How to lose money: Arizona Contractors.
Working with a Contractor in Arizona is like shooting at a moving target. Except all the money keeps moving out of your pocket. Here are 10 tips that may help some of you.
These tips, and others come from working on more than 20,000 homes in Arizona.
- Require the Contractor to provide you a Performance Bond in the amount of your contract. If he defaults, walks off the job or fails to perform, the Bond Holder will step in to finish your project. This is the basic idea and it is very important.
- The first people to talk to about your project, is your local building departments. They will give you ideas, tell you about their requirements. Consider the local Building Department as your friend. You will need friends.
- Learn the difference between the Bid Price and the Final Price of the the last 5 projects built by the contractors you are considering. No matter what price you write in your contract the contractor will constantly pressure you to increase the final Project amount. Stay away from Contractors that have a habit of increasing the final price by 25%. Do not select this contractor to work on your project. He will make you believe the price increases are your fault.
- Give your Contractor a time limit to complete the job. Have a late penalty charge per day late. Also hold back 10% from every payment until you accept the project.
- Never hire a Contractor that is in the habit of never fixing his errors. If your contractor complains about the errors others are doing on the job then, the errors are most likely his errors. A contractor that fixes his errors, does not try to charge you for them and does not blame others for his errors is a “keeper”.
- Put everything down in black and white at the beginning of your project. Tell your Architect and Contractor you want all your items included in all project documents. If something is not written in black and white, expect to be charged huge amounts for items added to the project. This is how some Contractors make big bucks.
- Never hire a Contractor on the “look of past projects”. The look of stucco, paint and lumber is not the most important criteria in selecting a contractor. The “look” is not as important as getting the project built they way you want it, on budget, without problems,and on time.
- Never , never built a project on the documents prepared by the contractor. Hire your own third party who will prepare the project documents the way you want them. If the contractor prepares the project documents you will be at his mercy as to what you will receive. This is a very bad position to be in for everyone, except the contractor.
- If you want a third party to look over the contractor’s shoulder hire a civil engineer or an architect.
- Hire an architect only if he understands what you are trying to achieve. Ask the architect to write a project program that will guide your project.