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A
"Very professional. Squeezed in the shop
so we could move all our furniture in for storage while the house was being built. Recommend this sheet rock company.

-Shirley H.

A
"The original estimate was $40,000. The expenses kept rising as new obstacles were identified. There was a lot of frustration surrounding the acquisition of city" and homeowner's association permits. The project was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of January when the baby was due, and didn't finish for several additional months

-Susan L.

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Local Articles in Council Bluffs

Homebuilders

Customized homebuilding is a huge market, with companies offering a host of choices to personalize your new home or improve your current living space. Here are the most popular options offered by homebuilders.

While it can seem like an unnecessary expense, an egress window with dimensions that meet local building codes should be added. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Dale R. of Detroit)
Remodeling - General, Builders - Homes, Windows - Egress, Lead Testing & Removal

Before you start your home improvement project, learn common mistakes to avoid a disaster.

contractors, construction, blueprints
Carpentry - Unfinished, Remodeling - General, Builders - Homes

Do you know the importance of a construction lien waiver form?

Millennials are changing how homebuilders design and construct new houses. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)
Builders - Homes, Home Automation

Emphasis is on ease, comfort as formal rooms lose favor

log cabin home
Builders - Homes

Land plays a factor in both cost and construction, especially in the mountains.

Inspiration & Ideas

quartz countertops
granite countertop and backsplash
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kitchen remodel
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kitchen remodel

Angie's Answers

?
Yes, but you won't like what will probably happen (this is a worst case scenario, hopefully you will avoid most):

The purpose for a building permit is to ensure meeting the minimum standards for construction practices and minimum safety standards.  A contractor who works without a permit, does so because they know they are not in compliance (and to save money at your expense).  They knew they should have had inspections and permits for their work.  Who ever built the addition should be reported to both the building official as well as the Better Business Bureau.  It is ultimately the homeowner who is responsible for ensuring the proper permits have been applied for, though.

So when you apply for your permit, you will be pretending as if the work is not completed (you do not hide this fact, you just have to follow the correct process as if it hadn't been built).  Your first stop will be with zoning; can you even add an addition, do you have the proper clearances from the side, front and rear property lines.  If it is a bedroom, does the septic system (perk test) support an additional bedroom.  If your building already meets or exceeds the amount of building allowed on the site or if you do not have the clearances required from the property line, your addition may be required to be removed.  There are appeal processes and variance requests you can try before tearing down the addition (Get an architect).

If your zoning review is fine, next you go to permitting.  Here you will submit plans (drawings) of what was built.  If you do not have these plans, consider hiring an Architect to generate As-Built drawings for this use.  Hopefully the plan review comes back with no changes, or you will alread know your addition is not in compliance and may face rebuilding.  Depending on the type of construction, your zoning and your local building requirements, you will be required to have inspections of your foundation / footings, the framing, the electrical, mechancial and HVAC systems, etc. affected by the work. 

This may require digging the ground back up so the inspector can confirm foundation depth, size and draingage requirements.  The interior wall finishes (gypsum board, panelling, etc) may have to be removed in some or all areas so the framing and electrical can be inspected (If one area fails, be prepared to pull all areas down).  At each inspection, if the work is found to be lacking, then you will have to correct the work before getting permission to use the room.  If there is an electrical or safety violation found, it is possible the Building Official could declare the entire property inhabitable until the offenses are corrected (IE you are homeless until it is fixed).

As you can see, you have to hope beyond belief that the builder constructed everything correctly and that the building officials will work with you to minimize the amount of deconstruction necessary to inspect the work.

Also, you will be charged all the fees associated with plan review and permitting, and you will be charged for each inspection visit (as your builder would have been charged initially had they followed the law).

As for value, here is the real concern:  If your home burns down or faces some similar disaster, your home owners insurance will balk at paying; they will blame the illegal construction as the cause.  As for the value of your building, not having a permit will make any buyer have a difficult time getting their own insurance, thus harder to sell.  The room itself will add value to your property, if it isn't a hazard (IE permitted). 

