How A House Architect Can Prevent You Being Ripped Off By An Unscrupulous Building Contractor

by mark on 24/05/2010

Here are a few suggestions for avoiding trouble when dealing with a general building contractor:

  • Do not hire a contractor without checking him out thoroughly. References are vital. Visiting several projects he has previously built is a good idea.
  • Do not upset the contactor at the very beginning of the project. Invoices have to be paid on time.
  • Do not employ contractors with limited construction knowledge and experience. The contractor may not understand the plans and this could lead to costly mistakes in the project.
  • Avoid contractor demands for substantial amounts of money from the client prior to doing any work. We advise our clients never to pay more than 10% of any contract to get the project started.
  • Do not change any of the project specifications after the contract has been agreed without the prior consent of the house architect. This could lead to a problem that is not immediately apparent but could cause an expensive problem in the future.
  • Do not pay the building contractor too much money with each request for payment, ┬áleaving you, the client, vulnerable to the contractor not finishing the job. The amount of work that is left could end up being more than the amount of money the contractor would collect if he finished the job.
  • Do not sign a contract with a contractor which the contractor drafted without reading it carefully or getting it checked over by your house architect.
  • Do not pay the contractor month after month without verifying that all necessary local authority inspections have been carried out.
  • Do not hire a building contractor for a job that the contractor considers a “small” job for him or where the company is a large company with substantial resources to spend years in court fighting a lawsuit. Look for a company that is neither too large nor too small to complete the project and who will want to finish the project correctly.

These are a few suggestions that need to be implemented on any construction project.  Hiring a house architect to provide guidance during construction could actually save the home-owner money in the long run.

An experienced house architect can bring years of knowledge to the construction process and prevent a homeowner from making costly mistakes due to inexperience.

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