(A Non-Profit Community Service Website Serving the Morongo Basin, San Bernardino County, California)
It's Your Home: Why You Should Become Involved in the Building Process
Building a new dream home is an exciting event. You have spent hours upon hours with your architect designing your home down to the last minute detail. You have more closets than you ever had before. You've planned for electrical sockets on every wall, double sinks in the master bath, and a guest room with a full private bath. Your kitchen is to die for. All the drawers have rollers, all the pots and pans drawers slide, there are slots for your cookie sheets, and you will have the latest appliances. There's a pantry off the kitchen large enough to hold canned goods for a month. The family room has built in bookcases and an entertainment center to house your sound system and a new large screen TV. If you have children, each child will have their own bedroom with an abundance of closets. The quadruple garage will finally be large enough to hold those RV's with room left over for a shop. Even the landscaping has been planned to include an outdoor kitchen, gazebo, patios, and a greenhouse. Everything you ever dreamed of will be in your new home.
The planning is finally complete, and you are ready to construct your home on the hill with a 360 degree view you bought 10 years ago as an investment.
Your next step is to hire a General Building Contractor who will oversee the entire construction project and make your dream come true. The General Building Contractor will be responsible for all the subcontractors, obtain the necessary building permits, order all the supplies, and oversee the construction of your dream home. You expect your construction will be timely and within budget; and many times that is the case. It is the exceptions that this web site will address and why you need to become involved in the building process.
Sometimes no matter how careful we research the background and credentials of a contractor, a cowboy contractor manages to slip through the process. Perhaps you are new to the area and do not know people who have built their own homes eliminating your being able to obtain their recommendations. The building boom may have caused a shortage of contractors and you find yourself in the situation of being at the contractors' mercy. Another possibility is that you accepted a recommendation from someone who praised a particular contractor, but later found this contractor not suitable to your expectations. If you are building a manufactured home, you may have hired the dealer who often subcontracts the work out, in which case you have no control over who will actually perform the work on your home.
It's your home. You will need to become involved the building process in order to guarantee the outcome will be what you want. You will need to learn about building inspections, construction techniques, contracts, scheduling, the signs of shoddy workmanship, and how to protect yourself from cowboy contractors. You can not leave everything to chance, for if you do, you will most likely wind up with something you do not want.
It is Cowboy Contractors' goal to help educate inexperienced new home builders in the building process. We will show you examples of shoddy construction compared to good and workmanlike construction. We will alert you to the pitfalls and advantages of manufactured homes based on experience from manufactured homeowners. We will make suggestions for strategies to help you overcome the bad deeds of the cowboy contractor, and provide you with helpful links.
While we do not guarantee any particular contractor will do exactly the job you expect, we will make recommendations to reputable contractors based upon owner-builder feedback, endorsement by contractor peers, and license research. If you know of a contractor that has performed his/her duties in an exemplary manner, please let us know by return e-mail.
Cowboy Contractors welcomes your horror stories. If you have a horror story to tell, please contact us via e-mail. Be sure to include your return e-mail address, your name, your address, name, address, and phone number of the cowboy contractor, a brief description of your horror story, and how your construction nightmare was resolved. Your photographs are also welcome. We will maintain your name and personal information for our records only. Your personal information will remain anonymous on the Cowboy Contractors website should we chose to publish your horror story on the Cowboy Contractors web site.