Also, taxes are based upon assessments, which use the land records.  Building without a permit, can be seen by local officials as an attempt to avoid paying property taxes, since the land records do not show the addition.  Until the official tax records reflect an accurate statement of your building, you may face fines, tax fees and other costs associated with the improvement depending upon how long it has been there unreported.

You may wish to contact a local, licensed Architect who works with the local building department.  They will know the personel, know which forms you need to fill out first and how to protect you from an overzealous Building Official (there are exceptions and options within the Code that the Building Official may forget or ignore that an Architect can request be used to prevent tear down or damage).  Next time you go to build get the Architect first to protect yourself from what this construction firm did to you.

Good luck!
?
Unfortunately this is not something you will easily resolve; and even if you were to win, the amount of time and funds spent will probably exceed the cost of the actual repair.

Each state has different rules on what "as-is" means, but almost all use the term when it comes to realestate sales.  At two years, you are facing a hurdle that any issue could be the result of new conditions, acceptable wear / settlement, etc.  Has there been any changes in the area? (New house built next door, new addition, earthquake, flooding, etc?)

While you may have been given a home warranty with the purchase (do check your sales paperwork to see if there is any warranty and what it covers for how long) the house is sold to you as-is; it is your responsibility to raise concerns prior to taking over the house, so going back two years later is a huge up hill batle.

The home inspector is also going to be found faultless, as their reports almost always have words like "consult with an expert. . ." after each report section and they have disclaimers for missed items, etc. I got certified as a home inspector and was surprised at just how little they actually require you to know to become an inspector. They are really just an extra pair of eyes to help inexpereinced home owners look where most people don't look or go.  You even mention that the repair work was well masked, so you didn't notice it until you began looking for it.  A good inspector might have caught it, but you won't win any court cases proving yours wasn't good enough.

The Seller will claim that any foundation issues were fixed and resolved, which is why they marked "No" on the foundation issue section.  They fixed it; so it was no longer an issue.  If it came back, that is a new issue.  You and I know this is bogus, but to win in court you have to prove intent; and the builder can easily show they thought it was fixed.  Or, they might even be able to claim they were unaware - the repairs were from the previous owner, and were hidden so well HE and YOU didn't notice them.

So the next step is to meet with your home insurance agent.  As I mentioned above, if there have been any enviromental changes (a new house next door could have changed the underground water table flow or pressures, for example) you may be covered.  Even if there are no issues, you still may have a policy that allows for major repairs to be covered after a certian cost threshold, etc.  You'd be surprised at what your home owners insurance covers - find out first; they might have in house or low cost engineers who will do the initial inspection, etc.  They also will provide advice on your home sale; if they think you have a case against the Seller.

Best of luck on this issue.  Make sure any solution you pay for solves the cause (Stress on the wall), and doesn't just fix the results (cracks).




