ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS ON BUILDING A HOUSE

 

1. Contractor License
Registration is required for any business or individual that advertises, offers, bids, arranges for, or actually does any construction, alteration, remodeling or repair work in the State of Oregon.  This includes painting, roofing, carpentry, siding, plumbing, electrical, floor covering, land development, concrete, inspection services, heating and air-conditioning, tree service, new construction cleanup, as well as most other construction and repair services.  You should check out the
Contractors Board Website or call the State of Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) at 503-378-4621 extension 4900.  You should always check to make sure a contractors registration is  active.  Also, ask the CCB if the registration allows employees. A registration allowing employees means the contractor has workers' compensation insurance coverage. This is important to you as the owner of the property;  if a worker is injured on your job, this insurance will help prevent a workers' comp claim from being filed against you.
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2. Permits and Inspections
Construction of new homes require building permits from the local building department. In Little whale Cove, permits for homes come from the City of Depoe Bay.  We usually obtain the permits, but the owner is responsible for any extra costs, environmental reports or variances needed. The Lincoln County Building Department does a final inspection when the work is completed and issues an Occupancy Permit.
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3. Help from the State of Oregon's Website.
The State of Oregon Construction Contractors Board's Website offers Tips on Finding and Working With a Contractor in
16 Ways to Avoid Remodeling, Repair and Construction Problems. There are other FAQ's, tips, laws and links at
Contractors Board Website.
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4. Warranties available.
Halvorson-Mason gives a one year warranty from the date of substantial completion, as required by Oregon law.  We do have an extended warranty program which can be purchased for an additional cost.
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5. Complaints lodged with the Construction Contractors Board.
You can check with the State of Oregon Construction Contractors Board regarding any open claims on any contractor you are conferring with to build your home. Halvorson-Mason's CCB Number is 127285.    In addition, you may want to check with the Better Business Bureau at 1-800-488-4255 and the Lincoln County Home Builders Association at 1-800-465-2840.
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6. What will the contract contain?
It is important to always have a written contract, with the total price, a payment schedule, a starting date, a complete date, warrantees and standards of workmanship, a detailed list of what the contractor will and won't do, requirements of the Owner and it should include a list of "allowances" list of materials and specifications. 
Halvorson Mason is insured and bonded and Certificates of Insurance are available for review.
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7. How will Change Orders be handled?
People change their minds during the course of a construction project and we try and work with our clients.  For simple changes we do not charge a fee - but all changes must be in writing.  For all other changes, we charge a 15% fee and any change orders become part of the original contract and are thereby governed by the terms of that contract.
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8. Our Pricing
The old saying, "you get what you pay for" applies to us!  A higher bid may be worth the price in better materials, workmanship and reliability. If you get a very low bid, the contractor may have made a mistake or forgotten to bid everything you wanted. Or they may have deliberately under-estimated just to get the work, knowing they can't give you what you want at the quoted price and will then add on extra charges. If they bid too low to make a profit, they may take shortcuts and use cheaper materials, and when things start to fall apart, they will not be there when you need them. A large number of CCB claims filed against contractors are the result of homeowners taking the lowest bid and then being unhappy with the resulting low quality work.
  
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9. How does the contractor want to be paid?
To start with, you should never give anyone more than 30% of the total contract price as an up-front deposit. Legitimate contractors are entitled to a sizable down payment-- a third to a fourth is common. But then, it's important not to let the payments get ahead of the work completed. Consider having your payments released in stages as the work progresses, and perhaps having an inspection by a third party such as the County or City Building Department, a realtor or even your attorney.
  If you finance your home through a bank they will inspect and disburse the funds as the home progresses.
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10. References
References are available from many of our prior clients.  
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11. Mechanics Lien Notices
Homeowners are ultimately responsible for payments to subcontractors and suppliers even if they have paid the general contractor in full. Do not allow construction to begin until you have received a copy of the Information Notice to Owners About Construction Liens. This tells about liens and how to protect yourself. Read it carefully and follow its advice.
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12. What organizations and associations does the contractor belong to?
Halvorson-Mason Corporation is a member of the Depoe Bay Chamber, Lincoln City Chamber and the Newport Chamber of Commerce.  We are members of the Lincoln County Home Builders Association and a member of the AGC - the Associated General Contractors of America.  Our President, Kristi Halvorson, is a member of the Kruse Way Rotary and the Corporation supports the incredible work that Rotary does worldwide.

 

E-MAIL US AT brianp@whalecove  DOT com

or CALL BRIAN PLECHATY AT 541-765-2697 OR KRISTI HALVORSON AT 503-636-0440

 FOR MORE INFORMATION

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