Getting Started in the Construction Process
If you're about to embark on the adventure of building your dream home, remodeling your existing home, constructing a new office, or any other construction project you need to start looking for a Building Contractor in your area. We have developed this list of questions to help you get started. Click on the question for our answer.
- IS A DESIGN/BUILD CONTRACTOR FOR ME?
A Design/Build Contractor oversees the creation of your project from the first brainstorming sessions until the moment you turn the key in your own front door. A designer who is also a builder brings to the design process his practical building experience and his knowledge of materials and structures. When he solves a problem in the field, he is able to apply that new knowledge to his future work on the drawing board. And, since he knows his own building skills, he is not likely to draw or design structures with which he is not familiar. A builder who is also a designer has a professional concern that the design be built just as he envisioned it. Therefore, he will not deviate from the structural systems as shown on the plans. Also, with a Design/Builder in charge of the job, design changes requested by the client go much more smoothly, with a minimum of delay, because there are fewer parties involved. Sometimes even major changes can be accomplished in "mid-stream," rather than being delayed by back-and-forth communications with a separate architect or designer.
- IS A GENERAL CONTRACTOR FOR ME?
Many projects do not require professional design services and can best be handled by the experienced Contractor whose knowledge of materials and methods has been gained by years on the job. Again, be sure to deal with a professional. General Contractors are also the right choice for your project if you have had your project designed by an architect or designer and you now need someone to manage the construction of those designs.
- IS THE COMPANY LICENSED
You are exposed to many liability issues if an unlicensed Contractor is used. Kenyon Construction Inc. is a State of Michigan licensed contractor (Builders License No. 2102049815).
CLICK HERE TO VERIFY A CONTRACTORS LICENSE
- HAS THE COMPANY BEEN IN THE BUILDING BUSINESS FOR OVER 5 YEARS?
95% of all building companies fail within the first 5 years. Kenyon Construction Inc. is a business that has been remodeling, designing, and building in Northern Michigan since 1957.
- WHAT ARE THE COMPANY'S PAST REFERENCES?
Starting any project is easy, finishing the project takes more effort. Be sure past clients would recommend that company after the project is completed. Ask past clients if they would use that company again. Kenyon Construction Inc. can give you references.
Here is a list of questions to ask a Contractor's References.
- DOES THE COMPANY USE COMPUTERIZED ESTIMATING, ACCOUNTING, SCHEDULING, AND DRAFTING?
The building process has increased in complexity over the years and computerization is vital today for accuracy and speed. Kenyon Construction Inc. is a fully modern company that utilizes computerized bidding, accounting, scheduling, and drafting.
- IS THE COMPANY INSURED PROPERLY?
All reputable Contractors maintain proper Contractor type insurances on their Completed Work (Liability Insurance), their Employees (Worker Compensation Insurance), and their Vehicles (Auto Insurance). Kenyon Construction Inc. has Worker's Compensation, Automotive, and General Liability insurances; and, would be glad to give you a Certificate of Insurance for such coverage.
- DOES THE COMPANY PARTICIPATE IN TRADE ORGANIZATIONS?
Trade organizations help to keep their members informed about new products, construction techniques, business practices, and industry issues. Participation demonstrates a builder's commitment to professionalism and the construction industry. Kenyon Construction Inc. has gained membership in the Northern Michigan Code Officials Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, Michigan Home Builders Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, the Michigan Society of Civil Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Michigan Society of Profession Engineers, Hillman Area Chamber of Commerce, and Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce.
- WHAT IS THE COMPANY'S EXPERIENCE LEVEL FOR YOUR TYPE OF PROJECT?
Make sure your Contractor is experienced in working on your type of project. Ask to look at pictures, ask to look at some completed projects, and ask to look at some current projects. Kenyon Construction Inc. can show you many completed projects and would be glad to have you visit a project under construction.
- DOES THE COMPANY SUPPLY A WRITTEN CONTRACT OR PROPOSAL?
All reputable Contractors should supply a written contract that includes a description of the scope of work, a description of the materials being used, how change orders are handled, how progress payments are handled, lien law issues, warranty issues, how allowances are handled, building permit and inspection issues, and a "notice to cancel" page. Kenyon Construction Inc. will be glad to show you one of our sample Contracts.
- HOW DOES THE COMPANY SCHEDULE THEIR PROJECTS?
Scheduling of your project is very important. All reputable Contractors should give you a start date and a completion date. Kenyon Construction will be glad to show you a sample construction schedule for a project similar to yours.
- HOW DOES THE COMPANY HANDLE CALL BACKS AND WARRANTY ISSUES?
Even good Contractors have to go back on their projects and fix or change items that may not have performed up to the Client's expectations or to the Manufacturer's claims. Kenyon Construction always handles these situations as expediently as possible to minimize the problems that they may cause.
- HOW DOES THE CONTRACTOR COMMUNICATE WITH THE OWNER?
All good Contractors should communicate on a regular basis with a Project Owner. It may be in form of regularly scheduled construction meetings or on a more informal as needed basis. Kenyon Construction has a good reputation for good communications with their Clients.
- IS THE COMPANY SAFETY MINDED?
The construction industry has more job injuries than any other industry. Job site injuries can contribute to a Contractor's job cost. Kenyon Construction Inc. is a safety minded company. We have a written safety policy for our employees, we have regularly scheduled safety meetings, and we comply with all MIOSHA regulations.
- SHOP FOR PRICE OR QUALITY?
A home or new office in most cases is by far the largest investment most people ever make, yet people tend to shop for the lowest prices! The piece of advice given most often to consumers is: "Get several bids so you can compare price." Contactors all understand how important price is to your decision making process. It is important that you understand the pitfalls of only considering price when there are so many other factors that may affect your decision. In order for you to be able to compare price, all the bids have to be for the same amount of work, the same products, the same specifications, and the same quality of work. This is almost impossible to realize. It is also impossible to put a price on things like quality, workmanship, attitude, trustworthiness, professionalism, creativity, communication, schedule, and service of a Contractor. Kenyon Construction Inc. has a good reputation for giving very good quality and workmanship at a fair price.