Construction advocate outlines ways you can protect yourself in a contract

Protecting people from construction corruption

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlie Strickland says the best part of his job is helping save customers money. It may seem antithetical to almost any business but in his line of work as an “owner construction advocate” it makes sense.

“The builder can easily over bill for the progress that is actually there and it’s my job to not let that happen,” Strickland told WBTV.

Strickland reached out to WBTV Investigates after a series of our stories identified consumers being ripped off by contractors. Strickland says when owners find themselves in that situation it;s often too late. That’s why he says his main role is to make sure builders are getting disbursements of cash at the proper rate.

“The builder has either done the percentage he’s billed for or he has not and If he has done the percentage then he gets the money so it’s not trying to hold back money if the work is complete,” Strickland said.

He says it’s unlikely most homeowners would be able to determine whether they’re paying the right amount at the right time because of the complexity of many construction projects. He said there are things that homeowners can do ahead of time though to try and protect themselves.

1. Make sure you have trust in the builder

2. If they need money to order supplies make a out a joint check to the builder and supplier.

3. Have some of the deposit applied to later draws.

Strickland also said homeowners should ask contractors for a list of all permits from the contractor and subcontractors throughout the project.

He says it’s also worth getting a copy of their W9 form so you can verify the name of the company you’re hiring.

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