Published On: Thu, May 30th, 2024

5 Essentials for Homeowners Navigating Construction Contracts

(StatePoint) In today’s construction landscape, homeowners-to-be encounter numerous challenges, like budget overruns and delays. This is why selecting the right contractor and thoroughly scrutinizing the contract are crucial.

Glen Harris III of Alair Florida stresses transparent processes and client control in his dealings with clients. Here are five key elements to consider for a successful construction experience based on Harris’ insights, and the results of an Ipsos and Hover survey of 500 adults involved in home renovation projects.

A Detailed Planning Process: Harris advocates for a comprehensive planning phase that lays the groundwork for precise budgets, schedules and scopes. This aligns with findings from the survey, which reveal that 58% of homeowners experienced time delays averaging about 40 days. A thorough planning process mitigates ambiguity and sets realistic expectations from the outset, preventing costly delays down the line.

Transparency Throughout: With a traditional “cost plus” contract, transparency can be limited to monthly cost breakdowns after completion. Instead, prioritize a contract that promises transparency from conception. According to the survey, more than a third of homeowners reported paying more than the original quote, with the additional costs averaging $19,000. Contracts should ensure continuous insight into project costs, schedule updates and scope changes, empowering homeowners to make informed decisions and maintain control over their investment.

Client Involvement: Harris encourages “client control,” stressing active participation in the planning phase. The survey shows nearly half of homeowners faced avoidable issues, causing strained relationships and setbacks. Contracts should foster teamwork, keep clients informed and engaged in decision-making, and reduce misunderstandings for a smoother construction process.

Technology Integration: Harris emphasizes the role of technology in managing projects, highlighting Microsoft Business Central for real-time access to project data. Using such platforms improves transparency and communication between contractors and homeowners. The survey highlights that 31% of homeowners find budgeting the most challenging aspect of the process, emphasizing the importance of streamlined systems for clarity and efficiency.

Trust and Reputation: Trust is paramount in the homeowner-contractor relationship, with reputation ranking as the most important characteristic for homeowners when selecting a contractor. The survey reveals that half of homeowners prioritize fair pricing, while 40% value contractor knowledge and 35% emphasize good communication skills. Contracts should reflect these priorities, instilling confidence in homeowners and fostering strong partnerships built on trust and reliability.

Alair market partner and renowned home designer, Dave Jenkins of Wright Jenkins, emphasizes thorough planning and transparent communication throughout the construction process. He says, “Our clients love to be kept in the loop with our cutting-edge design and communication. A well-defined planning phase sets the stage for success and minimizes costly delays and misunderstandings. Transparency and communication are essential for building trust and alignment on project goals.”

For more information about new construction and home remodeling, visit www.Alairflorida.com.

By prioritizing these elements in a contractor’s contract, homeowners can navigate construction confidently, mitigating risks and ensuring a positive outcome. Reviewing and understanding these aspects of the contract is crucial for safeguarding investments and achieving project success.

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