Thursday, August 16, 2007

Communication and Construction

The work to select a good builder for the log cabin is complete and the builder has been selected. A written contract has been signed. Now what should be done to keep the owner in control of the building process? I learned, of course, communication is the key.

The contract should include the contractor's time schedule to complete the log cabin. Of course, the contract should include a list of exceptions which may delay the contractor's schedule and over which the contractor has no control, such as acts of God or delays by suppliers or sub-contractors.

The owner should keep an on-going written diary of the progress of the construction of the cabin. All communications with the contractor should be recorded. Using e-mail may be one method of communication, but use a hard copy of the major decisions to the contractor.

Inspections of the construction process by the owner is extremely important. Ask for a schedule from the contractor about the various components of the construction, such as the foundation work, the first floor framing, the log assembly, and the roof construction. You get what you inspect. Ask a lot of questions!

During the contruction process think and decide about the various fixtures in the cabin. What would you like for the kitchen cabinets, vanity cabinet, toilets, bathtubs, showers, stove, lighting, etc.? Balance your desires with your budget.

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