Premier Builders & Remodeling, in Williamstown, N.J., has been using this Homeowner Responsibilities form for two years. Owners Steve Feigeles and W. Scott Cooper wanted to prevent misunderstandings about what the homeowners and what the company will handle, and used the problems they’d had on past jobs as a base to create the form.
“When you read [the form], it looks like common sense,” Feigeles says. But, he adds, it is there to ensure that there are no gaps in interpretation of the rules. Feigeles and Cooper review the contract and the form with homeowners during the pre-construction meeting, and the homeowners initial the form when they sign the contract.
A. PETS AND CHILDREN
During pre-construction, the crew asks homeowners the names of all the members of the household and finds out about any pets or others who should have access to the house.
If a homeowner purchases a product and it is incomplete or damaged, Feigeles points out that his crew must then stop work and purchase the missing parts or an undamaged unit. This, in turn, delays the schedule and increases labor costs.
On a past job, a homeowner removed some items from a curio cabinet on a wall that was to be demolished, but left 10 Hummel figurines on top of the cabinet. During demolition, one of the figurines was broken.
D. CHANGE ORDER
Company owners Cooper and Feigeles don't think it's appropriate to solicit additional work; they prefer that customers initiate any changes.
Prompted by an article that owner Steve Feigeles read about a client cutting off their homeowners' insurance to save money — assuming that the remodeling company's insurance would cover the entire structure during construction — he added this section to the Homeowner Responsibilities form.
F. EXISTING CONDITIONS
The existing conditions section was added because there are a lot of houses with asbestos, and a few with aluminum wiring, in two neighborhoods where the company works. "This applies to areas that we have not surveyed because they are not part of the project, but which an inspector might require us to remove," Feigeles says.
He added the Dumpster fine to the form after a 30-yard bin delivered to a jobsite on a Friday night was, by Monday at 7 a.m. when crews arrived, filled with six washing machines, two dryers, several bicycles, and golf clubs. "It delayed the job for a day, cost us $1,200 to dump it, and the customer was mad at us," Feigeles says. Read more about Premier Builders & Remodeling in the Big50 CloseUp