?
For this type of job, you need plans and specs from an Architectural/Engineering firm before thinking about contractors - and to get a building permit. Ben's method would work and done incrementally could cost well over $100,000 plus as he says, but this not really the most economic way to approach this big a job. A House Mover or Foundation Underpinning specialty company can usually slide your house onto a whole new foundation, or jack it up on steel beams and hold it there while a basement is dug underneath it, without any intermediate piers. The jacking/move cost would probably be on the order of $30-40,000, and a new basement probably about $40-50,000 - rough ballpark, though I have been involved in some 1000-1500SF single story jobs that went for under $70,000 total. I have been involved in a fair number of these type jobs - and the way the numbers come out, if there is room on the property to move the house, it is almost always nearly as cheap or cheaper to build an equivalent square footage (basement plus ground level) addition rather than add a basement under the house, and that way your new footage is half above ground so worth more on resale, plus you do not lose use of the house for a month or two. Second cheapest is usually sliding house to a new foundation, if property is large enough to do this - though house is totally cut off from utilities for a week to three. Most expensive, and usually only done in tight city environments or with full 2 story or higher houses, is adding the foundation in place, though your utility interruptions should be on the order of hours at a time rather than days or weeks. Talk to an architect - I think you will quickly lean towards the addition option rather than adding a basement - it is just too expensive to deepen foundations in most cases, plus you WILL get cracking in the house and possible water and sewer pipe problems in a move/underpinning job, which is not the case with an addition. This become more likely the case since you want to add 8 feet off the back of the home anyway - so why not just enlarge the addition and do it all that way - MUCH simpler, and MUCH less disruption of your life, and you get much higher resale return on your investment.
?
"Like a sunroom" indicating the addition has yet to be built?  If it's just a remodel there are several remodeling contractors to choose from.  If you also need the addition built pick a general contractor with experience building new construction as well as additions.  If s/he provides a price before the plans and specifications are on paper drop them like a hot potato.  They don't know what they're doing.  Whether they have the ability to provide the plans and specifications first or they refer you to an architect you must have plans to properly bid a major remodel or addition.  It is also good practice anyway just to make sure both parties are on the same page and understand exactly what will be done.

Just a note about the "type" of contractors described in another answer.  The one's who do most or all of the work themselves are not very profitable without doing something illegal or cutting corners somewhere, if they finish the job.  The time a contractor spends on a job takes away from the office time needed to run a proper business and chase new leads to keep working after your job is finished.  There are honest people out there who do everything themselves and don't need to make much money in a year but they are few and far between, typically retired and so the work as a means to keep active and make a little side money.  Others try to do a couple of jobs at once and rob from the funds of one to help pay for the other.  They just aren't experienced enough and were probably sub-contractors who suddenly thought they could run the show.  I've seen it repeatedly.  They hit up the customer for more money due to their own budget planning or abandon the job because they aren't making any more money.  be leary of a contractor who does not either use an employed or sub-contracted crew, meaning they manage the project's quality, time, and money distribution.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services

Home Building reviews in Council Bluffs

F

Rating
Council Bluffs Home Builders Provider Name Locked
constructed our home in Atlantic County, New
Council Bluffs Home Builders Provider Name Locked
. We put a deposit on the house just after the stick build and before the electric went in. Finishing work then started. Our tile and fiberglass insert shower were installed incorrectly (grout missing and plumbing not strapped inside walls), Tile floors were installed incorrectly and have started to buckle in our kitchen, granite counter tops had .75 inch gaps between the wall and backsplash. Additionally, the granite was not sealed which we stained the very first evening . Furthermore, the wall board was finished with one coat of spackle, one coat of flat paint (we requested Satin), and zero primer. The result were walls that looked like mini stucco in some places with tape
Council Bluffs Home Builders Provider Name Locked
where ever there was a wallboard seam. Seams are now protruding out on every wall in basement, foyer, family room, kitchen and 2 bedrooms $17,000 to fix the walls. We have had problem after problem with heat and air condition units, have been left with no heat or air condition in our upstairs portion of our home due to these issues. Kitchen and Bath units are incorrectly installed leaving us with uneven cabinets where soft close will not work properly.Sub floors were to be glued and screwed they were not, so all floors are now loose and squeak loudly when they are walked on. There are many other issues that have left us with money coming out of our own pocket to fix, just so many to list... Dept. of Community Affairs (DCA) has been brought in and civil action is in process. In summary quality control is non existent.
Council Bluffs Home Builders Provider Name Locked
builds under 3 different names,
Council Bluffs Home Builders Provider Name Locked
,
Council Bluffs Home Builders Provider Name Locked
Homes LLC and
Council Bluffs Home Builders Provider Name Locked
. Please second guess your decision when buying a home under any of these builders names.You have to stay on top of this builder if you decided to have a home built or are buying an already completed home. You have to go over every little inch of documentation and the actual home to make sure you are getting what you are paying for and for quality control, as this builder will put the cheapest materials in to gain more profit for himself. There is no pride in finish product . If you are unhappy with anything he has done he will walk out on you, call you names, insult you through text, He will blame it on anyone but himself. I've never seen such unprofessional-ism.. His sub contractors are questionable and many are unlicensed. Work is sloppy and not at par...Do not close with this builder with a punch list, make sure everything you are unhappy with during the final walk through is taken care of or hold money back as he will not honor the punch list after close...As for the warranty this home builder offers don't be fooled by that, its all for making you feel at ease to buy his homes, he DOES NOT stand by it at all!!! I want to put this review out as we had a home built by him and truly regret we ever bought it!! Our family has been in the home for a little over a year and have already had to put thousands of dollars into fixing all this builders poor standards of workmanship. We have waited a long time to have our family in our own home again and this has turned into a nightmare dealing with this builder. If I can prevent another family from dealing with the unhappiness that comes along with purchasing a home from this builder then my review has done its job.

