I've talked some on the Real Estate Boards about building our next house when ours finally sold. It is in a neighborhood where lots of people are out/about and they are all super interested in the whole project. They even go in when we are not there! It didn't bother me til all the doors/windows were put it. Builder won't lock it as there are too many subs coming/going. We did ask some folks recently to come in and look and they said: We've already seen it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It just bothers me that people I don't know are all over the place! Not to mention possible liability issues!
Some of the subs have been quite irritated by snoopy neighbors!
We go at odd times to check on things and find lights left on... doors ajar that shouldn't be, beer bottles/caps, cig butts!!!!!!!
I sure would not like it.
Many builders put temporary locks on doors, then issue keys to all the temp crews. Once most of the temps have finished the locks are changed out.
No Trespassing signage would be an option, (don't know how if that would be enough to keep the lookie loos away though).
The signage wouldn't stop them I think.
We're there almost everyday, so if they would just wait for an invitation, but that train has already the station!
This happens, unfortunately. I'm always concerned about the liability issues, too.
We solve this problem by installing keypad entry systems on all of our development properties. Unique codes are issued to gc's and subs. The locks are appreciated by the homeowners who eventually purchase the property, too. And, they're not that expensive.
Exciting, CJO - best of luck with your new home!
I find that odd, I have a spec house almost finished, it is now locked all the time, except when an interior sub is there. It is too fall along to leave it open, too easy to steal or vandalize.
Funny, our contractors son when into the teardown houses to take stuff, the neighbors called us in a heartbeat to tell us vandals were in there. We drove over and embarrassed the poor teenage son of the contractor.
Yes, CJO, it WOULD bother me once the walls, windows and doors were up. Before that I wouldn't be too concerned at lookie-loos observing the progress but now?
Think there should be a way for your contractor to secure the premises while still allowing the subs to have access. In fact, I've never heard of allowing a residence under construction to be left unsecured once it reached the stage of being self-contained.
Might be time to have another talk with your contractor. Good luck on the whole project and crossing fingers that you'll be celebrating Easter in your new home.
It's important to remember that the builder works for you. While you haven't mentioned any theft or vandalism that possibility always exists. Just tell him you want it kept locked. I've been involved with spec houses and we always had a key hidden on the property for the subs to use to get in when needed. Move the hiding spot periodically and keep some extra copies because somebody always manages to take it home accidentally
With an attached garage, (and once the garage door was installed) a outside keypad entry works great. Often you can have 2 or 3 codes that will work at one time...and change them whenever necessary.
This is what they had on DD's house, when under construction.
When we were having our house built in Florida, 10 years ago, we were still living in Louisiana. It was way back in the woods so there were not many people around. One neighbor that lives nearby did come and take a look when the slab was poured because we had it coloured, as he told us later.
But after the walls were up and the doors and windows, it stayed locked. Otherwise the builder was liable for any loss. There are many reports in Tampa of vacant homes being vandalized and the A/C units being stripped for copper.
Yes it would bother me, but until the final permit inspection and you take possession, the builder is liable for everything.
Whether You Think You Can Or You Think You Can't..... You're Right - Henry Ford
Vandalism seems to be everywhere in the building industry, so it is to the builders benefit to at least keep a combo lock on it.
Combo Locboxes are like 20 bucks at big box stores - suggest to pick one up, take it to the builder and say here is the code, I'll put it on the door. That way you, the builder and the subs have the code and snoopy lookers don't.
EZ fix.This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
I agree with the others - it is a problem. Not only from nosy neighbors or vandalism but also rain and the elements. I've seen more than one house with damaged subfloors because of rain coming in from open windows and doors.
I would also go so far as to put up a no trespassing sign. Seems rude but you are liable for accidents whether they were invited or not.
I was surprised the builder my buyers chose did not have their house locked until a couple of weeks ago. REL made a great suggestion. If not then do what our builder did way back - stash a key on the property.
Going to talk to the builder tomorrow...have found beer bottle caps and cig butts!!!!!! Do nottttt want strangers in my house!!!
