One of the most exciting things in life is to start something new: Moving to a new city, starting a new business relationship, getting started on a construction project (right?). But before that proverbial first brick is laid down, there is a long list of pre-construction issues you’ll have to address first. This is where due diligence comes in.
What does the process entail?
The land may be gorgeous, the location close to your home, and the view may remind you of your last vacation in Maui. But would it be viable to construct on it? Are there any risk of sinkholes? Is the area contaminated? Have any biohazards made their way to the waterways below and around it? Are there zoning, easement or setback issues?
Say you want to build a stand-up comedy club, only to later discover that the zoning ordinances in your preferred location prohibit that type of commercial business in the area. Or what if there’s an upcoming plan for eminent domain whenever the City gets around to starting their own construction project? You want to know this before you flush money down the toilet.
Let’s say you have all this money set aside for your project. You know how to get everything done, from A to Z, and how much it’s going to cost you. But what happens if something is overlooked on your master plan and now you have to spend a lot of money to cover for that omission? Or what happens if there’s another hurricane season as active as the 2017 one and you have to constantly halt construction and start again, with repairs to boot? Having someone look at your Master Plan and Master Budget closely can let you know whether you should set aside additional money for foreseeable risks.
Who are your contractors? Do they have an agent for service of process in your city, or would you have to travel to Siberia if they breach their contract and you want to sue them? What would be your remedies if someone breaches the contract with you? What is the scope of the work? Are there inconsistencies in the contract? What preventive measures can you take to protect yourself from legal liability? Lawsuits are only fun for the attorneys who are billing $350 an hour to fight for you. Save that money for your own retirement.
While you should always expect the best, you should also be prepared for the worst. Each project comes with an inherent set of risks, and you should plan accordingly. Is there an expected increase in materials costs? Is there a labor shortage in your area? Will you need to obtain additional builder’s risk insurance?
Identifying all of the relevant factors takes a lot of expertise and experience. You can research topics all you want, but it takes someone who’s actually rolled up their sleeves and been through the process on numerous occasions to give you solid advice as to which course of action to take. Contact us, and let us talk about your project.