Getting Ready for Your Design/Build Project

After hiring a design/build company, you’ll have an initial meeting to discuss the project. You’ll talk about the budget and design of the project, as well as any restrictions and permissions that will be needed. The contractor will provide you with an estimate based on the design specifications. They’ll also offer choices in terms of designs and construction. Once the final contract has been drawn, the next step will be applying for permission. Finally, the construction and financing process will begin.


What to Look for in a Contract for Design/Build Services

Once the contract is drawn up, it should be signed by both parties. If any subcontractors will be involved, they should sign the contract as well. The contract should protect the interests of both you and the contractor. As a result, it should include the following:

  • A clear, concise and complete description of the project, including start and completion dates. It should also include who will be responsible for each aspect of the project.
  • The contractor’s name, physical address, mailing address and phone number
  • The project quote
  • The terms of the payment schedule, as well as the payment schedule for the contractor, subcontractor(s) and suppliers.
  • Who will be responsible for obtaining necessary permits (this is usually the contractor)
  • Warranties should be written and the length of time as well as limitations should be covered. Warranties should cover materials and workmanship.
  • Detailed materials list: product, size, color, type, model and brand name. Any additional or alternate materials that may be used should also be listed.
  • How “change orders” will be handled. Any changes or additions to the project should be written in the contract so the conditions for change are predetermined. Furthermore, the contract should list how and when payment will be made for adjustments. Because change orders are common aspects of most remodeling jobs, it’s common for remodelers to require payment before the work actually starts.
  • Any oral promises made


Take Precautions to Protect Yourself

Taking precautions will help protect you and your home, and it’ll also increase your chances of success. Consider the following guidelines:

  • Don’t make final payment until the work meets agreed-upon specifications and building code requirements.
  • Don’t sign a contract or any document until you have thoroughly read through it and filled in any blank spaces.
  • Don’t sign a contract that uses vague terms. Make sure all terms are specific regarding project requirements and the work that will be performed.
  • Don’t agree to finance your project through your contractor. Shop around for the best loan terms.
  • Agree to make payments as the project progresses, contingent upon completion of a determined amount of work. This way, if work on the project is delayed, payment will be delayed as well.
  • Before deeding your property, be sure to consult an attorney.