25 Questions to Ask Any Contractor (link)

15 Specific Questions to Ask Your Post Frame Contractor (link)

Building Site Requirements (link)

25 Questions & Concerns to Discuss with Any Contractor

1. Does the contractor carry general liability, builder’s risk, and workers compensation insurance?Official Logo of Knepp Buildings
– Knepp Buildings has all three and will provide evidence upon request.
2. Don’t be pressured into “buying today” to get a better price.
– Knepp Buildings exercises a no pressure approach to selling.
3. What payment options are available?
– Knepp Buildings accepts cash, personal checks, or money orders.
4. Don’t put more than 1/3 down for deposit before the start of the project.
– Knepp Buildings requires a modest down payment (5% of purchase price but not less than $1000.00) due at the contract signing.
5. Don’t make the last payment until absolutely satisfied.
– Knepp Building’s payment schedule ensures that you never pay before each section of your project is complete and you are absolutely satisfied.
6. Are they a member of any trade associations?
– Knepp Buildings is a proud member of the NFBA (Nations Frame Builders Association).
7. Does the contractor have experience with jobs such as yours?
– Knepp Buildings specializes in post frame construction. Pole buildings are what we do. Our tenured craftsmen have constructed hundreds of buildings the same or similar to yours over the past several years.
8. References?
– Knepp Buildings proudly displays testimonials on our website. Additional references are available upon request.
9. Check the BBB (Better Business Bureau) for complaints.
– Knepp Buildings has no registered complaints and an A+ rating with the BBB.
10. If you are unsure about the contract or sale terms, ask someone else to review the contract and before hiring the contractor.
– Knepp Buildings welcomes you to legally critique any of our correspondence. We have nothing to hide.
11. Whenever making a change to the original project, get the change and the price in writing.
– Knepp Buildings requires new or additional contracts/addendums with each change order.
12. Keep a journal of work done, contacts made with the contractor, and payments made.
– Knepp Buildings supplies our customers with all warranty and building information upon project completion.
13. How long has the contractor been in business?
– Knepp Building has been in business for 22 years.
14. Have they done work in your town before?
– Knepp Buildings has built several hundred buildings in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.
15. Do they have their own crew to perform the work, or do they rely solely on subcontractors?
– Knepp Buildings has two full time crews to ensure that your building will be completed efficiently without sacrificing quality. All crewmembers are full-time employees of Knepp Buildings.
16. How many other jobs will they be working on simultaneously with yours?
– Knepp Buildings rarely has more than two projects ongoing. One crew per project until finished.
17. How many workers are used to manage your jobs?
– Knepp Buildings has four – five men per crew who are accustomed to working with one another. They are all full-time employees of Knepp Buildings.
18. When are they available to start your project and how long will it take?
– Knepp Buildings prides itself in communicating effectively so our customers know tentative start and completion times.
19. Does the contractor have a current contractor’s license and registration?
– Unfortunately, Pennsylvania does not offer or require a contractor’s license or registration.   As of July 1, 2009 Pennsylvania home improvement contractors are required to be state registered.  Knepp Building’s Registration Number is:  PA #3031.  Please call 1-888-520-6680 to verify.
20. Ask to see examples of the contractors work?
– Knepp Buildings will proudly show their work upon request.
21. How professional is the contractor at returning phone calls and in other business dealings?
– Knepp Buildings does it’s best to return phone calls the same day, that evening, or next morning.  Quotes are normally offered within three days – Often much sooner.
22. Who will be assigned as the project foreman for the job?
– Each Knepp Buildings crew has a designated foreman who will be introduced to the customer before the project begins. That foreman will remain on that job until the project is complete.
23. Do you have design services available?
– Yes. Knepp Buildings uses Construction Maestro Software to design all our buildings. Prints and drawings are available as needed.
24. What percentage of your business is repeat or referral business?
– At least 80% of Knepp Buildings business is based on referrals from our satisfied customers.
25. Do you have a published business address and identified service vehicles?
– Yes. Knepp Buildings is located in Conneaut Lake, PA and all of our trucks are clearly marked.