- Douglas T.
A

Rating
Council Bluffs Home Builders Provider Name Locked
has handled all of my construction related needs for over 10 years. From a kitchen remodel to 2 bathrooms to a putting a second story on my house. I always know when he will be here (and if he won't!). If it is a multi-day project, the work site is tidied up at the end of each day.
- Anne H.
B

Rating
Council Bluffs Home Builders Provider Name Locked
is a good home builder . the biggest issue I have is there service after the sale. The warenty work will get done it just takes awhile. While they were building our home they were always ready to help.
- James M.
A

Rating
A very high quality job at a fair price, prompt and professional workers. A small misunderstanding was promptly corrected.
I've had this deck 3 years now and it's wearing extremely well, couldn't be happier with the company and the owner. Highly recommended.

- H B.
A

Rating
Council Bluffs Home Builders Provider Name Locked
and the NB Construction crew are awesome. They are very focused on quality and with only very minor exceptions did an amazing job. We brought a design and approved building permit to the project but with a lot of loose ends and, as happens in building projects, a few surprises once construction got started. NB was creative and flexible in adapting to the surprises and dealing with loose ends. We're thrilled with the results and wouldn't hesitate to hire NB again or recommend them to others.
- Suzanne F.
A

Rating
We are Very happy with him. He is very personable and competent . They provided me with the best customer service, follow up, researching my request and even made arrangements for pick up and drop off. Hands-On Improvement worked around my busy schedule and really made things very easy for me. I highly recommend working with them. He was attentive to detail. We are hiring him for another job in our house now.
- George N.
A

Rating
Service was superb. Personnel was wonderful. Job turned out as good as could be expected. Price was reasonable. We actually referred his services to two other people that had a similar experience.
- Robert J D.
A

Rating
Council Bluffs Home Builders Provider Name Locked
was amazing to deal with. I called him off of a referral from a friend on Friday, he came out within the hour and gave me an immediate estimate. I received one other estimate and his was considerably lower than the other contractor. Even though he was busy he fit me in the schedule...called me on Tuesday and said that due to the rain he couldn't work on another job he was working on and wanted to know if he could come out that afternoon and start on my job. He came out Tuesday, worked Wednesday and completed the job on Thursday. The drive looks great, I couldn't be happier with his service. As far as contractors go, he's the best I've dealt with...and I'm in the final stages of building a house, so I've dealt with a lot of them.
- Vanessa R.

Home Builders in Council Bluffs, IA

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

4E Eco Design

312 South 68th St

Advanced House Plans

16920 Wright Plaza

Affordable Closets

20603 Elkhorn Drive

ALL REMODELING INC

1032 WOODBURY AVE
Council Bluffs

American Heritage Restoration LLC

14301 First Nation Bank Pkwy NE

Astro Buildings

1109 South 19th Street, Suite A

ayars enterprises

9191 Ogden St

BAD BOYZ INC

531 COMMANCHE ST
Council Bluffs

Bary Rumbaugh Construction

13503 Frederick St

Bennett's Roofing

205 Main St.

Big Blue Construction

2330 keystone dr suite 101

Building Ventures Inc.

