203k Contractors are a Great Help
Be sure your 203k contractor is experienced and qualified! A handyman might change a lock or some other minor repair but never manage the whole project.
The general 203k contractor is the responsible contractor and is working for the owner. The general contractor may do some of the work, and he may use subcontractors that are operating under him.
Subcontractors are not employees of the general, but contractors themselves.
The owner has no authority over the subcontractors as they are not working for the owner, but for the 203k Contractor. In the case where the owner is not satisfied with the sub-contractor, he must discuss it with the general contractor to resolve any issues.
The paragraphs above explain the legalistic order of things, but in the real world, the sub-contractor wants to keep the owner happy and address his concerns.
Both the contractor and the owner should have a copy of the "Code check" book.
The owner should insist,
The 203k Contractor and any subcontractors provide him with certificates of Liability and Worker’s Compensation insurance before work begins. In most areas, if a subcontractor is working without employees, he is exempt from worker’s comp. If an employee gets hurt on your project, you as the owner become liable for all expenses incurred because of that accident.
If you get the necessary Certificates of Insurance, you should have reason to worry.
Which bid should I accept?
Through my experience in reviewing bids, I find there are three basic categories of proposals. Many contractors do not understand how to put together a plan that is both proper and reasonable, and that also allows the contractor to complete the project and earn an income.
If the contractor is overly busy and cannot easily take on a new project, he may submit a high bid and figure a way to do the job if you are willing to pay his premium price.
A bidder that does not understand how to figure the cost of construction, but wants to be sure he will not lose money, will also bid high.
Some contractors will low bid the job planning to renegotiate a higher price after the job starts. He will often use the excuse “My bid did not include that item.” Be sure your contract clearly explains all of the items included. I recommend owners insist that the contractor list all the things not part of his bid.
The middle bid is often a contractor that wants the job and feels his bid will complete the project as specified and earn a reasonable income.
Items that come up that were not anticipated and not included in the original contract require change orders. Change orders should include a description of the change and who is going to pay for it. Put it in writing, signed and dated by Owner, Contractor, and Consultant.
Putting it in writing has nothing to do with honesty, but the memory. In a short time, we forget what we agreed on.
203k lenders must also approve the change order. Usually, Change Orders are "OK" with the Change.
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