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Interpreting a construction bid

When a person reads through a construction contract, he or she should be able to know what the price is and what is and is not included in the bid.

When California families choose to build their next home, the legal process is a little different than buying a preexisting home. Oftentimes, soon-to-be homeowners will talk with numerous construction companies to find the contractor who will be able to do the work for the least amount of money.

Is the price set?

Not all contracts are the same. For example, some contractors create bids while others create estimates. A bid usually provides a fixed price that will not change unless more work is added to the build or something is changed by the client. An estimate, on the other hand, does not provide a fixed price. Instead, it gives the family an idea of what they might have to spend should the project go as planned.

As a person reads through the construction contract, it is important he or she understands the nature of the price mentioned. If the price is not fixed, the person may want to talk with the contractor to figure out a maximum budget that will not be surpassed without a conversation.

Are there exclusions?

Some builders choose to mention specific things that they will not be doing during a project. Sometimes these exclusions are included simply to remind the owner that he or she requested the contractor not do something, such as provide flooring materials. Consumers request these exclusions when they want to do the work themselves or finish the project up at a later time.

Other times contractors simply do not feel comfortable completing certain aspects of a build because of the potential complications associated with it. In this type of situation, a builder may agree to do the work if they talk with the landowner and explain the unknown aspects that could drastically increase the price.

What projects are included?

Finally, a homeowner needs to understand what parts of the project are included in the bid. Usually there will be an itemized list of the work that needs to be done. Anyone building a new home or office building may see a number of items on their bid, including the following:

  • Fixtures refer to faucets, pendant lights, tubs, toilets and anything the workers install during construction.
  • Specifications list out the exact materials that will be used on siding, flooring and the like.
  • Millwork is the cabinetry that will be completed, but can also include crown molding and decorative spindles.

If the homeowner does not understand a specific part of the contract, he or she may want to ask the builder for clarification.

California residents choose to build a house when they want to have something that completely suits their needs. It may be beneficial to have a lawyer look over any legal documents used during a construction project.

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Last & Faoro
Attorneys At Law
520 S El Camino Real
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San Mateo, CA 94402

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