Forgot to mention above, CJO, that many/most of the keypad entry systems allow you to monitor entries via either smart phone or pc.
BTW, the systems usually accommodate numerous code combinations. A unique, temporary code can easily be assigned to each and every trade or other allowed visitor.
In addition, they usually throw in add'l units, allowing you to secure the front door, garage, back door, ...
Installation's also easy and secure. If your builder is responsible for security under the terms of the contract, given the problems, perhaps you should consider asking him to both provide it and install it.
Incidentally, security services are typically retained for large projects. If your builder already works with one, they may simply need to add your property to their list. That way, someone would be driving by and checking on your home periodically during off-hours.
Wouldn't hurt to put up a no-trespassing sign, either, IMHO.
Let us know how it goes, CJO.
Talked with the builder yesterday and they adamantly refuse to lock up the house!!! They say that if subs or inspectors come and the doors are locked they will just leave! In the meantime, two appliances have had to be replaced due to scratches!!!! (We were told that by one of the subs.) Of course that is on 'their' dime, not ours.
I had looked over the appliances really well when they were recently installed and they looked fine; so, in the meantime SOMEone has managed to scratch them ...
I think the tactic is to tell your contract, fine 9 - 5 leave the house open but it needs to be secured nights and weekends. I would also put up several No Trespassing signs.
Who is carrying insurance on the house? If it is you - I would stand by my guns about securing the property.
Who's responsible for security under the terms of your contract?
Either way, your gc should have no problem accepting a security system and issuing unique codes to each sub. In fact, they should welcome the practice for their own protection.
Did you determine that the gc and all subs carry adequate insurance, including workmen's compensation? If not, it isn't too late.
In the meantime, I would definitely install the keypad entry system or whatever method gives you the most peace of mind.
Hopefully you're holding back at least the standard 10% retention on the job. Depending on the contract's terms, you may be able to bill your security costs to the gc.
Hope you took good notes of your meeting. It'd probably help to send a confirming letter to your builder.
Best of luck - all, JMHO.
It's unclear whether this is a house you are having built on property that is yours or if this is a builder's house that you are in contract to buy when it is finished. If the builder owns the property and the house now he gets to decide who has access but he is also responsible for any damage that occurs before you close. If you own the property now, you are probably paying for insurance and I believe your insurance company would have a big problem with the house being left unsecured.
All this talk though, doesn't matter a bit compared to what the contract you have with the builder says.
Hmmm, the last post caused me to think a bit - isn't that the point of a message board?
It might very well be that the builder (general contractor) has the complete responsibility and liability for any activities that occur on the property while under his care and is willing to assume responsibility for the same.
Reading back over the posts, I am thinking that this might be the case. Is it, CJO? Have you contracted to buy when the house is complete as opposed to owning the ground underneath and contracting with a builder of your choice?
No matter, it would still bother me (which was your initial question) that it wasn't being secured when unattended AND I would not like having unauthorized individuals having free rein to wander about the premises after hours.
BUT, bottom line, if this is a builder and you have no responsibility until and unless you take possession? Well, then, it's the builders problem and I, personally, would go over the entire house with a fine-toothed comb before giving my approval.
But, other than that, if this is the case, just stay away for the time being and let your builder know that his practices of not securing the premises were, to say the least, very disconcerting. It's probably disappointing to think that everyone has been going through your house but I'm pretty sure that all of them will be happy to see the house once it is done!
And you can throw a great HOUSE-WARMING PARTY that will let all of your neighbors know who you are and that you are looking for friends ~ bet the first topic of conversation will be about this particular builder and his lax security practices!
Ignore all of it, CJO! Concentrate on your new beautiful home - keep us updated with the latest!
Yes, it would bother me, too.
Personally, I recommend, every time you go there, take photos of everything--cigarette butts, beer caps, whatever. At least it will all be documented.
We are builders and when the doors and windows go in the house is locked up. We use a lock on one of the doors that all our subs have a key to so they can come and go as they need too. When the house is finised that lock is changed and noone else has ever had a key to it except us as the builders.
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