No. of Recommendations: 0
As a business person dealing with industrial/commercial contractors on a daily basis
(this and our family recently having built a new home)-
I can honestly say that many home building contractors and their subs (drywall, insulation, heat & a.c. ,etc.)
are some of the most unreliable and unprofessional people there are around. We had sub-contractors ( we acted as our own contractor) wanting a lot of their money up front for materials,etc. before they were very far along into their jobs.
As for your situation:
# 1 - Sorry to say,I see you have learned a first rule of business- never deal ANY kind of business with either a friend or relative- someone will eventually get burned ( that's another story).
#2- Your realtor more than likely carries some type
of liability insurance for cases such as yours- check this out.
#3- Your realtor could also have his license taken away
because of unethical work practices.
#4- The person doing the home evaluation probably carries some type of a liability insurance also. He can be held liable ( by you and the state which you reside) personally as well as professionally.
5#- States which require certifications may also
hand down big fat fines to those persons operating without one ( call your state capitol for liscensing
information his specific job/title). States may have a board which governs individuals requesting licenses.

If you are building a new home ( or even remodeling )
keep these things in mind:

1.) Request workers compensation certificates and certificates of liability insurance from your contractors. Don't let them make you belive your home builders insurance covers worker's accidents/damage- IT DOESN'T!
2.) Draw yourself a simple little form (or have a lawyer to do it) which the contractor will have to sign off on before receiving payment. In this form state that the contractor certifies that the payment is for YOUR materials and labor used in the construction of your home. Contractor also agrees that
no leins have been filed for labor, materials, supplies or equipment. State that the contractor is liable for all federal, state and local taxes and that all labor laws have been complied with. Furthermore state that by making this payment, the contractor holding you as not being liable for any outstanding items which has not been paid for by him or his business. I have heard horror stories of people finding out too late their contractor didn't pay for the supplies and the owners get to pay TWICE because
legally, they are responsible. I think this is very unfair because these people made their payments in good faith- but the courts don't look at it that way.
# 3- Talk to people your contractor has done work for
( before you agree to hire him)- get several references
and talk with them when your contractor isn't around.
Do not belive the contractor if he says something to effect that " his customers don't want to be bothered
by others about his work performance"- he is hiding
something if you hear this line.
#4 If you feel you have been taking advantage of by someone- a nice little letter from your attorney does wonders. My cabinet man decided he didn't want to return my phone calls after we had problems. One letter
solved that, he was there the next day after receiving
it. Let the contractors fear you!
#5 Go to your local library and read up on homebuilding- it really helps and gives you a lot of ideas on dealing with people while building.

Good luck !

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