Home owners bill of rights 2 of 5

L You think you found the perfect lot?
1 What’s next?
Are your finances in order? Get reproved from a bank and find out what you can comfortable afford in your budget for a house. Remember there will furnishing you will have to buy, and maybe a yard to install, a minimum of $5,000.00 – and up to 10% of the house price.

2 Who buys the lot?

Always let the contractor buy the lot, it protects the homeowner, 1. What if the lot has bad soil or contaminates in the ground. The contractor has a way of discharging the lot. 2. what if the under ground water table is too high. The lot setbacks and other lot rules set forth by the city doesn’t allow your house to fit on said lot.

Home owners bill of rights 3 of 5

Who should build your remodel house?

The homeowners doing it themselves.

1 I was called to a house in 03 to a house that was built by the homeowner. They called with a problem of water in their basement. They had a perk test done the property fore the drain field part of the sewer system and they were told the perk wraith of the soil and at what level there was water and what level to install the drain field at. When it was time to build about 3 months later being a dry summer they dug 3 1/2 feet below the drain field to set the footings.
The next 2 years were dry but the summer of 03 was a couple of above average rainfall that spring and they had 3’ of standing water in their basement.
Saved about 20,000.00 on contractors fees and lost about 26’ x 42’ area in a lower level or resell $54,600.00 value.

2 I was witness to a homeowner who built his own house in the early 80’s he was a painter and what’d to build a big house and then become an insurance sales man. He subcontracted out most of the work and then he trimmed out his house (installing all the millwork). It was a bad trim job and he was proud of it with gaps of 3/8-1/2” in all the joints. The living room was the last room done and he hand the joins 1/8” gaps and very proud.

3 I helped a couple to frame, side & roof there house and he was going to do the rest the print came from house package deal, and he had to do was to supply the labor. Well when he was done the gentleman that did the taping called the house from Hades. The gaps in the corners were bigger than the narrow part of my framing hammer 1 1/4” the rock job was so bad they textured sprayed the walls and ceiling to cover problems. The basement looked like
the Greek parathion. 15-20 steel posts making it hard to finish the basement, and the trim was poorly done.

4 I feel bad for people who think they can do it themselves. Subcontracts love to sign up homeowners for work to have fill in work when their contractors are slow. This is the first of many examples. If you want to build the house in the summer and starting in June with the excavating the excavators are super busy until July from late winters work (frozen ground and road restriction shut down most of work) of final grading and installing sewer systems. By the time they finish their house they are at lest 6 months past their closing date and they lost their loan lock. Most bid are only good for 30 days and the busier it gets the prices good up, now they are at lest 10-15% over their budget. And there marriage is severally stressed.

2. Using a reputable contractor.

Looking for a good contractor is very hard. You can call the following:
Minnesota Commerce Department
The Better Business Bureau
The Chamber of Commerce (the contractor pays into it so they are a bust)
The best way to find a good contractor is by word of mouth
Interview your contractor to see if your comfortable to deal real close with him/her daily for months/years after the house is done.
Get a complete client list (the good and bad clients) of all work that has been done by the contractor for the last 5 years.

Remember some client’s thing the contractor is god and other think the same contractor is the son of the devil. Please go and look at some of the work that he/she has done.

Home owners bill of rights 4 of 5

3 The right to understand your contract.

A The “contract”

The contract is to keep both parties in check and on track with what is written in the contract. If the contract is not written in 10-point type it is not a legal document as to the State of Minnesota Law.

After signing the contract you have 3 Business days with a written letter delivered to the office before the end of normal of the 3rd day. You have a legal right to back out of the contract by Minnesota State Law.
B Who is working on your behalf.

B1 There a many different types of people you could be working with.
1. A Realtor may be involved in securing a lot 2. An architect may be involved in the design of the print of the home 3. A home interior Designer could be used in the picking out the different styles and operation flow from bathrooms, to kitchen and every thing in between.
4. A home interior decorator should be used in the picking out the different finishes from wall textures to flooring to lighting and every thing in between.
5. You may need a representative to work on your behalf if you are out of reach (over seas for your company etc.)

B2 A good contractor can save a client money and headaches

1. There are different types of people trying to separate you from your money.
2. There are people out there that like to cease problems. A bad subcontractor or a subcontractor’s employee(s) can make a mess of a house.
3. The general contractor should have the final say as to who is on the team.

B3 Experienced first hand: A bad interior designer can cause problems on many fronts
1. Trying to take over the job -usurping the contractors authority
2. Telling the client what they want instead of how thing work and possible ways to do them.
3. Under cutting other subcontractors behind their backs and casing friction between the client and the different crews.
4. And finally at the end the interior designer turned on the client.
C What are in the details

Details take time to read and comprehend what is being said
1. If they hand you a print of your house and say to you what you are going to get, you are going to be taken.
2. If you have a brief description of what the details are, you are going to get taken.
3. If they tell you that you have generous allowances in floor coverings, cabinets & counter tops, millwork, lighting, appliances, landscaping, you are being taken.
4. Now look at the spec sheets as we offer to show you what you’re going to get in your house.
D When things go wrong
What if the worse thing happens during the building stage?
1. What if your spouse dies or gets very sick during the project.
2. What happens when you & the contractor are at odds on every thing?
3. What happens when the contractor says one thing and you desire the other who breaks the tie?

In a good building contract there shall be a statement covering this items.

Home owners bill of rights 5 of 5

4 Knowing the Law
A Change Orders

The Law requires all contractors to use change orders for any and all changes made to the original contract listing the original price first than the additions and a new total of the project. Than the client must sign it before the changes can begin. It’s the law.

B Mechanic’s Lien Rights

Receipt and waiver of mechanic’s lien rights; As full and final payment for all labor and material furnished to the following described real property:(legal description, street address or project name) and for value received hereby waives all rights acquired by the undersigned to file a mechanic’s lien against said property for labor and material furnished to said property.
C Exercise Lien Rights

If the client wants to exercise this lawful right, the client now becomes solely responsible for all payment due said party or parties. Builder is no longer responsible for any and all payments due said party or parties.
The client(s) have exercised their lawful right to withhold a portion of the payment due builder in order to directly pay the party and or parties which have previously sent written notice of lien rights to the client(s).

D Quit Claim Deed

In a quitclaim deed, the buyer acquires only the seller’s rights to a piece of property. The Seller bears the loss if someone has a claim against the property, or if the seller is mistaken in the amount of property he owned.

Hearth & Home

Master bedroom fireplace Clip on photo to enlarge it.
The first picture has a entertainment cabinet has a 4’wide radius drawer under the hearth for DVDs and VCR movies. The hearth is being supported by a 1/4″ piece of steel so a person can stand on it to install the TV or clean the mantel.

closen-01.jpg Family room fireplace system

The cabinet right of the fireplace has the Cable box and a DVD player for the TV. We have leaded glass being made for the cabinet doors.