Tag Archives: Contractor

How to be Your Own Contractor

Being your own general contractor means that you will be responsible for everything from obtaining permits to hiring subcontractors and laborers to arranging for building inspections. But before you do anything else, check with your insurance broker. Your standard homeowner’s policy will not cover liability for injury to persons your employ. It is a simple matter for you to purchase a policy, known as workers’ compensation insurance, to cover your liability for work-related injuries.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Though its provisions vary from state to state, workers’ compensation insurance generally pay all costs of treatment – surgical, medical and hospital – required to cure or relive the effects of an occupational injury. It also reimburses the injured worker for wags lost while recovering from an injury. If the injury is fatal, the insurance pays burial expenses and awards survivors a settlement. Even though you carry workers’ compensation insurance, you may have additional liability, particularly if you are proved negligent.

Own Contractor How to be Your Own Contractor

Where to get it: You can get a workers’ compensation policy through your insurance broker, directly from an insurance company, or from a state fund if one is provided by your state. You can obtain a policy for 3 months, 6 months, or whatever term you think will adequately cover the duration of your project. If the work is still in progress when the policy expires, coverage can be extended.

Paying the premium: You pay for workers’ compensation insurance before the work begins. The cost is figured on a combination of three factors: the estimated number of hours required to complete the task, the rates of pay for the crafts involved, and the relative personal risk inherent in the work itself. The premium for roofers is higher than for cabinetmakers, for example, because of the higher risk involved in roofing work.

After your addition is completed, you’ll add up your actual payroll expense. If it exceeds your initial estimate, you’ll owe the insurance carrier an additional sum. If it is less than your estimate, you may be entitled to a refund. However, there are minimum premiums, whatever your costs.

If no worker you employ directly will earn more than the minimum set by the state workers’ compensation board (normally somewhere around $100), then it’s possible that your homeowner’s insurance will cover your liability. Check this with the state board and with your insurance company.

Make sure that workers who are employed by a subcontractor working on your addition are covered by the subcontractor’s policy.

Registering as an employer: If you employ people directly and if they will earn more than the minimum amount set by the estate, your must not only have a workers’ compensation policy, but you must also register with the state and federal governments as an employer, withhold and remit income taxes and disability insurance, and pay social security insurance.

Hiring Subcontractors

When you act as your own general contractor and put various parts of your project out to bid with sub contractors, you must use the same care you’d exercise in hiring a general contract. You will need to check referenced, financial resources and insurance coverage of a number of subcontractors, get bids, work out detailed contracts, and then carefully supervise the work. The process will be time-consuming, but you’ll save money and have much more control over the quality of the work.

How to Work with a Contractor

In the course of a room-addition project, it’s normal for problems to arise. Don’t be dismayed by disagreements you might have with your contractor. Clearly, he or she won’t have the same personal attachment to the project that you do. You’ll be anxious that the new addition live up to your dreams of it, and you’re likely to be a bit edgy having all those workers around your house for what can seem like years. And your understandable nervousness can magnify any difficulties.

Once the project gets going, keep a close eye on the work and the materials being used. Feel free to ask questions – it’s your house and your money – but try not to get in the way of the work. And you should try to be around home at least some part of every day so the contractor can ask you questions. Don’t give any direct instructions to the contractor’s employees or to subcontractors; always deal directly with the contractor.

Work with Contractor How to Work with a Contractor

After the job is completed, you should address a formal letter of acceptance to the contractor, who then files a completion notice with the country recorder’s office.

If you plan to hire a contractor but do some of the work yourself, be sure to check for any objections to your presence on the job. In strongly unionized communities, a union contractor might be prohibited from permitting you to do some of the work. In other circumstances it might simply be the contractor’s personal policy no to work with nonprofessionals, even if they are his clients.

Some of the most common jobs homeowners do during the construction include insulation, painting, and cleaning up. Your contract will want to be assured that your part in the work won’t delay completion of the job. Your responsibilities will be spelled out in the contract, and you’ll have to sign a written statement releasing the contractor from any liability for the work you perform.

And,. Of course, your contract may call for the contractor to do only a limited amount of the work – foundation, frame, and roof, for instance. Once that is done and the contractor has left the job, you can finish the project yourself.

