Wednesday, October 28, 2015

5 Questions to Ask Your Residential Contractor Before You Start

A dependable contractor who is determined to watch the project succeed from the start to the end can be difficult to locate but not if you follow the right procedure. You will need to ask the right questions if you want to know whom you will be dealing with from the beginning.

Depending on the type of project you are currently focusing on, you may be dealing with this contractor on a regular basis so it’s important to find someone you can get along with. That said, here are some 5 questions you need to ask the residential contractor before hiring.

Do they have the required licenses and insurance?
Licensing and insurance are very important aspects and you shouldn’t consider dealing with contractors who do not fulfil these 2 major requirements. Remember that your home insurance is unlikely to cover any damages or injuries of workers and you may have to pay for these expenses from your own pockets if you hire people who are not fully covered.

Have they worked on similar construction projects?
You will certainly have to go through their portfolio to find out if they have worked on similar projects before. Get an idea of what their skill levels as contractors and ask them to give you 3 contacts of their references to whom you can speak and find out more about the services rendered. Don’t just trust the images you see on their site, take the background checks to a different level by calling the people they claim to be their previous clients.
Who will be managing the project?
Most construction companies have a project management team that ensures the project runs according to plan. It’s important to find out if the residential contractor will have a supervisor or manager that handles all the aspects of the project. Some small construction companies have most of their team members working on site and are likely to provide a better service.

When is the project likely to start and end?
The start and end dates can only be communicated to you after you have given the contractor more details on the work you want done. They should provide realistic timelines and also indicate the penalties that will be imposed if they fail to meet the deadlines. The fact that the contractor will be ready to commit themselves to a certain timeline is a good sign of their workmanship.

How are complaints handled?
Construction companies have different ways of handling complaints. You need to consider what the business values are and whether they are inclined towards focusing on the needs of the customer. Any business that puts their customers first will be ready to handle complaints with the professionalism and grace that is desired. You don’t need to be involved in unnecessary arguments with your contractor. Contractors who value strong communication lines with their customers are usually the best to work with. The best potential contractors should be able to work with you to bring your vision into life. 

Posted By: Bruce Johnson Residential Contractor Inc.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Guide to Understanding Builder's Risk Insurance Policies

If you're in the field of construction, contracting, or even property management or development, then you may be wondering about builder's risk insurance and how it actually applies. Here, you can learn more about builder's risk policies, what they protect against, and how they're utilized.
A builder's risk policy is actually property insurance, in essence. It's designed to protect and cover property during construction. This includes new construction, as well as major renovations to existing buildings and properties, both commercial and residential.
As opposed to many other forms of insurance, with builder's risk, short-term policies are available due to the nature of construction and what's being covered. Therefore, three and six month policy periods are quite common here.
Both the materials used and the equipment used will be covered by builder's risk. Additionally, it's important to note that materials and equipment will most typically be covered not only on the construction site, but also on off-site storage for the project, or in transit towards the site.
While this isn't always the case, most typically, builder's risk will fall under an inland marine policy, due to that transportation and storage component addressed above. This is as opposed to commercial property insurance. However, this may vary from provider to provider, and place to place.
Policies also differ in what qualifies as a covered risk. For instance, different types of forces of nature or natural weather, fire, theft, vandalism, and so forth, are all potential areas of risk.
Depending on your locale, you may seek coverage for specific events and risks, such as hurricane season in Florida, or earthquakes, tornadoes or flooding elsewhere. It's important not to assume what is covered and not, but to go through a checklist with your provider to see what they are specifically offering.
Generally, the lead builder, contractor or project manager buys the policy. In the case of renovations to an existing home, the homeowner though may want to personally and directly invest in the policy. This means that any damages would be paid to them directly, which is both more convenient, and helps guard against them not receiving their full benefits.
Hopefully you've learned more about builder's risk insurance and what it really means. Remember, it's to protect actual property during construction, which could include materials, equipment, and more. You'll only need to get it for a short duration of time, so there's flexibility there. Be sure to work with an insurance provider or agent who understands your needs, and can help you get the ideal form of coverage.
John Rothschild is the owner of ACI Insurance Services, a leading provider of Florida commercial insurance and surety bonds for more than 10 years. ACI is known for their customer service, their extensive experience and knowledge of the industry, and their affordable rates, and they'll do everything they can to meet the needs of their clients.

Posted By: Bruce Johnson Residential Contractor Inc.