We define expectations with quality and performance standards for our members.
The Indiana Quality Assurance Builder Standards creates a set of performance standards that homeowners and HBA member-builders or remodelers can use to communicate and understand each others' expectations. The "Builder Standards Manual" gives the home buyer and builder the same set of standards to measure the quality of the work.
The standards address the most prevalent issues that arise between the builder and customer before the project, during the project, and, most importantly, after the project is completed.
All too often it is the undefined expectations that create the majority of the problems encountered in the building and remodeling processes. The standards will help eliminate problems before the project even begins.
These standards are intended to be used as a tool by both the builder and the homeowner when questions arise regarding the new home and remodeling project. Prior to calling the builder, the homeowner should use the standards manual to determine if the particular concern is necessary. The builder should use these standards as the tool to determine what action is necessary to meet homeowner expectations created by the standards.
The standards presented were chosen to address the vast majority of the questions that arise in the course of the typical construction or remodeling process. The actual standards and the language used, along with the individual sections of the manual, were chosen to allow all parties a clear understanding of the potential issues and the standards that should be expected.
The standards do not constitute a warranty nor are they intended as a substitute for a warranty. In addition, the standards are separate and distinct from any manufacturer's warranties that may apply to materials and products used in the project.
In Indiana, construction is governed by a process that requires all work to be done in compliance with locally approved, applicable building and related codes. In any conflict arises between the standards and the codes, as a matter of law, the code requirement will take precedent over the standards.
The performance standards apply only to contract work as specified in the contract documents, plans, and specifications for the project as provided by the builder. The responsibilities as listed in the manual are only applicable during the service period for the particular job or the part of the job addressed in each standard.
The service period, as used in the standards, is defined as a period of one year from the date of closing and/or final acceptance of the project, unless otherwise agreed to by the builder and the homeowner and noted in the contract.
The corrective measures and suggested methods of repair listed in the manual are not the only remedies to the observations mentioned.
Ask your HBA member builder or remodeler for a copy of the Indiana Quality Assurance Builder Standards. Current members enrolled in the program are listed to the right. If you have questions, please call the HBA of Fort Wayne at (260) 420-2020.
Before you look for a builder or contractor, think your project through from start to finish. Decide how you would like your finished project to look and how you will use it. Keep in mind colors, textures, lighting, storage and special needs.
Be prepared to tell the contractor specifically what you want. They will transform your ideas into reality using expertise and professional knowledge, but only based on how much information you initially supply.
It is recommended that you solicit two to three bids for your project… do not automatically accept the lowest bid! Make sure all bids are based on the same set of plans and specifications. Discuss the bids in detail with the contractor to make sure you understand the reasons for any variations of the price. Sometimes a higher price may be worth paying, if the materials to be used are of higher quality or the work more extensive. For example, if you are having your kitchen remodeled and one bid is based on installing prefabricated cabinets in standard sizes and another bid is based on installing custom-made cabinetry, the prices will not be compatible.
Ask the contractor for local references and call them to see if they were satisfied with the contractor's work. If possible, try to see the finished projects.
Call to see if the following businesses have any information about the contractor:
A written contract should be prepared; it is protection for both you and the contractor. The written contract should include the following.
Never sign a partial or blank contract!
Prior to signing, carefully read each clause and ask questions. After signing, retain a copy of the contract. You usually have three working days to cancel the contract; your contractor should inform you of your cancellation rights orally and in writing and provide the cancellation forms.