FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHY SHOULD I HIRE AN SHBA MEMBER OVER A NON-MEMBER?

By joining the SHBA our members have shown their commitment to professionalism and the local construction industry. In addition to paying membership dues and agreeing to abide by our code of ethics, our members are required to meet all state and local registration and licensing requirements of their profession. All members must be referred by another member during their application process which includes a vote of approval from our Board of Directors.

CAN I TALK TO SOMEONE AT THE SHBA ABOUT ISSUES REGARDING MY CONSTRUCTION PROJECT?

Yes, we are glad to speak to any consumer and direct them to resources to assist them on their new construction or renovation project. However, we are prohibited from giving advice, rendering opinions or interpretations, or conducting research on behalf of individuals or businesses.

ARE THERE OTHER RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO ASSIST ME IN SELECTING A CONTRACTOR OR SERVICE PROVIDER FOR MY CONSTRUCTION PROJECT?

There are free resources available to assist you in selecting a contractor. You can receive guidance on how to hire a contractor and check a contractor’s registration status through the State Department of Labor & Industries website. You can also utilize the Better Business Bureau to see if they have past unresolved consumer complaints at
https://www.bbb.org/northwest.

WHAT RISKS DO YOU TAKE BY HIRING AN UNREGISTERED CONTRACTOR FOR YOUR CONSTRUCTION PROJECT?

Unregistered contractors are a threat to both consumers and legitimate contractors. Unregistered contractors carry no bond or insurance to protect consumers. Consumers can face serious issues if anything goes wrong on a job.

  • You lose the financial recourse provided through the use of registered contractors if the job is left unfinished or you are not satisfied with it. In these cases, you may take civil action in Superior Court against a contractor’s bond. General contractors must post a $12,000 bond, and specialty contractors, such as painters or landscapers, a $6,000 bond.
  • You take on unnecessary liability. A registered contractor’s required general liability insurance coverage of $50,000 covers damage to your property; the $200,000 public liability insurance covers other personal damages.
  • You could be hiring a “fly by night” company. If you do decide to hire someone who is not a registered contractor, you could be considered that person’s employer, with wage, tax, workers’ comp, safety, and record keeping requirements.

Because unregistered contractors skip the expense of protecting the consumer, they have an unfair advantage over legal contractors in competition for jobs.

IS THE SHBA A GENERAL CONTRACTOR?

No, we are a trade association representing the residential construction industry in the seven counties that make up Northeastern Washington.

CAN THE SHBA REFER ME TO A CONTRACTOR OR SERVICE PROVIDER FOR MY CONSTRUCTION PROJECT?

We do share our full list of members on our “Find a Pro” section of our website that lists our members categorically and alphabetically. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide a recommendation of one of our member companies over another member company.

SHOULD I SIGN A CONTRACT PRIOR TO STARTING A CONSTRUCTION PROJECT?

Whether you plan to build, remodel or add-on, your home improvement project may require the services of a contractor. Your project may cost thousands of dollars, so choosing a qualified contractor and clearly defining the details of your project through a contract can be very important. Occasionally, disputes between contractors and customers emerge due to construction defects, billing disputes, liens, or other issues. It is important to note that state law primarily recognizes these disputes as contractual issues best resolved through private legal action.

DOES THE SHBA TRACK THE AVERAGE SQUARE FOOT COST OF A HOME?

No, we do not believe this is an appropriate measure to compare projects as features and amenities included on competing projects can significantly impact the cost of the home. While not included in most calculations land costs can also make a considerable impact on the final cost of a new construction home.

HOW CAN I REGISTER A COMPLAINT AGAINST A MEMBER OF THE SHBA?

All complaints against SHBA members must be in writing and include details of the complaint and what resolution you are seeking. They should be sent to the following address:

Spokane Home Builders Association
Attn: Executive Officer
5813 E. 4th Ave.
Spokane Valley, WA 99212

And/or Jwhite@shba.com

WHAT WILL WE DO UPON RECEIPT OF A WRITTEN COMPLAINT?

Upon receipt of a written complaint against one of our members we will contact our member in writing to make them aware of the complaint (including a copy of the complaint). While we do not take sides in the complaint we do remind our member of our code of ethics and encourage them to work with their customer to resolve the issue. If a member refuses to respond or make an adjustment, we cannot compel them to do so. We inform consumers of alternatives if our attempt to encourage resolution is not successful.

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