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

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