How to Draw Up a Contract with Contractor

Once you’ve accepted a bid, you and the contractor will draw up a written contract based on that bid. As the working agreement between the two of you, the contract is a very important document – you can refer to it if any differences arise. Therefore it’s important to make the contract as detailed as possible.

Construction materials: The contract should list all materials to be used in construction. It should be thorough detailed, itemizing all materials and fixtures, even things that may seems insignificant, such as drawer pulls and cabinet hinges. If any disagreements arise about materials, you and your contractor can refer to this list of agree-upon specifications. Anything not included in the contract and added later will increase your cost.

Draw Contract with Contractor How to Draw Up a Contract with Contractor

Time Schedule: You and your contractor will include in the contract a time schedule for the project – a beginning date and a completion date. The contractor obviously can’t be responsible for delays caused by strikes or material shortages. You have no effective legal way to enforce a schedule even though it’s written into the contract. Your best leverage is a good working relationship with the contractor – and the stipulation that the final payment will be withheld until the work is completed.

Site preparation and cleanup: Your building site may need to be prepared for construction; fences and shrubs removed, concrete torn up, land graded. If you expect the contractor to do this, you must include it in the contract.

As a job progresses, and once it’s finished, there will be a lot of debris on the site, and disposing of it usually is no easy matter. Again, if you expect the contractor to clean up, it must be in the contract.

Method of payment: Payment, of course, is covered in the contract as well. Usually payment is made in installments as the work progresses, or with an initial payment at the beginning of the project and the balance at the project’s completion. You should withhold the find payment until after the lien period has expired and until final repairs and adjustments have been made. If you have secured outside financing, the financing agency may holy its final payment until the lien period has expired.

Protection against liens: Under the laws of most states, anyone who performs labor or supplies materials for a building can file a lien against the building if he or she is not paid. If the contractor doesn’t settle the claim, the building’s owner may be liable. There are various ways to protected yourself against this eventuality: you can pay suppliers of material and labor directly; you can require evidence of such payment from the contractor before making each progress payment and the final payment; or you can require the contractor to post a bond of sufficient size specifically to protect your property. This bond would be in addition to the one required by the state from a licensed contractor – that minimum bond might not be large enough to convert all claims against a contractor if he or she defaulted.

To be valid, liens must be filed within a specified time after contraction is completed, and the time limit that lien remains in effect is also specified by law. If you are selling your property during period, the settlement of valid liens by payment or legal action will be required before title is transferred.

The laws covering liens vary from state to state, so you should consult an attorney before entering into any contract for work on your property.

How to Choose a Contractor for Building a Structure

A general contractor is a professional builder, licensed by the state, whose responsibility is the actually building of a structure. Contractors normally employ a number of laborers and craftsmen, such as carpenters and arrange for other work, such as plumbing and wiring, to be done by subcontractors on a project-by-project base.

If your architect is monitoring the construction of your addition, he or she will be instrumental in hiring the general contractor to do the work (subject, of course, to your approval). If you are to supervise the work, you’ll have to find the contractor yourself.

Finding a Contractor

You can get the names of contractor firm from architects and building designers, from friends, from trade associations, or from material suppliers. Call the firms you’ve been referred to and ask for the names of some of their past clients; then talk to those clients about the contractors and arrange to see their work.

Contractor Building How to Choose a Contractor for Building a Structure

On the basis of that procedure, select two or three promising firms. Ask them for names of material suppliers and subcontractors and bank and credit references; check these to learn the financial condition of the firm. Contractors are accustomed to providing such information and should give you these references willingly. You can also call your local Better Business Bureau to find out if there have been any complaints filed against a contractor.

In addition, verify the validity of contractor’s licenses with the state licensing agency, and check their public liability and property damage insurance with their insurance carriers.

How to get contractor bids

Submit your plans and specifications to two or three contractors for bids. The list of specifications should be as detailed as possible, including all materials, model numbers, types of fixtures, colors, paints and stains, electrical switch covers, moldings, doorknobs, and so forth.

You may not always choose the least expensive bid; you may be willing to pay more for certain pluses, such as higher-quality workmanship or a more amicable relationship with the contractor. Even so, bids are the chief consideration for most homeowners.

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