Here are some helpful tips prior to signing a Hawaii construction contact:
- Do a Regulated Industries Complaint Office search on your Hawaii contractor (www.hawaii.gov/dcca/areas/rico), a Better Business Bureau search (www.hawaii.bbb.org), and a Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs business name search to see if the Hawaii contractor’s business is in good standing (www.hawaii.gov/dcca/areas/breg/online).
- Obtain a lot of references from work in the past year, and contact those homeowners.
- Be cautious of general contractors recommended by your architect. The reality is the architect has a relationship with the general contractor that will go beyond your project. If they had to choose between siding with you on your one-time job, or a continual source of their livelihood, they might choose the latter.
- Everything promised you must be documented in writing. If it is not in writing it is more difficult to prove.
- Use standard AIA forms, even though they are biased toward architects. The AIA forms are detailed and are written to incorporate the duties of your Hawaii architect and your Hawaii general contractor. Often times Hawaii architects and Hawaii general contractors argue that they want to use their own time-tested form, and even an older version of the AIA form, but that just shows a laziness on their part in not keeping up with latest developments. You don’t see a Hawaii realtor still using the old DROA forms, when in 2007 they were replaced by Purchase Contracts.
- Never pay in full. Pay when performance goals are met.
- Obtain a performance surety bond for the project in order to protect yourself if the Hawaii general contractor does not perform, or worse, leaves with your money.
It still amazes us how many one-page or two-page construction contracts we have seen for more than half a million dollars of renovation. If you are spending that type of money shouldn’t you spend some money trying to protect yourself?
Here is a link to some very helpful information from RICO: www.hawaii.gov/dcca/areas/rico/licensedcontractor
Contact us today to protect yourself and your property legally.
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