Things that a person building a house should know

 Dear Editor,

Building a house is one of the hardest and most stressful things.

When building, it’s inevitable that you will have to get more than one contractor.

The first contractor will rob you or will be incompetent. In my case, the contractor was very competent but dishonest and greedy. It’s very rare that you’ll find a contractor that is competent and honest. All of my neighbours have had bad experiences  with their first contractor.

It’s not easy to change contractors. It feels like going through a divorce. It’s like leaving a bad marriage and starting a new one.

It’s like a bad break up. I have thoughts of feeling  betrayed and taken advantage of.

The new contractor like a spouse tells you everything you want to hear. He’ll not rob or take advantage of you. You can trust him. You don’t trust him because you trusted the first contractor and you got ripped off.

Editor, if a contractor is honest and competent, he or she can make millions of dollars in Guyana.

Editor, this experience of  building is teaching   me so many other things not related to  building a house.

For example, I’m learning that women working in the hardware stores are frequently disrespected by customers, mostly male contractors and construction workers. At a hardware store, I witnessed a contractor making sexually derogatory comments to the female cashier.

When I asked the cashier if the boss allowed customers to disrespect them, she said yes that the boss (a male) didn’t care. I felt deeply offended by the customer’s treatment of  the cashier.

On the other hand, there are some wonderful experiences  in building. For instance, you meet some exceptionally nice people. I met a fantastic young professional woman at MC Vantage Lumber Company, Denisha Mayers. She is extremely friendly and cooperative with customers.

This company sells the best quality  wood in the country at a reasonable price.

Editor, I’ll like to share with you a list of things a person building a house should know. Hiring someone to build your house involves risk, so do your homework before you commit.

1. Don’t buy materials from the stores the contractor take you to because that store and the contractor will rob you.

2. Buy your materials yourself so that you wouldn’t get robbed.

3. Hire a consultant (who knows the ins and outs dealing with contractors) to do all of your  financial negotiations with the contractor who will be building the house.

4. Make a contract, even if you know and trust the contractor.

5. Don’t trust anyone.

6. During working hours, at all times, stay at the job site and supervise the work.

7.Don’t give a large advance payment because you may not get it back.

8. If the contractor tries to rob you, fire him no matter if he does quality work.

9. Be prepared: The first contractor is going to rob you.

10. Always have a security guard watching your materials.

11. Be prepared: building a house is extremely difficult and stressful.

12. Don’t hire a contractor who ask for too much money up front.

13. Ask the contractor for references.

14. Be sure to document with photographs each piece of work, all conversations with contractor and get everything in writing. If it’s not in the contract, it’s not guaranteed.

15. Be prepared: the project may turn into a total disaster and you end up at odds with your contractor.

16. I’m recommending that the government should revoke corrupt contractors’ licences.

Yours faithfully,

(Name and address provided)

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