Hidden conditions are just that: aspects of a home remodel construction job that are not readily apparent to either the homeowner or contractor.
These conditions are distressing to both sides of a construction agreement. The client often feels as if he or she is being asked to pay more than anticipated for the project, and the construction team is often delayed during the process of discussing the issue with the owner, pricing necessary repairs and completing the extra work.
At the end of the day, hidden conditions are a part of the construction trade, and must be dealt with from time to time.
What Are Some Common Hidden Conditions?
One of the most common hidden conditions involves water intrusion into a building and the resulting damage. Very often, when workers begin to tear out flooring or cut into walls, they discover building materials that have begun to rot due to water damage.
This is a serious matter that must be dealt with, as water damage can weaken the integrity of a structure. Another common hidden condition is improper electrical wiring. Here again, simply moving ahead with the project is not acceptable, as outdated or unsafe wiring can cause a fire.
What Happens When Hidden Conditions Are Discovered During a Job?
Unless the condition is a minor one that can be dealt with immediately and with no additional cost, the contracting team will halt work and discuss the matter with the homeowner.
Our contractors understand the hassle that hidden conditions present, and are there to show you exactly what is wrong and educate you on how to best handle the situation. We don't like to encounter problems any more than you do, and we are here to work through any challenges that the job presents, including hidden conditions.
Owners will be given a price estimate for solving the problem, and once the new scope of work has been determined, the team will get back to work.
Who Pays For Hidden Conditions?
The responsibility for covering the cost of hidden conditions lies with the homeowner. In certain circumstances, insurance may cover some of the cost of repairs, such as when water damage was caused by a tree that fell on a roof.
Because the contractor could not have known about the problem when placing the bid for the job, he or she cannot be held liable for completing any additional work that is needed to solve the problem. At Owens Construction, we understand that taking on additional expense is not ideal, and we are ready to work with you to minimize the cost and get the job done as close to budget as possible.
Understand the Contract
Construction contracts are there to protect both the owner and the contractor. It is important to read and fully understand the contract before signing so that there are no surprises once the work begins.
The team at Owens Construction is happy to go over the paperwork with you and explain any of the conditions laid out in the contract. You are also more than welcome to take the contract for outside review.
We want all of our clients to be comfortable with the scope of work necessary for their home remodel project, and having a fair contract in place is a great place to begin.