Waukesha County Home

May, 2021

Homes Plus

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Contracts From page 1 a layer of protection for homeowners. "All contracts should include a written clause regarding notice of lien rights. Whether it is the general contractor or project subcontractor, special trade profes- sionals like a plumber, cabinetmaker or electrician, or material provider, each have the right to lien for non-payment," explains Welhouse. "These liens provide contractors and suppliers with a security interest in your property. As you pay your primary contractor, they must then pay all other contractors and suppliers associated with the project." If a homeowner fails to pay the contrac- tor or the general contractor fails to pay each subcontractor or material supplier, each has the right to file a claim for a lien against the property for the amount owed to them. The law requires that homeowners receive a lien waiver from the contractor and/or subcontractor and material suppli- er. It's important to discuss with the con- tractor if you want waivers for partial or final payments. A lien waiver is like a receipt stating that the workers and sup- pliers have been paid. It's proof of your payment and ensures workers and suppli- ers won't come to you for their money that's already been paid to the contractor. When all the work has been finished, homeowners may be asked to sign a proj- ect completion statement certifying that the work has been completed. Before sign- ing, carefully inspect the work and materi- als as specified in the contract. Don't sign if you are not completely satisfied or if the work has not been completed. Permits Depending on the renovation project, permits may need to be filed with the local municipality. Homeowners should have a discussion with their contractor to find out if permits will be required for the project. For peace of mind, they can also double check with their local Department of Building Inspec- tion. All permits and fees should be outlined in the contract, including who is obtaining them. Professional contractors and/or their trade partner professionals should pull all necessary permits for the project. If they refuse, it might be because they don't have the required Wisconsin creden- tials to do so. A general contractor needs a Dwelling Contractor Qualifier certification (DCQ) from the Department of Safety and Profes- sional Services and their company needs a Dwelling Contractor certification (DC). The local municipality issuing the build- ing permit is required to record the con- tractor's information and make sure both credentials are current. It's always appro- priate for homeowners to ask to see a con- tractor's credentials before hiring them. "It's absolutely the contractor's responsi- bility to pull the permits. If a contractor asks the homeowner to pull a permit, that should raise a red flag," said Welhouse. "Permits are actually a protective step for the homeowner and should be respected as such." Homeowners should only pull the permit if they are doing the work. Here's why: ■ Building Codes — Building codes regulate almost every residential building project and most projects require a build- ing permit. Building codes are established to protect homeowners' health and safety. They tend to vary from one municipality to another. Building permits help hold the individual who applied for the permit accountable for following the building codes. As the homeowner are you knowl- edgeable about all the applicable codes and inspection processes to be responsible for the permit? It's your professional remodel- ing contractor's responsibility to know or find out the state and local municipalities' building codes and processes. ■ Permits — It is ultimately the respon- sibility of the property owner to make sure a permit is obtained. Homeowners are responsible for any penalties resulting from failure to file necessary permits. This can include fines, removal of illegal work, court appearances and more. Work done without a permit can also complicate any future sale of the home. Therefore, ask to see the permit card which should be displayed in the front window before work begins. Also make sure the progress inspection card is always on the property. This is the card the city inspectors sign off on to indicate they have examined and approved the work is to code at each step of the project. Should anything need to be adjusted, the permit holder is responsible for making those changes. If there's any doubt or concern about permits, check with the municipali- ty to confirm that the renovation has the proper permits pulled. ■ Liability — If a homeowner pulls the permits, they are then liable for any acci- dent or injury that occurs on the property in connection with the work being done. If the homeowner hires a contractor to do work under their permit, although con- tractors have extensive insurance policies, the homeowner may also be liable for dam- age to the home or surrounding properties and unable to collect damages from the contractor for any loss sustained. In fact, many municipalities in Wiscon- sin mandate that homeowners sign a "Cau- tionary Statement to Owners Obtaining Building Permit" document before they get the permit, so they formally acknowl- edge that they understand the extent of their liability. "Most professional contractors appreci- ate an upfront discussion about contracts and permits with their clients," adds Wel- house. "Those items are standard operat- ing procedure for them and shouldn't be cloaked in mystery." The NARI Milwaukee Spring Home Improvement Show, which runs May 21-23 at State Fair Park, includes several educa- tion sessions, including "What to Do Before Starting a Remodel," "What to Know about Warranties and Certifica- tions," and a remodeling question-and- answer session with a professional remod- eler and city building inspector. For more information, visit narimilwaukee homeshow.com. HOME MAY 2021 2 Blinds can change a room Distributed by: ©2021 by Conley Media Waukesha County Home is published monthly by Conley Media - Waukesha County, 801 N. Barstow St., Waukesha, WI 53186. Contents of this publication may not be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher. A publication of Conley Media Sales Director: Jim Baumgart 262/513-2621 jbaumgart@conleynet.com Editor: Dan Muckelbauer 262/513-2626 dmuck@conleynet.com Production: Patricia Scheel 262/513-2690 pscheel@conleynet.com Home Volume 10 ■ Number 2 ■ May 2021 Installing window blinds is one of the best ways to instantly change the look and feel of a room in your home. Reasons include: ■ Easy to take care of — Most blinds just require a damp cloth on occasion to remove the dust. Compared to curtains that require extensive maintenance, blinds seem to be a more convenient, long-lasting option. ■ A number of styles — Window blinds come in a wide variety of designs, styles and colors, allowing you to create the per- fect look for any room in your house, includ- ing your kitchen, bathroom, living room, rec room or cabin. ■ Control light — Tightly fitted slats can literally eliminate light altogether in a bed- room or home theater whereas other pat- terns might be best for a living area. Blinds can also control the amount of sunlight entering a room which can be especially helpful in the warm, summer months. ■ Wide variety of materials — Match- ing the fabric of your furniture or using wooden blinds with wooden furniture might be a great option. If you're looking to keep the cost down, plastic, bamboo or aluminum blinds might make sense. ■ Provides considerable privacy — Top-down shades can also control the amount of natural light that enters a room, yet still provides the privacy that you desire.

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