Finding a Qualified Builder
Are you having an addition or alterations done to your home? Use
the following list to make sure you are using a qualified builder.
- Make sure your builder is licensed and insured. Ask to see
their Michigan Builder’s License. Is it current? Legitimate
contractors have no problem showing their licenses.
- An online license search is available by
visiting the State of Michigan website or call the State of
Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affair's Bureau of Commercial
Services Licensing Division at (517) 373-8376 to verify the
licensing status of a builder or contractor. Call the Better
Business Bureau, the local Chamber of Commerce, and local
agencies to check on the builder.
- Get references from your builder. Call them! Ask them about
scheduling and costs. Was the job "on time" and "within budget"?
Will they let you see the job?
- Ask to see certificates of insurance of liability and
worker’s compensation. Are they current? Are they issued in the
correct company name?
- Has the contractor been trained by any manufacturer’s for
installation of a specific product being used on your job? Ask
to see any certificates.
- Does the General Contractor you are considering guarantee
any work done by sub-contractors?
- Make sure any special product is specifically named in your
contract, (e.g., Corian, Pella windows) so there can be no
substitutions for products of lesser quality. Ask for
brochures, samples, specifications or pictures of products used
on your job.
- Get everything in writing! Any quotes or contracts should
include the builder’s name, business address and phone as well
as a detailed description of the work being done, materials
being used, start and completion dates, method of payment and
payment schedule. Warranty periods should be clearly stated.
- There must be a permit for work done in the City. It is a
piece of green cardboard and it must be posted where it can be
seen from the street. Make sure your builder obtained a permit
before work starts.
- Your job probably requires inspections. When an inspector
examines a job site, she/he leaves a green sticker if everything
is fine and a red sticker if there are problems. Look for them.
Some contractors don’t schedule a final inspection. If problems
arise later, there is very little the City can do to help. Our
inspectors work for you - they may spot areas during the final
inspection where problems could occur later. Make sure you have a
final inspection before you pay in full.
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The City of Ferndale, Michigan
300 East Nine Mile Road
Ferndale, Michigan 48220
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