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Table of Contents

Avoiding the CON in Construction

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface

1. COVER YOUR ASSETS

    CON 101: Introduction to CONtracting
    CON 102: Here today, con tomorrow
    CON 103: The story of Jack (of all trades)
    CON 104: For a low, low price of …
    CON 105: It’s now or never
    CON 106: You need more, more, more
    CON 107: Free money?
    CON 108: The CONtractor shuffle
    CON 109: Permit passover
    And the CON goes on
    Knowledge is power
    It's all about teamwork
    It's in your hands

2. THE WHO, WHAT AND WHY OF CONTRACTING

    The who's who of contracting
    What exactly is construction contracting?
    The why of construction contracting

3. PLAN THE WORK AND WORK THE PLAN

    The scoop on the scope
    A sample scope - the Harris kitchen remodel
    The activities described
    The cost of a flawed scope of work

4. FINDING THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB

    Referrals: It takes one to know one
    Contractors' work is a testament to their worth
   
Advertisements: Hear ye, hear ye
    Content: Is it an editorial or an advertorial?
    Internet advertising
   
Where not to look for contractors
    Before you proceed
    I spy, then verify

5. CONTRACTOR QUALIFICATIONS

    Professional licensing
    Occupational licenses versus professional licenses
    Occupational license: It's all business
    Professional licensing: It's personal
    Requirements for construction professional licensing
    Knowledge
    Experience
    Financial and personal integrity
    Continuing education
   
Verifying a contractor’s professional licensing
    Building Department
    Professional Licensing Division
    Inside the state website
   
Contractor licensing is for your protection

6. INSURED AGAINST LOSS

    Protection against loss
    Workers' compensation insurance
    Why you should care
    Building Department
    Workers Compensation Division
    Authorized exemptions
    Once again 
   
General liability insurance
    General liability insurance and property damage
    General liability insurance and personal injury
    Verifying general liability policies
   
Document consistency
    Additional protection
    Policy limits
    Builders' risk insurance
    Other preventative measures

7. BONDS: THE THIRD-PARTY GUARANTEE

    Assured by the surety
    Non-contract bonds: Contractor licensing bond
    Contract bonds: Bid, performance, and payment bonds
    Prequalification protects you
    Contractor failure
    Licensed, bonded, and insured
    Recovery fund - another resource
    Time is of the essence

8. I SPY, OH MY!

    A record of the past
    Records are everywhere
    Official records and public records
    State licensing websites
    Secretary of State and the Division of Corporations
    Searching the Division of Corporations 'database
    Corporate filings
   
Online building permitting databases
    Legal research on individuals and their companies
    Ethics and accuracy
    Court docket entries versus court records
    Online court docket entries
    Search tips: Reaching the correct Clerk of Court Office
    Inside the clerk'swebsite
    Broad search versus narrow search
    The search returns
   
From government to private industry records
    User review websites
    Better Business Bureau
    Angie's List and RipOff Report
    Other online information sources
   
How deep to dig
    Additional considerations
    References
    Professional associations
   
Conclusion
    Contractor Candidate Checklist

9. MAY I PROPOSE?

    Jobsite meeting
    Fixed-price versus time and materials/cost plus proposals
    The risk of overpaying
    One step at a time
    Low bid: Is it a bad deal?
    Payment schedule: Deposits and progress payments
    Lenders know construction costs
    Contractor-drafted draw schedules
    Front-loading
   
Other considerations
    Warranty
    Permitting
    Schedule
   
Entering into contract

10. CONTRACTS

    Contracts in general
    I read you loud and clear
    Contract provisions
    Possible work provisions
    Possible payment provisions
    Changes in contract price
    Possible schedule provisions
    Possible insurance provisions
   
Possible warranty provisions
    Possible indemnity provisions
   
Default, termination, and damages
    Dispute resolution
    The contracting parties
    The all-important contract

11. PERMIT ME TO EXPLAIN

    Permitting documents and their objective
    The building permit application
    Notice of Commencement: A notice before you begin
    Building plans: Your dreams defined
    The site plan
   
The comprehensive plan: It's the broad vision
    Land use
    Zoning code
    Flood zones
    Variances
    Special-use (or conditional-use) permits
    One more thing about property use
   
Additional documents for permitting
    Owner/builder permits
    Benefits versus risk
    What it takes
    Owner/builder failure
    Underestimating estimating
    Time is not on your side
    A look at liability
    Look before you leap
   
Permitting questions and process

12. INSPECTIONS: Get them done right

    Building codes
    The history of building codes
    Building codes today
    Before you schedule
    Meet the inspector
    R-E-S-P-E-C-T
    A quick look at inspections
    From the bottom up
    If the walls could talk
    The home stretch
    Summary

13. A LOOK AT LIENS

    Construction liens
    Promises, promises
    Liens and lienors
    Foreclosure sales
    Unfair?
    Know thy lienors
    Lienor's duties under lien law
    Why weren't we introduced?
    Owner's duties under lien law
    Types of lien releases
    Your safety net
    (General) contractor's final payment affidavit
    Unpaid lienors
    Know thy lien laws
    Lien Prevention Checklist
   
The Lieniator says …

14. OTHER PROJECT CONSIDERATIONS

    Avoiding the calm in complacency
    Safety sleuths
    Fall injuries
    Excavation
    Cranes and other hoisting equipment
    Electrical hazards
    Vehicle safety
    Fatal Facts
    Other matters that matter
    Agree to disagree
    Daily log and photo documentation
    Work
    Communications
    Significant events
    Jobsite injuries
    Materials
    Weather
   
Photographic documentation
    The cost of complacency

15. IN A NUTSHELL

    Like it or not
    Start off on the right foot
    Integrity starts with an I
    Risk versus benefits
    To be or not to be

Appendix A-E

Noteworthy Organizations

Contact Information: U.S. State Governments

Contact Information: State Professional Licensing Divisions

Contact Information: State Workers' Compensation Divisions

Contact Information: State Divisions of Corporations

Index