Iridium Development



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Renovating your Home

   New Kitchen, Bathroom, or considering a Remodeling Project, be sure to know what you are getting when you select your General Contractor. 

  Here in Florida I have witnessed two General Contractors (in St. Petersburg FL.) start projects and never finish them. Homeowners with projects started and never completed waiting patiently for years (not months). They are told story after story and they are hoping one day the work will be completed. Most likely that day will unfortunately never come. 

  How do you protect yourself from being a victim? 

  Start with the estimate you receive and make sure it has detailed line items for the work you require.  A short paragraph and zero definitive details is not worthy of a conversation let alone awarding the Contractor a project. You should have around 10-16+ line items of work required and costs associated. Each line item should explain the detail and the cost for labor and material. 

Here is an example of one line item:

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Do your Homework

  When you find the company you are comfortable with and you can tell what is included in the price by the scope and details if the work then go to contract. 

Some General Contractors have local attorneys make contracts and I reviewed one of them that had more language about not reporting negative reviews than any protection for the client or even the contractor. 

We use AIA contracts, this is the industry standard and this is what the courts use to solve conflicts. When you read an AIA contract you see that it is very fair for both parties involved in the project. It covers all of the typical discrepancies and sometimes unseen issues that can arise in a project. This is not unfair for the Client or the Contractor, it is just more transparent so both parties clearly know who is responsible for what and when.  

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Be your Advocate

  If you are a victim in a bad deal then you need to be your advocate and change the terms. 

The first step is to have a few contractors come to give you an estimate for the work that is left to complete. Of course a detailed line item estimate. 

The second step is to assess the cost to complete against the cost paid to date. Most likely you will have grossly overpaid your current contractor. 

The third step is to speak with a few attorneys and research your options. 

Florida adopted House Bill  7125 governing claims of Contractor Fraud. Section 489.126 of the Florida Statutes covers the following:

  • When a contractor receives an initial payment of at least 10 percent of the contract price for any repair, restoration, improvement, or construction job involving a residential property, the contractor is required to apply for any necessary permits within 30 days of receiving the payment, and to start the work within 90 days after all necessary permits have been issued.
  • When a contractor fails to meet the deadlines, the client must send a written demand letter insisting the contractor either apply for the permits, start work, or refund the initial payment.+ If the contractor cannot meet these deadlines and refuses to refund the payment, the contractor must show “just cause” for the failure, unless the contractor and the client agree to an extension of time in writing; keep in mind, however, that failure to respond to the client’s demand letter within 30 days of receipt creates a legal inference that the contractor does not have “just cause”.“
  • If the contractor receives total payments for a project “in excess of the value of the work performed,” the contractor may not refuse to complete the job within 90 days (or a different time period specified in the contract) or refund the excess money charged; if the client sends the contractor a written demand letter demanding completion or a refund, the contractor must reply within 30 days of receipt.

A contractor who violates the law is subject to criminal prosecution for theft. The degree of the offense–and the accompanying jail time–escalates depending on the total amount of money received:

  • If the amount received was less than $1,000, the contractor can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor;
  • If the amount is between $1,000 and $19,999, the charge is a third-degree felony;
  • If the amount is between $20,000 and $199,999, the charge is a second-degree felony;
  • If the amount is $200,000 or greater, the charge is a first-degree felony.
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Proactive is always better than Reactive

  Renovations and remodeling is not that bad and should be fun. Unfortunately there are a few bad apples out there and if you hired one the process is not fun. 

Know that there are laws protecting you the victim. Be transparent in all of your dealings and expect transparency in return. 

Yes discrepancies happen and sometimes they are not in anyone’s control. Having a detailed fair contract avoids most issues or at the least provides instruction of how to handle unseen issues when they arise. 

If you are looking for transparency and fair pricing please contact us at: