As the Gatlinburg community recovers from the recent devastating fires the Home Builders Association of Greater Knoxville (HBAGK) is committed to providing assistance and relief to our families, friends and neighbors. The rebuilding process will not happen quickly and there will be important decisions to consider for those who choose to rebuild their homes and rental properties. HBAGK has compiled a list of items to help consumers make informed decisions.
When you begin meeting with builders, general contractors and remodelers, you need to ask the following questions:
- How long they have been in business in your community? You want to make sure they will be around after the construction is complete to service any warranties.
- Do they carry insurance that protects you from claims arising from property damage or job site injuries? If not, you may be liable for any construction-related accidents on your premises. Ask for a copy of the insurance certificates.
- Do they arrange for the building permit? (The person who obtains the permit is the contractor of record and therefore liable for the work)
- Do they provide a written estimate before beginning the work, and a detailed contract that spells out the work that will and will not be performed, protects both of you, provides a fair payment schedule contract and complies with local, state, and federal laws? If you are having a new home built, get and review a copy of the home warranty and homeowner manual as well.
- Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids. If the builder/remodeler is unable to pay for the materials and labor as the project proceeds, this may indicate a potential problem. Keep in mind that less expensive does not necessarily mean better!
- Do not be pressured into signing a contract immediately.
- Do they offer a warranty? What is covered under the warranty and for how long?
- Can they provide references from customers and suppliers they work with? Ask the builder/remodeler to provide you with names of previous customers. If they won't, beware. If they do, ask the customers if they would hire the builder/remodeler again.
- Do you feel you can easily communicate with the builder/remodeler? Remember you will be in close contact with them throughout the construction process and afterward as you live in your new home.
- Contact your local home builders’ association for the names of member builders and remodelers: www.hbaknoxville.com. You can also ask family, friends or coworkers for recommendations.
These companies have expressed interest in working with home owners and businesses affected by the fires.