6671 Ridge Top Lane

CHALLENGER CONSTRUCTION

21738 Mudhollow Rd
Council Bluffs

Cherry Ridge Construction

1705 McPherson Ave # GL100
Council Bluffs

Choice Homes LLC

1221 E Pierce St Ste 300
Council Bluffs

Complete Custom Homes

2414 N 175th St

DirectBuy of Indianapolis

8450 Westfield Blvd

DOBBS CONSTRUCTION

902 HIGH ST
Council Bluffs

Empire Construction

PO Box 126
Tiffin

ENERFAB POWER SVC

7215 NAVAJO ST
Council Bluffs

Goslin Contracting

6116 Militarty Ave

GREEN RENOVATIONS

P.O. Box 305
Crescent

Greener Construction Svc

6290 Ronald Reagan Dr

Heininger Construction

109 Robin Road
Council Bluffs

INFRASOURCE UNDERGROUND CONSTR

19449 BIRDSLEY RD
Council Bluffs

Interiors by Eric James

19255 Holmes St.

J F DUGGAN CONSTRUCTION

1705 MCPHERSON AVE GL500
Council Bluffs

J-B CONSTRUCTION INC

2716 9TH AVE
Council Bluffs

JAM CONSTRUCTION CO

807 S 21ST ST
Council Bluffs

JOHN M ROTH

4 RIDGE DR W
Council Bluffs

KC Construction

5634 S 22nd St

KRUEGER CONSTRUCTION

9 S 15TH ST
Council Bluffs

KS Construction

13122 Jefferson Circle

Lasting Improvements

5062 S 107th St

Legacy Landscape

19718 Military Rd

LIBERTY HOMES INC

1951 JENNINGS AVE
Council Bluffs

LMK Concepts

2609 s 102 st

Logan Construction Inc

16060 County Road 25

MALLARD LTD CONSTRUCTION

22755 DOGWOOD RD
Council Bluffs

MANNING CONSTRUCTION CO

502 S 7TH ST
Council Bluffs

Marvin Window & Door Store

13819 Industrial Rd

MC GINNIS CONSTRUCTION

9 S 15th St
Council Bluffs

MCKEAN'S FLOOR TO CEILING

10811 HARRISON ST

Mike Burns Construction LLC

405 Frank St
Council Bluffs

MLS Construction, Inc.

14522 Nelsons Creek Dr

MOON BEAM CONSTRUCTION

9901 FLORENCE HEIGHTS BLVD

NVR Inc

11700 Plaza American Dr

OLSON BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION

1900 GRAND AVE
Council Bluffs

Paul M. Roth

15950 W Dodge Rd #200

Precision Enterprises Inc

13951 Valley Ridge Drive

PRESIDENT HOMES

500 WILLOW AVE
Council Bluffs

Remodeling Second Opinion

106 W Sunnybrook Dr

Rolyn Companies, Inc.

5706 Frederick Ave

ROSENBERG BUILDERS

2751 AVENUE
Council Bluffs

Scandinavian Log Homes

1861 NE 146 Street

SIEBLER BUILDING CO INC

6041 Oakcrest Plaza

SMITH CONSTRUCTION

46 Horizon Drive
Council Bluffs

STI CONSTRUCTION

15232 PINECREST DR
Council Bluffs

Straightline Design, Inc.

3925 So. 147th Street

That Construction Company

8170 Old Carriage court N

Voss Construction

16961 William St

WELCOME HOMES INC

1032 WOODBURY AVE
Council Bluffs

Werts Contruction

14718 V Plaza

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