FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Building in a Post COVID-19 environment is challenging. However, it is not impossible to do or expect something greatly different in your building’s focus.  But there are a few ‘heads up” ideas to help out with building during this time.

  • SPECIFIC BRANDS/MATERIALS MAY NEED TO BE ORDERED WELL IN ADVANCE OR SUBSTITUTE THE BRAND WITH AN EQUAL QUALITY ONE.
  • MOST ITEMS HAVE LEAD TIMES, APPLIANCES CAN BE UP TO 6 MONTHS, WINDOWS CAN BE UP TO 16 WEEKS OR SO, AND SO ON.
  • THERE ARE MATERIAL SHORTAGES EVERYWHERE, FROM SHEETROCK, TO PAINT FROM SHERWIN WILLIAMS.  SO, YOU NEED TO BE ADAPTABLE.
  • THE PROJECTS CAN AND HAVE BEEN TAKING LONGER TO COMPLETE, BECAUSE OF WORKER SHORTAGES, MATERIAL SHORTAGES, DELAYS, ETC.  A THREE-MONTH PROJECT CAN TURN INTO A 7 MONTH PROJECT BECAUSE OF BACKORDERED MATERIALS/SHORTAGES.
  • THE PRICING HAS BEEN A VERY FLUID SITUATION THIS PAST YEAR.  MANY SUPPLIERS ARE ONLY HOLDING QUOTES FOR 24 HOURS OR 5 DAYS.  WE USED TO OFFER A QUOTE FOR 30 DAYS, AND NOW OUR QUOTES ARE GOOD FOR 15 DAYS.
  • COSTS ON MATERIALS CONTINUE TO JUMP MULITPLE TIMES IN THE YEAR AND THAT IS WHY WE HAD TO REDUCE OUR PRICE QUOTE HOLD TIME.

BUILDING DURING THIS TIME IS AT TIMES CHALLENGING.  BUT USING A REPUTABLE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY LIKE US, IS WHERE WE CAN MINIMIZE AND OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES.  

There are different ways to finance private commercial construction projects.  A lot of construction projects involve some type of SBA loan.  However, it greatly depends on what you are financing, your credit score, and if there are any assets for collateral.  I would recommend checking with your preferred commercial lenders like Central Bank, Great Southern, Oak Star, Simmons, SFC, etc.  They should be able to direct you to help or you can discuss your options with an SBA representative.

Patio homes are different from duplexes in many ways.  A simple example is that patio homes are basically two homes attached together at the foundation.  They have separate utilities, separate structures with a concrete block fire wall, separate building lots, usually a low maintenance exterior, sodded and sprinkled yards, covered patio, 1400-1600 sq ft, and typically 2-3 bedrooms with 2 bathrooms.  Whereas a duplex has to be sold as a whole building, usually one utility service for the building, a double sheetrocked fire dividing wall, maybe low maintenance exteriors with vinyl siding, not typically sodded or sprinkled yards, 2-3 bedroom with 1-2 bathrooms,  no covered patio, and typically rented only.  Either one can be leased on one side or both sides.  However, patio homes will have a higher resale value, because they are considered individual homes.

You may wonder at the start of a project, what is bonding versus insurance and do I need it?  Bonding is like insurance, but a different type.  General liability insurance and workman’s’ compensation is what most general contractors carry.  However, only certain contractors carry bonding.  To have or require bonding on a project is typically more expensive, about 1-3% more.   To put it simply, it gives a guarantee that a clients’ project will be completed, regardless if the contractor goes out of business.  Bonding is usually required on most public projects over $50,000.  Contractors with bonding, carry different bonding capacities $100,000-10+ million.  A bonded contractor is also required to meet certain financial requirements to be able to get any type of bonding.

General Liability insurance or builders risk policies only cover physical damages, if they occur.  So if a contractor skips out on a project or goes out of business, it leaves the owner “holding the bag” to finish the project.  There are also various types of bonding such as bid bonds, payment and performance bonds.  All giving some degree of an “insurance” for a projects completion.

There is a common belief among people that they should get 3 construction bids.  That only works when you have a stamped set of drawings and everyone is bidding apples to apples.  If you do bid out a project, I would ask the architect for a contractor recommendation and probably get two others that you have found.

This would not be our recommendation for first time building clients.  We take a more hands on approach and help guide them throughout the whole process and work with them and their architect before that final bid.  So once the city approves the drawings, the costs are fairly known upfront and you would not have to go back through it, changing items to get it back into the original budget, before you start.  Some say you can save money bidding it out.  However, we know from experience that this is not the case, most of the time.  Dealing with a good honest reputable contractor from the beginning will most likely save clients money in the long run.

Unless you are familiar with building projects, you might know the difference in a budget number and an actual bid.  A budget bid is not an actual bid, it is for budgeting purposes with the loan and finances.  Most lenders require a budget bid which shows estimated costs for the project.  The actual bid can change from a budget bid in many ways.  The city approved project drawings could have added several things that the budget bid did not include.  Then the client or architect could add certain changes to materials in the actual drawings from what was budgeted off of.

Most general contractors budget bids are done with minimal drawings and usually no actual product details.  Which can greatly affect the cost when you get to the build phase.  It is always in the details and that is what tends to separate a budget bid from an actual bid.  A bid number is typically taken off an actual set of architecturally stamped drawings and permit approved.

Typically, the time of year is not necessarily a determining factor in starting a construction project.  Of course though, it depends on what you are building.  Generally the worst months for exterior building work are during the late winter and spring times.  The summer and fall are ideal, because the rainfall is usually less and you don’t have to worry about temperature til mid fall.  Indoor projects are most generally done year round without major weather delays.

Once the lender approves the loan, most of the time it does not matter on the time of year.  Mainly, the client needs to build as quickly as possible to avoid paying additional interest on the loan or paying for a lease when they are not open.  Starting a house building project in winter or spring will generally setup the project for weather delays.  Sometimes it cannot be helped, with all the studying and analyzing of a project before it starts, it is what it is.   Then you just have to adjust to make it work.

A building lot carries several factors relating to the cost of a new building.  You need to factor in what you are building on the lot you are building it.  If the lot has a ton of trees, they will have to be removed, costing money.  If the lot is on the side of a hill or mountain.  There is most likely going to be rock breaking involved, which is not cheap.  If the lot is in a low lying area, it will probably need to be built up on fill dirt.  Which tends to cost more than cutting the topsoil off and building off of that.

Nine times out of ten, the lots’ excavation is the last thing on ones mind, it is usually the location or cost of the lot.  Prime building lots and location lots are generally more expensive.  It is recommended that building on any lot, should have some type of evaluation done before buying the lot.

Most people that want to have a project built do not know if they need an architectural drawing or not.  Depending where the project is located and what you are building has a determining factor in deciding what you will need.  Commercial buildings or commercial projects typically require an architect or engineers stamped drawing.  Residential tends to be more lenient on drawing requirements.  Regardless, having a drawing is a benefit for everyone involved.  It keeps everyone on the same page and what you are wanting.  The less detailed the drawings, the more room for interpretation.

However, drawings are not cheap and do not add to the buildings actual value.  If this cost is a concern, it would be recommended to talk with a general contractor or the city/county building department where the project is located.  Then discuss the requirements, to see what is the most cost efficient solution to move forward.

Get Direction

Call Now