Lincoln County Home Builders Association
Santa Fe; June 15,2012: “New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Superintendant J. Dee Dennis today warned against unlicensed building contractors who could prey on unsuspecting home owners who lost their hom s or cabins in the Little Bear Fire in Ruidoso……We want to ensure that the Little Bear fire victims are not taken advantage of by any unlicensed and unscrupulous building contractors during these most trying times of their lives..”
Check and do your Homework before Hiring a Contractor:
ü Is the contractor licensed to work in New Mexico? The New Mexico Construction Industries Division (CID).maintains a database of current contractor licenses. Check http://www.public.psiexams.com/ to see if a contractor’s license is current. Licensed contractors also carry an official card and show their license # on all advertising materials and contracts. A business license is not the same thing as a contractor’s license.
ü Does the contractor have proof of Worker’s Compensation and General Liability Insurance? If not, you may be liable for any construction related accidents on your premises. Ask for the Contractor’s Agent’s name and get copies of the “Certificates of Insurance”.
ü Will the contractor provide you with names and phone #’s of recent customers? Call them to see if they would use the same contractor again. Can you inspect the contractor’s previous work?
ü Are you able to communicate easily with the contractor? Misunderstandings will cause problems.
ü Will the contractor provide you with a complete and clearly written contract?
ü Does the contractor demand a large down payment? A down payment is often required but should not exceed 20%. Thereafter there usually are progress payments based on predetermined completion stages.
ü Does the contractor have local knowledge? Conditions in Lincoln County are different and unique. For example our traditionally low humidity causes building components to behave significantly differently. Local licensed contractors have adapted to these conditions.
· Be wary of contractors who go door-to-door offering discounts for finding other customers.
· Be wary of contractors who offer to use materials left over from other jobs.
· Be wary of contractors who ask you to pick up the building permit.
· Be wary of contractors who want to mainly work at night or weekends.
Working with your Contractor and Evaluating Bids
Ø Evaluate all aspects of competitive bids, including the scope of work, warranties, time frame and price. Make sure the comparison is fair. A jet tub surrounded by porcelain tiles has a different value than a regular tub with preformed walls.
Ø If one bid is much lower than all the others, throw it out. If it seems “too good to be true” it is. The abnormally low bid will likely will not include some important features you won’t realize are missing till it’s too late.
Ø Once you selected a contractor, obtain a written contract that includes price, payment terms and/or progress payments schedule, gross receipts tax, permit fees, specific work to be performed, materials to be used and warranties.
Ø Try to anticipate problems like cleanup and cost overruns ahead of time and reach agreement with your contractor how to handle these before work starts.
Ø Put change orders in writing. Avoid verbal contracts. Don’t pay for incomplete work.
For More Information:
Ø Lincoln County Home Builders Association
· Executive Officer: Wayne Ward, 575-937-1012
· President: John Benavidez, 575-937-4886
Please Visit the Ruidoso Web Site