Land subdivision is a challenging exercise. As such, you should consider hiring a subdivision contractor. The professional will handle the process to ensure it abides by the local council law. Below are a few tips to help you choose a subdivision contractor.
As a rule of the thumb, the contractor should be licenced to conduct subdivision work in your locality. Further, he or she should be affiliated with professional organisations. Inquire about the contractor's specialty. For instance, does he or she deal with residential or commercial subdivision? A specialised contractor can give insights on changing regulations. For example, he or she may know about a pending law that will change zoning regulations.
Check the contractor's portfolio. Preferably, he or she should have handled a similar or larger project in the past. Contact the contractor clients, and inquire about his or her work ethic and degree of professionalism.
The scope of your project will determine the kind of services you require. Most contractors will help you seek a subdivision permit. Further, they will engage a lands surveyor to divide the land. However, you may need extra services such as;
- Construction of asphalt or aggregate access roads to each of the individual plots.
- Installation of water, electricity and gas lines.
- Construction of drainage systems and retaining walls to prevent waterlogging and erosion on the property.
- Installation of sewage systems.
- Demolition works if the property had existing structures.
- Construction of fences, perimeter walls and installation of security systems.
Examine the contractor's ability to complete the project. For instance, he or she should have earthmovers to construct roads and build drainage systems. Ask the contractor to apply for a general liability insurance cover. It will protect you from legal liability and financial loss due to accidents at the site.
The contractor should break down his or her quote. For instance, it should indicate how much he or she will pay for permits and the costs of each of the contracted works. Remember to ask for a discount.
Seek legal help when evaluating the terms of the contract. Ideally, the document should detail the services that the contractor will provide, along with when and how you should make payments. Some provisions may lead to future financial liabilities. For instance, if the contractor will demolish structures on site, the contract must address the disposal of demolition waste. Contractor-client conflicts can slow down the subdivision works. As such, decide on a suitable conflict resolution mechanism and a reasonable way to terminate the contract.
When choosing a subdivision contractor, examine his or her qualifications, expertise, reputation, services and the terms of the contract.