Things Homeowners Need to Consider Before Beginning Construction on a New Home
A lot of the time, a homeowner will seek the assistance of a construction defects attorney once a dispute has already arisen between them and a contractor. To avoid future problems, homeowners need to consider the relationship with their builder or contractor carefully.
It’s important to remember that they are not your friend, and that your relationship is part of a business arrangement. Below are some things that homeowners need to consider before building or buying a new home.
To Avoid Contract Disputes
● Ask an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to review the sales contract before you sign anything. A lawyer may not be able to undo mistakes that are made on an initial agreement, but they can save you from making a mistake in the first place. Your legal interests won’t be looked out for by the real estate salesperson, as that is not what they are qualified to do.
● Ask what the provisions mean when you read the contract, instead of just signing it. A contract that is a standard template will most likely not have your best interests in mind.
● Form contracts are used by many real estate agents and are typical for existing houses. A form contract should not be used for homes under construction, as they don’t cover the things associated with brand new structures. Your construction defects attorney should review the contract, as it will state what you agreed to, and will be a crucial piece of evidence should you need to go to arbitration or court.
Regarding Arbitration Clauses
Before agreeing to an arbitration clause, give it some careful consideration. Arbitration is not a bad thing in and of itself, but there are various instances where it’s preferable to go to court to settle a dispute. Prior to signing an arbitration clause, read the rules and make sure you are aware of the arbitration costs.
Negotiation is essential, so make sure that you are getting the best possible deal and no one is cutting any corners or overcharging you.
Before signing a sales contract, read the builder’s warranty, and don’t do business with any contractor that does not give you a copy of the warranties before finalizing the sale.
The warranty provisions will dictate the future of your home, and since most warranties have been written favoring the contractor, read it thoroughly and ask someone to explain anything that you don’t understand.
A house that has a certificate of occupancy doesn’t necessarily mean it’s well built. Codes have minimum standards, and a code inspector could have missed a significant issue. In order to avoid any significant construction problems, get a licensed engineer or home inspector to oversee the construction.
If possible, set a clause in your contract that an inspection needs to be done at specific construction stages, and the review needs to be done by your inspector. The inspection performed by the home inspector can sometimes be limited, and they commonly don’t go the extra mile to check for any damages.
Therefore, it’s essential that you hire experts to inspect your home, such as a roofing specialist, a plumber, an electrician and an engineer. The extra money that goes towards covering the inspection costs of the experts could end up saving you lots of money in the long run.