, home builders and general contractors (as well as subcontractors) are questioned about “what is included in general conditions and contractors’ fees”, and perhaps, “why is it so expensive when I can just do the contracting myself?”  While this may seem like a valid question, there are many things included in these costs that are not so obvious to a homeowner.

What to expect in a general contractor or home builder’s fee (overhead and profit):

  • Contractors work for a profit…just as any other business. We offer free estimates in ALL cases, which cost us a lot of time, energy and money, and when we do not get a project, we do not collect a fee.
  • When we perform our services, we expect a payment for management of scheduling, assisting with material selections, maintaining ongoing daily communication with all parties (including subcontractors, architect, building officials (inspectors) and municipalities, and the client), managing and assuring the budget stays on track, as well as office and administrative costs.
  • A reputable general contractor will carry the proper insurance including general liability and worker’s compensation which is a hard cost and must be maintained to protect the client, ourselves and others working on the job. He will also ensure that all of the subcontractors on site are properly insured in both GL and WC, another form of protection to the client.
  • General conditions can include:
    • Salary for on-site supervision during your construction project.
    • Safety, barricades, protection, clean-up (including final cleaning), travel time, temporary toilets, dumpsters, temporary driveways, equipment rentals, jobsite trailers and storage containers, etc.

Many television shows have been deceitful to the public by touting ridiculously low and impossible costs of construction, as well as many that can be done DIY (and within days).  Please take a moment to ponder the thought, “if it looks to good to be true…it probably is”.

We love what we do here at Crown, and our goal is to make our clients happy and gain a referral for another project.  We are not in the business of ripping off our customers…we are here to do an important job that must be done right, or it may suffer terrible consequences in the future.  Some disastrous examples will be shared in our next blog article!

Amanda Regelin, Sr. Project Manager (Residential and Commercial Divisions)

Please feel free to contact us at info@crownbuilds.com or 219-488-2400 for more useful tips, and don’t forget to view our latest projects at http://crownconstructionin.houzz.com/ and

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crown-Construction-Contracting/1420513534844348

When to Hire a Public Adjuster

Earlier this year, one of our clients sustained serious damage from ice dams that formed during our treacherous winter.  Several areas of her oak hardwood flooring were cupped and buckled on much of the first floor of the house (almost 1600SF), walls were stained, cracking and tape joints were exposed, and window trims, floor base and door casings discolored in black (a possible indication of mold).

Our client contacted her insurance agent to file a claim for repairs, and he came to her home to make an evaluation as expected.  He then recommended a few of his favorite disaster repair companies to work up pricing so they could move along with the process and send her a check for the “agreed to” amount.

We opted to price up the work with our subcontractors, so our client would have a basis of comparison to the recommended contractors.  When pricing was complete by each party, it was determined that the other two bids were substantially lower and seemed to be lacking much of the appropriate work, which would in turn, devalue and depreciate the client’s home and home value.  She voiced her concerns to her agent, and asked many questions hope to understand why so many items were left out.  After her insurance premium had been increased over 40% per year, and received no response from the agent, she received a check in the mail for the lesser amount of the two prices submitted.

We suggested she contact a public adjuster to fight the needed work.  Public adjusters can help by:

  • Providing an educated opinion in his area of expertise
  • Evaluating your current homeowner insurance policy to determine what you are entitled to and what the insurer is required to provide legally
  • As public adjusters charge a fee (either hourly or based on a percentage of the settlement), there is incentive to reach a maximized agreement
  • Eliminating the stress you may feel by dealing with the insurance company (especially if they are unresponsive)

If you are in a situation where you feel you are not being treated fairly, and your claim is in excess of $10,000, it might be time to contact a public adjuster.

The process is on-going with this client, but we’ll post an update when a conclusion has been reached.

Amanda Regelin

Senior Project Manager (Residential and Commercial Divisions)

Please feel free to contact us at info@crownbuilds.com or 219-488-2400 for more useful tips, and don’t forget to view our latest projects at http://crownconstructionin.houzz.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crown-Construction-Contracting/1420513534844348

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