The Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association is here for you. Ready to buy a new home? Remodel your current home? Need ideas on "going green"? Needing a new Air Conditioning unit, roofer or just wanting to update your kitchen? Want to know exactly what to look for in choosing a contractor? Let the CDBIA be your guide! Call us at (941) 625-0804 for a referral or advice.
PUBLIC NOTICE WARNING: Homeowners Face Penalties For Hiring Unlicensed Contractors. According to Florida Law, consumers who knowingly hire unlicensed construction contractors could face a fine of up to $5,000.00.
If you would like to anonymously report someone who is doing work without the proper license, please call the CDBIA at 941-625-0804 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All calls/emails are confidential.
Do your homework before hiring a contractor
The Charlotte DeSoto Building Industry Association’s consists of a group of individuals and firms who care about their community - who believe that home ownership should be within reach of every American. So we have asked the experts, the home builders to help provide tips for anyone who is wanting to build a home in our community.
How to choose a builder/contractor
TJ Thornberry (Thornberry Custom Builders) recommends to check with your friends, family or someone you know and trust who have recently built homes. Some have gone through the due diligence already.” Ask for sub-contractor references and how long they have worked for the Builder. If there is high sub-contractor turn-over (plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roofing, etc), that should be a red flag” TJ wrote.
References are very important and a great builder will always be willing to give you names of clients who they have built a home for. In the state of Florida, a builder must hold a Florida Certified Residential/Building/General Contractor license. The contractor's name and company will be listed on their license at DBPR. Click here to search your builder by name, company or license number. A builder must also be registered in the county where they will be working. Click here to search Charlotte County's license search
Make sure they are licensed. State contractors licenses can be searched on the Department of Professional Business and Regulation website. If any complaints have been filed against the builder with DBPR, this information is available on this site as well as the outcome of any cases. Local contractor licenses can be verified on the county websites. Charlotte County also allows you to search for any violations a contractor may have. Here is where you can see the status of any case that has gone before the Construction Industry Licensing Board. The CDBIA will verify a license number for you at no charge.
Paul Schaefer (Sage Homes) also recommends when you are meeting with a company, ask to meet with the license holder, the people who will walk you through the process, who your contact would be throughout the build; ultimately, your goal is to find someone (or a team of people) with whom you are most comfortable, someone you feel you can trust with your dreams and in many cases, your life's savings. The market is competitive enough that for the most part, we're all running similar prices.
Check with Subcontractors
Kim Abbott, Turn Key Custom Homes stated “One of the most valuable resources for a buyer, is the builders subs. How does he treat them, does he pay them on time, does he run a good schedule, and what they think of the builders quality. I would suggest a buyer should walk up to (a) job site and visit with any sub that might be on the job and ask them what they think of the builder. Tell them they are interested in building a home and get their thoughts.
Peter Ide suggests checking with your builders and if the builder is not working with the same subs he didn’t work with a year ago, ask the builder why? Call up subcontractors too and ask them why are they not working with a builder.
When building a home, cost may seem like a high priority, but remember the least expensive is not always the best. Prior to any contract, a builder will give you a cost sheet of how much each part of the construction will cost. You can compare costs of homes, using the price sheets to see if you notice any huge differences.
Finding out a true cost of a home is very important to keep from being frustrated along the project. Jason Harlow (Lennar) states "Homebuyers should inquire about the true cost of building their home with all the features and options they desire…”
Adam Riley (LTD Contracting) has a lot of great recommends, but one more great point is to look at what type of warranty comes with a new home. “Find a homebuilder focused on quality and customer service with a great warranty program “. New homes should have a warranty that could protect the homeowner in the event that of structural issues on a home as well as appliances. Builders’ credit check is done by home buyers warranty companies and if a builder isn’t offering a warranty on a home, find out from the builder what would happen in the event that a home has problems after a home is built.
Visit Job Sites
Bill Truex (Truex Preferred Construction) recommends to home buyers to visit current jobsites of builders. You can get a chance to meet subcontractors and see how the job site is kept.
Other great suggestions is to look at the type of insurance your builder has, check to see how long a builder has open permits, and many builders recommend looking at their investment in your community.
Paying the builder
Mortgage companies will send inspectors out to jobsites before releasing a draw. Each draw is set to pay for certain work that needs to be finished prior to any additional money being distributed on the loan. You should never have to pay a sub directly. If you are asked to do this, contact your mortgage lender before making any payments.
If you are paying cash, you can check with local title companies that can help put your money in escrow and will distribute the loan payments upon completion of scheduled work to be completed on homes. This is an additional layer of protection.
Investment in the community
Being a part of the community shows they are invested in the same community you are moving into. Are they affiliated with their local builders association or chamber of commerce? Have they been here a long time and call your community home? While many excellent builders are coming into town, this suggestion can help show the different between a house builder and a home builder.
It is very important to ensure that you do your due diligence when hiring a contractor or a builder. If you have any questions, please know your CDBIA is here to help you. Just give us a call 941-625-0804
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