Working with a Builder
If it is your first time building your custom dream home, the process can seem a little overwhelming at first. While building a home is a great process that can take some time, the end product is always worth it to be able to customize the home to your needs. We have created a brochure to help breakdown the process for you.
A home remodel job can be a large undertaking. Because of that, you want to be sure you hire the right person for the job. Do your homework before signing any contracts and make sure you ask for references as well. Any reputable remodeler would be happy to offer references.
Hiring a Remodeler
Despite the numerous DIY websites out there, many homeowners still choose to hire a professional remodeler over attempting their own projects. If you're not familiar with the current building codes, don't have a contractor's license or just don't feel comfortable taking on a huge task alone, it's best to seek out a professional to have it done the right way the first time.
By hiring a professional remodeler, this will more than likely save you time and money in the end (not to mention the stress of doing it all by yourself). Remodeling can be a very extensive task so let the professionals handle it while you continue your day to day routines as normal.
Remodeling Your Home
Are you in love with your neighborhood? Does your growing family hold too many memories in your current home that you can’t imagine leaving, but you know you need more room? Don’t have the time to go through the steps of building a new home? It might be time for you to remodel.
To help keep the peace in the neighborhood while your home is undergoing a remodel, here are some tips to follow:
- Let neighbors know well in advance about your remodeling plans.
- If the project is quite large, keep them apprised of what's going on. That includes when work will begin, approximate completion date, what work will be done, whether their property might need to be used.
- Ask them if they mind that the remodelers park, for convenience, near or possibly on their property.
- Let them know if delays come up and how much they will add time to the crews working in your house.
- Remove dumpsters as quickly as possible. No neighbor wants to look at a huge pile of garbage longer than they have to.
- Keep your yard as normal looking as possible. Watch for debris that might find its way onto your neighbors' yards, especially if a roofing project is involved.
- Stay in constant contact with your neighbors. If something happens that disturbs them, offer an apology immediately.
- Inform them of any large trucks entering the neighborhood.
There are also some things to discuss with your remodeler as well.
- Ask subcontractors to park on one side of the street only.
- Make sure noisy power tools are only used during standard business hours. Reasonable hours are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- Try your best to have materials dropped off in your driveway or yard rather than the street.
Guide to Buying a New Home
If you are thinking of buying a new home, you must pay close attention to a great many details to ensure that you find one that will suit your needs and preferences. Before you start shopping, you should sit down with the members of your household to discuss the features you would all like in a new home. You should also determine how much you can afford to pay for a new home. To organize your thoughts, write each separate feature that you want on a 3X5 card, and arrange the cards in order of their importance to you. For instance, if you like to cook, you may want a home with a large, well-equipped kitchen. Or you may settle for a small kitchen so that you can have extra space for a library, office or computer room. Some home buyers seek large, open interior spaces, while others prefer traditional rooms that afford more privacy. Some choose homes with large yards. Others opt for condominiums where they can avoid yard maintenance entirely. While looking for a home, consider whether your needs are likely to change over time. If you plan to add rooms, find out if there is enough space on your site for such expansion and whether such additions are permitted by your local jurisdiction.
Do You Want a Condominium or Cooperative?
A condominium is a home in a multi-unit complex, such as an apartment building or a townhouse cluster. You own the home, and you and your neighbors jointly own the common elements, such as the land around the complex, the parking areas, building exteriors, hallways, utility pipes and recreational facilities. A condominium owners association is responsible for maintaining the jointly owned elements. The day-to-day business of the complex is generally handled by a managing agency. The owner of each condominium unit has a vote in the affairs of the community. Each owner pays a fee to cover the operating expenses of the property and usually contributes to a reserve fund for replacements (such as a new roof) or improvements (such as decorative landscaping to improve the value of the property). Changes and improvements to the complex may be made only as you and your co-owners desire. You are responsible for maintaining the interior of your condominium unit. Typically, you will not have to perform outdoor chores. Cooperatives offer lifestyles similar to condominiums, but rather than owning your unit, you own shares of the stock of the complex. Stock owners are jointly liable for the cooperative's debts.
It would be unrealistic to expect your new home to be perfect. Even the best built homes are likely need a few corrections. Most problems are corrected routinely by the builder. However, if a non-routine problem should arise, you should follow certain procedures to correct the situation.
The typical house contains thousands of parts. These components must be assembled with skill to form the new product you will call home.
First, identify the exact nature of the problem. Then you should put it into writing and send it to the Builder. Many Builders require all complaints to be in writing and will respond to telephone complaints only in emergencies.
NOTICE AND OPPORTUNITY TO REPAIR (NOR) LEGISLATION
Passed by the South Dakota Legislature in 2007, the Notice and Opportunity to Repair (NOR) legislation provides that prior to commencing a lawsuit against a contractor for a construction defect, the home owner must:
- Deliver to the contractor a written notice describing the alleged defect; and
- Allow the contractor, within thirty days of receipt of the notice, to (a) inspect the alleged defect and (b) deliver to the home owner a written offer to repair the defect or pay for it.
The home owner may not commence the lawsuit until 30 days after delivery of the notice or until the contractor refuses to remedy the alleged defect, whichever occurs first.
If the homeowner commences suit without giving the contractor 30-day’s notice and an opportunity to remedy the defect, the lawsuit will be stayed until the homeowner has complied with this requirement.
The home owner, however, is not required to give the contractor written notice of any additional defects discovered after the delivery of the initial notice of defect.
WRITING A WRITTEN NOTICE TO YOUR BUILDER
Include your name, address and home and work telephone numbers. Type your letter if possible. If not, use printing or handwriting that is easy to read.
Keep your letter brief and to the point, but include all relevant details. State exactly what you want done and how soon you expect the problem to be resolved. Be reasonable. Include all relevant documents regarding the problem.
Send copies, not originals. Keep a copy of the letter for your files.
Before you write your letter, familiarize yourself with your warranty coverage. If a problem develops after the warranty has expired, the Builder is not required to fix it under the terms of the written warranty. Some items, such as appliances, may be covered by manufacturers’ warranties and are not the responsibility of the Builder.
Always go directly to the Builder with your complaints. Do not send letters to lawyers, government agencies, home builders associations or any other third parties before you have given your Builder a reasonable chance to correct the problem. Interference from outsiders may impede the handling of your complaint. Also, sending angry, sarcastic or threatening letters is not likely to expedite your case. Such letters usually do more harm than good.
Contact outsiders only if you have reached an impasse with your Builder. Try to avoid legal proceedings. Lawsuits are expensive and time consuming and should be attempted only as a last resort.
Remember that most Builders are seeking customer referrals and repeat buyers. They want you to be satisfied. If a problem develops, remain calm and approach your Builder in a reasonable manner.
By following the procedures described above, chances are that you will be able to resolve the problems.
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