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Here are a few recent case studies that you should be aware of and consider prior to beginning a remodeling project.

A. A couple in a country club community added a second-floor addition, but they did not solicit a proposal from the original builder because they “felt he would be too expensive.” Integrating new construction with existing construction is not easy and requires specific knowledge and experience. The water intrusion that developed as a result of the addition ended in litigation.

B. A couple decided to finally stop putting up hurricane shutters and replace their windows with impact-resistant glass. They decided, for budget reasons, to do only a few windows at a time. The contractor only priced replacing the windows – interior drywall repair; patch and paint; removal, storage and re-installation of window treatments was not included, and the exterior stucco repair was not properly completed, resulting in the failure of the freshly-painted interior wall due to moisture intrusion.

C. A contractor convinced the homeowner that obtaining the building permit in the owners’ name was in their best interest. In the middle of the job, the contractor packed up and walked off, leaving the job incomplete. When the new contractor arrived, it was discovered much of the early work had been incorrectly performed and not yet inspected, leaving the homeowner as the contractor of record on the permit, and responsible for redoing all the work.

D. A couple was about to build their dream home and the lowest bidder beat the next closest bidder by 22%. After words of caution and guidance, the couple moved forward, only to discover the list of (never seen before) non-included items. The difference in the quality of the products being installed and the use of allowances instead of line items resulted in changed orders, exceeding the original next lowest bid and creating a strained relationship between the homeowners and contractor.

These are not designed to scare you, but to educate you. Be prepared.

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