When should you call a Licensed General Contractor?
Most homeowners contact a General Contractor after plans are drawn. However, contacting a Licensed General Contractor before plans are drawn can reduce construction costs and environmental impact. A contractor can assist the homeowner with:
- Incorporating energy efficiency into the design
- Consulting with the architect about preferred construction methods
- Learning how building codes can affect the project
- Understanding the pros and cons of different design choices
What should you expect from your Contractor?
- Good communication
- A written contract
- A Residential Home Builder's License or General Contractor's License
- General Liability and Workman's Comprehensive Insurance for your Contractor and all subcontractors working on the project
- Appropriate permits when applicable
- A well defined scope of work
- A detailed budget
- A schedule time line
- Weekly communication with you in person, by phone or through email
- Material selection sheet if not supplied with the architectural plans
- Clearly defined change orders, if applicable
- An organized, clean and safe job site
What is Green Building/Remodeling and what are its benefits?
Green building/Remodeling is incorporating sustainable, durable, and healthy designs into a home. Energy efficiency is the most popular reason why consumers choose to build a green home.
Green building/remodeling can:
- Dramatically lower energy bills by increasing energy efficiency
- Provide increased comfort by improving air quality
- Make a home easier and less expensive to maintain by using properly installed and durable products
- Adapt a home to regional conditions by the use of proven construction methods appropriate for coastal areas
What are the top ways to increase energy efficiency?
- Install appropriate insulation
- Install high-efficiency windows instead of windows that minimally meet the energy code
- Seal all exterior penetrations
- Purchase only Energy Star-rated appliances such as a water heater and kitchen appliances
- Purchase the highest efficiency HVAC system within your budget and size it correctly for the area to be conditioned