Tag Archives: Better Business Bureau

How Are We Going to Communicate?

How Are We Going to Communicate?

Disclaimer – this and subsequent articles on contract terms are not intended to be legal advice, merely an example for discussions between you and your legal advisor.

Please keep in mind, many of these terms are applicable towards post frame building kits and would require edits for cases where a builder is providing erection services or materials and labor.

Communication is key to any successful relationship and paramount when it comes to a new building.

COMMUNICATIONS: This is an INTERNET PURCHASE and, as such, any and all communications after purchase will be available to Purchaser ONLY via log-in at Seller’s website. Handling and/or service charges apply to forms of communication other than via log-in to Seller’s website, at current staff rates. Seller may contact Purchaser from time to time regarding this transaction. This contact may be in any manner chosen by Seller, unless the law expressly prohibits. For example, Seller may:

  1. contact Purchaser by mail, telephone, email, fax, recorded message, text message or personal visit;
  2. contact Purchaser using an automated dialing or similar device (“Autodialer”);
  3. contact Purchaser at Purchaser’s home or place of employment;
  4. contact Purchaser on Purchaser’s mobile telephone;
  5. contact Purchaser at any time, including weekends and holidays;
  6. contact Purchaser with any frequency;
  7. leave pre recorded and other messages on Purchaser’s answering machine/service/voice mail and with others; and
  8. identify himself/herself, Purchaser’s relationship with Seller and Seller’s purpose for contacting Purchaser even if others might hear or read it.
  9. Seller may monitor or record any conversation or other communication with Purchaser.
  10. Seller owns all rights to any information/data entered by the purchaser into the customer login system and may be viewed by the seller at any time.

Regardless of “how” acceptable methods for communication should be clearly stated.

ORDER ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: All quotations and agreements are subject to Seller’s written acknowledgment or invoice, which sets forth the order as Seller understands it and states the only obligations to which Seller is bound. Unless the Purchaser objects promptly upon its receipt, such acknowledgment will be the final and entire agreement between the parties. No ensuing changes will be binding unless so acknowledged by Seller.

Seller reserves the right to refuse service to anyone. Seller may unconditionally cancel Purchaser’s order at any time, provide Purchaser with a full refund (pursuant to Section xx of this Agreement “Disbursements”), and, if so cancelled, Purchaser waives the right to any claim of damage, due to any cause.

First paragraph of “Order Acknowledgements” pertains primarily to doing work with governmental bodies. Paragraph two is (IMHO – In My Humble Opinion) an absolute must for any provider or builder. As a provider, we have had a very small percentage of clients with whom we quickly found out were going to prove to be impossible to work with. There are, sadly, people who become overly brave when they have a phone line or computer keyboard at hand and will say or type things they would never say to a person’s face. We had a client file a BBB (Better Business Bureau) complaint against us not once, but twice – because we refused to do business with her (lucky for us as I know who she did order from and they regretted ever doing business with her).

PRICE: Time is of the essence, written quotations are subject to stock on hand and prior sale and cannot be held longer than xxx(x) days, unless otherwise stated in writing. Order processing begins as soon as the Purchaser presses the SUBMIT button. Arithmetic or clerical errors are subject to correction. Changes to order may be requested by Purchaser within twenty-four (24) hours after ORDER has been placed and will be assessed a fee equal to material price, plus a minimum $xxx processing fee. Staff time charges may apply to all change requests, even if the Purchaser ultimately does not order the change. Any additions, alterations or changes will affect price and are to be performed only pursuant to Section xx of this Agreement, “Change Orders”. Agreement price does NOT include a contingency for changes in the physical condition of the site or location of the building from those originally contemplated, unobserved or unknown conditions in the property or an existing structure which, if encountered, will lead to additional time and expenses. If those contingencies do occur, then payment for those contingencies will be paid for by Purchaser according to Section xx of this Agreement, “Change Orders”. At Seller’s option, Seller may provide a cost breakdown to Purchaser or Purchaser’s lender for estimating purposes, or for the purpose of Purchaser obtaining financing from a commercial lender. Any such cost breakdown is not intended to be a bid, allowance, or guaranteed sum of money expended upon individual items of construction and is not intended to modify the price or scope of work stated in this Agreement. Unless otherwise specified on the face of this Agreement, price does NOT include meeting any provision of the Davis-Bacon Act, nor does it include the cost of either bid or performance bonding. No future offers, discounts or sales will apply to this transaction. Price is subject to increase if delivery of some or all components are not taken prior to an announced price increase.

