You just closed on your lot and ready to build that brand new duplex. The builder you chose has promised the entire project will be completed within just a few months and you can’t wait to take advantage of the hot rental market in the area.

You did your due diligence, or at least you thought you didproblem builders when you picked out your builder, but there are some warning signs that you might have made the wrong choice. What can indicate potential problems?

It’s good to visit the job site regularly to track the progress of the project but also to make sure your builder is on the job. It’s okay for a  builder to have several projects at once, that’s the sign of a popular builder, but if your builder rarely shows up or isn’t there in the mornings or evenings, it’s possible you’re not getting the amount of work you’re paying for.

Whether you finance the property or you pay for the construction costs yourself, make sure the initial draw is within reason. Some banks don’t initiate any funds in advance but only reimburses the builder for work already completed. If your builder asks for a large upfront payment, say anything approaching 25 percent of the job, watch out. Your builder can take those funds and use it for other jobs.  Spell out the draws in the contract regarding when and how much. And speaking of contracts, if your builder says that he trusts you and contracts aren’t needed, find another builder.

Did the builder meet with you regularly when you were looking for a contractor but now that the contract has been signed you never hear back? It’s a good idea to set out regular meeting days and times for you to meet at the job site.

Finally, when materials are ordered and delivered, compare the sales receipt with the actual amount of materials delivered. You might find out that you’re paying for someone else’s remodel. Most builders who have one or more of these traits won’t be in business for very long but mistakes are made and when they are made, make sure your contract provides you with an easy cancellation policy.