15 Specific Questions to Ask Your Post-Frame Contractor

1. How many bags of concrete are used per hole to create the footer?
– Knepp Buildings uses 3 bags of concrete under the eave posts (50% more than our competition) to create an 8-inch thick footer.
2. How far apart are your trusses?
– Knepp Buildings spaces engineered trusses two feet apart for shingled roofs and four feet apart for steel roofs. This spacing creates a much stronger roof system. Our competition often spaces their trusses as much as ten feet apart.
3. Are there finished overhangs on your buildings?
– Knepp Buildings offers buildings with one-foot overhangs on all sides, on the eave only, and none at all. We prefer to build with an overhang on all sides because it yields more aesthetic building.
4. Do the gable end posts extend to the roofline in your buildings?
– Knepp Buildings always extends the gable end posts to the top of the truss. This dramatically increases the strength of the building.  Others often stop posts at the ceiling height or bottom of the truss.
5. What size truss carriers are used on your buildings?
– Knepp Buildings uses the right size or heavier engineered Southern Yellow Pine or LVL truss carriers for your building. Some guess at what size truss carriers to use and use regular lumber instead of stronger Southern Yellow Pine.
6. What size OSB board do you use on the roof and sidewalls of your buildings?
– Knepp Buildings uses 5/8” OSB (with clips) on the roof deck and 7/16” OSB on the sidewalls. Others sometimes use 7/16”OSB on the roof deck.
7. How often do you screw the steel roofing and siding on your buildings?
– Knepp Buildings screws all of their steel roofing and siding material every two feet. Many only screw their steel every four feet – half as often as Knepp Buildings.
8. How long is the warranty on your steel roof/sides?
– Knepp Buildings offers two different qualities of Everlast Steel (www.everlastroofing.com) with either a 35-year or Lifetime warranty. Others sometimes use “seconds” that have no warranty.
9. How thick is the vinyl siding on your buildings?
– Knepp Buildings uses .040/.042/.044 thick siding that best matches your home.
10. How long is the warranty on my shingled roof?
– Knepp Buildings use the shingles that best match your home. Warranties are usually 25 – 30 years depending on the shingle style and manufacturer.
11. How far apart are the posts in your buildings?
– Knepp Buildings sets posts no farther than eight feet apart. Others often place posts as much as ten feet apart.
12. What size posts are used in your buildings?
– Knepp Buildings uses 4×6, 6×6, or laminated columns in our buildings. Our posts are engineered to be structurally correct based on the building’s size.
13. What size splashboards are used on your buildings?
– Knepp Buildings uses a 2×8 splashboard whereas others sometimes use 2×6 material.
14. Where does your company buy their trusses/building materials and are they right for my building?
– Knepp Buildings buys all of their engineered trusses locally with the proper snow loading for your building area. All of our building materials are also purchased locally to help support our economy. Some post-frame builders are required by their headquarters to purchase their trusses along with most other building materials from a lumber depot located hundreds of miles away.
15. What workmanship warranty does your company offer?
– Knepp Buildings offers a two-year workmanship warranty providing service after the sale if needed.

Building Site Requirements

Pennsylvania One Call
Every Knepp Buildings customer is required to contact “PA One Call” to report the excavation that will occur on their property. Post-Frame construction requires that posts are placed below grade to provide the necessary support.  These posts will never be more than six feet below the ground.
One week or so before we start your building, each customer must call 800-242-1776 and answer a few basic questions. “PA One Call” will contact  the proper utility companies to mark any lines in the way of your proposed building site. For additional information: www.pa1call.org
Concrete Floor
If Knepp Buildings will be providing a concrete floor in your building, please follow the site requirements outlined below to ensure that your Knepp Building will provide you with years of dependable service.
1. Remove sod, topsoil, and miscellaneous debris from desired building location. Be sure to clear site an additional four feet (two feet each side) beyond actual building dimensions.
2. Should your building site need fill, place vibrated and compacted runs of 2RC or crushed bank gravel in 8” layers from level of stripped topsoil to a point 6” or so below finished floor slab – Based on your desired finished elevation of the concrete floor.
3. Place 4” of washed 2B gravel on top of compacted 2RC gravel.
4. Be sure that all utility, drain, septic, etc. lines are clearly marked.