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Tips to Homeowners

October 06, 1985|Armand L. Fontaine | Fontaine is president of the Western Regional Master Builders Assn. He will answer questions concerning home improvements. Phone 213/653-4084, or write him at 6404 Wilshire Blvd.,Suite 850, Los Angeles 90048

Question: What kind of problems might I encounter once a contractor begins a home improvement project on my house?

Answer: The nature of this type of work will unavoidedly cause problems. Subcontractors who have been scheduled will not show up, inept workmen will make errors and frustrating delays will occur while waiting for inspections and permits.

These are the pitfalls of the industry, and in my opinion, there is not a single contractor specializing in home improvement, who does not regularly experience these problems.

Scheduling people properly always has been difficult in this industry, and when something occurs that changes one schedule, all the other schedules must be changed as well.

For instance, some months ago someone complained to me about a legitimate contractor who was one month behind schedule on his job. The homeowner couldn't understand why, although he closed the house for a one-week period to go to Hawaii, the unanticipated rescheduling of all subcontractors resulted in an additional 30-day delay.

He had hoped to have his project finished before last Thanksgiving, but was "lucky" to have the job done in time for Christmas.

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