Frequently Asked Questions
- What does it mean to be a licensed contractor?
- Why should I use a licensed contractor for my construction project?
- How much experience do you have building custom homes in the Gainesville area?
- Are you insured?
- Why should I select you to build my new home?
- Is it necessary to have a set of plans before consulting you about a custom home?
- How do I get financing?
- Will you build on our lot?
- What is the cost per square foot of building a custom home?
- Can we do part of the work?
- How many bids should I get for my new home?
- How far will you go to do work?
- What type of construction can you do?
- Do you use the same subcontractors on every job?
- Do you do cost plus jobs?
What does it mean to be a licensed contractor?
In Florida, licensed contractors are required to have knowledge of all aspects of construction, including business law and accounting, proven by 20 hours of exams, followed by 14 hours of continuing education every two years. Proof of financial stability and current liability and workers compensation insurance are also required for licensing. Charles Goodman, owner of Goodman Construction Company, has met all requirements and holds a current Certified Building Contractor's license.
Why should I use a licensed contractor for my construction project?
Generally, a contractor's license is required for any structural additions, roofing, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical/alarm work, pool/spa work or any job which requires a building permit.
Beware of Construction Con Artists, Who May:
- Target the elderly, uninformed or the young and inexperienced.
- Focus on roofing and remodeling.
- Solicit door-to-door, claiming to have "just finished a job down the street."
- Arrive in unmarked vans or trucks, possibly from out-of-state.
- Use a post office box address with no street address.
- Promise to use your home as a demonstration model at a bargain price.
- Offer to work for you, only if you obtain the necessary building permits, which makes you responsible for the work done.
- Ask for all the money up front.
- Become injured on your property and sue you for damages.
(Excerpted from "Protect Your Home: Hire Only Licensed Contractors" from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) published Feb 28, 2003.)
How much experience do you have building custom homes in the Gainesville area?
We have been building homes in the Gainesville area for over 30 years and can provide many references upon request.
Are you insured?
Goodman Construction Company is fully licensed and insured well above the amount required by law. As well as carrying our own insurance we also require that all of our subcontractors carry insurance.
Why should I select you to build my new home?
We have long ties to the community; we have lived and worked in the Gainesville area for over 40 years. Our reputation is very important to us. We are well-known by suppliers and subcontractors for our honesty and integrity. We have access to designers, architects and consultants which enable us to produce a quality product at a fair and reasonable cost. We believe that quality doesn't cost - in the long run it saves you money. We have experience in building homes at a wide variety of price ranges and we believe that every house should be treated as we would our own home.
Is it necessary to have a set of plans before consulting you about a custom home?
Not necessarily. We would be happy to meet with you to go over your ideas, and work together with other professionals to come up with a design tailored just for you.
How do I get financing?
Today's financial market is an excellent one for interest rates in building a new home. We can recommend financial institutions or you can use your own.
Will you build on our lot?
Yes, we will build on your lot. Or, if you don't have a lot, through our contacts at the Homebuilder's Association, we have access to available lots in the area.
What is the cost per square foot of building a custom home?
The cost per square foot depends greatly upon the type of construction and quality of materials that you request, such as cabinetry, floor coverings, mouldings and products used to finish bathrooms and countertops, exterior finishes, etc. Items such as these can increase the square foot cost of a home significantly. Accurate costing can only be achieved after consultation, design decisions and selections for your home.
Can we do part of the work?
You can do part of the work if you are insured and have worker's compensation, or if you do that portion of the work after the closing of the project for which we have contracted.
How many bids should I get for my new home?
"Buyers beware," is a good way to begin our answer. Realize first that nobody wins in a bidding war. While it makes good sense to shop around for the lowest price when buying a VCR or TV or other manufactured article, you don't shop for the lowest price for brain surgery. Nor does it make good sense when building something as important as your new home or remodeling your existing home. Yet people are continually told to shop around for the "LOWEST" price and seek out competitive bids, usually comparing apples to oranges, thinking they are comparing apples to apples.
Clearing Up Some Popular Misconceptions:
A bid usually only reflects an initial price. It is very difficult to know whether a bid is accurate without a complete breakdown of the costs of the project, especially as projects increase in complexity, as most new homes and major remodeling projects do. These are time consuming, and you should be willing to pay a reasonable amount for these services. If a contractor ballparks a price, he must either inflate the price or cut corners to make a profit. You lose in both cases.
Competitive bids may show more about a contractor's ability to bring an enticing upfront price than a true cost or value for the dollar spent. In most cases, certain portions of a contract have an allowance for items spent by lowering these below others. You can make an attractive price that will bring a substandard end result, or call for the owner to make up the difference to buy a quality item. There are many things in home construction that can be manipulated to "seem" to reduce the upfront cost. This company uses computer technology and a constant contact with local suppliers to maintain the true cost of each item, and you have a complete breakdown of all cost in the construction of your home down to the light switch or door knob. Most people are not interested in such a close breakdown as it is very time consuming; however, it is necessary for a true cost analysis and there for your information.
Good contractors will help property owners balance what they want with the amount of capital they are willing to spend on a given project. Sometimes small changes can make a large cost difference with little impact on the end result.
You have to pay a contractor one time for the work done. However, you have to live with the work for many years. Do you want to live with something done by the cheapest possible method that may cost you many times the savings over the life of the job? That is the result of low bid construction. In the end it is just not a good investment.
Instead of bidding I suggest a different approach. Ask for references. How long has your contractor been involved in the construction business? Is he a member of the Homebuilders Association? Can he complete the project in the time frame that he says he can? Does the company have the resources to finish the project without asking for money to get started?
Beware of any contractor that says we need a percent down to start the work, unless you are very comfortable and he can provide sound reasons why he has such a need. GET A CONTRACT. Check on his license and insurance before you make your decision. Then have fun and enjoy the building experience. It should be a happy event that is full of joy, not worry, for you. That is the builder's job.
How far will you go to do work?
We generally do projects within a 50-mile radius of our Gainesville office. In special circumstances, we might consider further distances.
What type of construction can you do?
We are licensed to do residential and commercial construction. Our main focus is residential construction and we have expertise in traditional and contemporary styles.
Do you use the same subcontractors on every job?
The subcontractors that we use we have a long relationship with, and we continue to use them because they provide excellent product for the cost and service after the sale. We feel that using the same subcontractors guarantees a prompt response on any problems that may arise before or after the project is finished.
Do you do cost plus jobs?
Yes we do. Contact us for more information on our rates and for a free consultation.
Contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org