I hated to hear that Teresa had already paid about 35 thousand dollars. That's more than 80 percent of the total cost. I'm told by industry insiders that the norm is 50 percent - until the job is done.
Luckily, she was able to claim the loss on her insurance and they paid about 1/2 of what she's out. Before you build something major on your property, call your insurance company. Really the builder should have the materials covered with their insurance, but your premiums may go up once the building's complete - it's better to find that out now, than later.
Also there's an non profit organization called the "National Frame Building Association". Their members have pledged to take on a high level of professionalism, and some are accredited (meaning they've taken additional classes).
Here's a link to their site: http://www.nfba.org/
Put your cursor over "building customer" and click on find a builder, designer, etc.
Also, here's some of their advice that may help you if you're looking to hire an experienced pole frame builder:
Any building's value and durability are governed by the quality of materials. Builders should be responsible for the quality of materials they use, as well as workmanship. "Getting the best structure for your money comes down to picking the right builder and communicating effectively," says Iowa State University professor Jay Harman.
Before you select a builder, make sure you know what features you want. "Look at other buildings and talk to the owners," , Harman advises. "Mistakes often don't show up until someone uses a structure for a while."
"Look for a contractor who specializes in the kind of building you are constructing," says Harman. "When you have a list of several contractors, you might want to ask your lending agency representation for an evaluation."
Getting bids from several contractors is usually recommended. Ask builders about warranty; is it offered by the builder or by the makers of the various building materials?
Find out exactly what the warranty covers, including the structure and exterior cladding that may be maintenance-free such as paint, UV coatings and corrosion protection for cladding and fasteners. There may be differences in quality and methods of application that will affect how long your new building maintains its rich color.
Make sure your contractor is familiar with local building codes, says Harman. Most of them will be, but you need to check. Ask your insurance agent and local code officials what standards the building must meet, such as wind and snow loads.
The Best Value
Post-frame buildings are usually the least expensive type of building to erect; however, that does not mean they are "cheap," or a poor investment. Quality post-frame buildings are a superior investment, when compared to other building types. You can get a post-frame building that is as good as or better than other types of buildings that meet the same needs at a higher cost.
Unless your goal is to erect the cheapest building possible, be wary of the lowest bid. Not all post-frame buildings are of equal quality and durability. Some unethical builders may erect post-frame buildings using incorrect materials, poor workmanship or sub-standard components. Even with upgrades in material and quality of construction, post-frame will almost always beat out every other building type available in terms of price. A little more money invested for quality may provide a substantial return in long-term value.
Quality of components and experience are always important. The best materials and know-how will provide the best long-term value for a building.