Contents

CONTENTS

Introduction
How to use this book

CH 1: PLANNING AND BUDGETS

Know what you want . . .
. . . and don’t be in a hurry
Educate yourself
Budget
The emotional cost
Move or improve?

CH 2: LOCATING SUITABLE CANDIDATES

Know who you are looking for
Sources of leads
Lining up prospects
Who do you hire first - architect or contractor?
Is “design/build” the ideal solution?

CH 3: SELECTING THE RIGHT CONTRACTOR FOR YOU

Phase one - Contact the list of candidates
a) On checking credentials
b) Initial interviews
i) Questions on business basics
ii) Questions specific to your job
iii) Questions about customer relations
c) Some additional considerations
i) Architect/designer
ii) Contractor

Phase two - Checking references
a) Client references
i) General questions
ii) Specific questions on the work
iii) Customer relations & warranty questions
b) Business references
c) Visiting past and present projects

Phase three - The short list
a) Comparing bids
b) Making the final choice/confirmation
Important note on insurance

CH 4: CONTRACTS

What a contract should include
“Cash deals”

CH 5: SCAMS

Targeting gender and age
Never-never land

CH 6: SURVIVING THE PROCESS

Minimizing disruption
Making the relationship work
a) The human touch
b) Paperwork
c) Keep communication lines open
d) Work schedule
e) Payment schedule
f) Change orders
g) Regular inspections
h) “Punch” and “deficiency” lists
i) Final approvals
j) Security alert
When problems occur
Resolving disputes
Why do so many projects go beyond estimated cost?

CH 7: ACTING AS YOUR OWN GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Hiring a construction manager

CH 8: GLOSSARY OF TERMS

INDEX

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