In these times of uncertainty in price and availability of materials it is essential for both parties to have clear understandings as to responsibilities. In order to maintain best possible pricing, in rapidly escalating markets, orders must be processed expediently. Clients should have an option to take prompt delivery in order to not be faced with price increases.

Clients will often ponder changes, after placing their order. Sometimes researching their requests becomes a time-burning process and as such, the provider or builder deserves to be compensated should a change be requested, but not acted upon. Continue reading

Does my Barndominium Need a Turn-Key General Contractor?

Does My Barndominium Need a Turn-Key General Contractor?

Often a goal of barndominium (especially post frame) construction is to be able to get your most building, for your dollars invested (think biggest bang per buck).

When a turn-key general contractor is hired to provide a constructed building, normally about 25% of what you pay is going to said general contractor, who never lifts a tool or picks up a board at your building site.  This is a different person than an erection contractor, who heads up a team of builders, but who also drives nails and screws along with his or her crew.  A “general contractor” could be someone who drives nails, but usually doesn’t.  They often sit in an office and act as coordinator. Sometimes they visit your building site, and often they do not. They may have a salesman or other assistant who actually occasionally visits your jobsite.

If you are not a “hands on” person or one who is willing to invest a few hours of your own time to save thousands of dollars, then maybe hiring a general contractor is your answer.

When people start thinking of “General contractors” visions of dollar signs, disappointment and reality TV shows start floating through their minds – and often for good reason.

In most cases, you don’t need or can’t afford a general contractor to be involved in your new post frame barndominium. If you have a very complex project, one involving a plethora of different trades, it could be worthwhile to hire one.

Remember those hours a general contractor will save you on your jobsite? Plan on spending twice this amount of time to find a good general contractor. 

Please carefully reread previous paragraph. Hiring a general contractor will not save you time.

Do your due diligence and hire someone with excellent references and enough professionalism to do what he or she was hired to do.

What exactly is due diligence?

Before even picking up your cell phone to call a contractor (both general contractors and those who drive nails) – check online to verify they are registered to do business in your state and to verify their contractor’s registration is current. Check their Better Business Bureau rating, as well as any listings on Angie’s List. Google them, by looking for, “Phred’s Construction complaints” (obviously Phred is a made up name). If they have complaints, read through them, as sadly people are quick to complain about minor, or even imagined incidents.

Once you have narrowed your potential contractor choices down to no less than three, have them meet with you in person, at your building site to discuss your new barndominium. Unless you are absolutely 100% certain as to dimensions and features of your barndominium you want, you are best to tell him or her your needs (what problems is your building going to solve) and ask for recommendations as to best design solution.

Each contractor is going to have different recommendations, so be prepared, after round one, to go back to each one of them, with your final design.

By now, you should have started to form relationships with these general contractors. Time to start asking for documentation from your “leading” candidate. You want a copy of their contractor’s registration, a certificate of liability insurance with you named as additional insured, all warranties in writing, three written references, and names and phone numbers of their accountant, banker, and at least three major suppliers. It is up to YOU to call all of these people and verify they are financially stable, they do not bounce checks, they pay their bills on time, etc. If you hear a “little voice” inside of your head whispering bad things to you – move on to the next candidate.

A general contractor is supposed to be your lifeline to everything you need done. He or she supposedly knows the right people to hire, best places to get supplies, and he or she will coordinate all those tiny jobs which need to be done so you aren’t on your cell phone constantly trying to coordinate what should be happening.

If I sound completely negative on this subject, remember, I was a General Contractor at one time.  I ran 35 crews in six states and I had really good crews….and I had those who had no business pounding nails.  What I am saying here is to be careful – and check out everything you can on a General Contractor, before you hire him or her.  I appreciated every client who did due diligence and checked me out from top to bottom before they hired me.  I knew they would treat me with a high degree of professionalism, just as I treated them.

If you begin without unrealistic expectations and do your homework, you can have a satisfactory experience when hiring a general contractor. Just remember, it isn’t free.

Not scared enough yet? Then please read this article (and its two subsequent friends): https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/11/a-contractor-for-your-new-barndominium/