Questions to Ask Your Builder


Q: Why should we build with you?
A: Teamwork, Experience and Trust 

Teamwork - I have been able to work with some of the best subcontractors and designers in the industry.
We are an experienced, motivated and creative team. 

Experience – I have built many projects in Myers Park, Foxcroft, The Sanctuary, Ballantyne Country Club,
Mint Hill, Tega Cay and many other locations in North and South Carolina. 

Trust – I build a fee-based job where the client sees all the numbers and I will not ask for any deposit up front.
I do not rely on change orders or extras as a revenue stream. I have clients who are happy to talk to you about the openness and trust that is gained through this process. 

Q: What is your background?

I grew up building with my father and uncle in Michigan. In 1987 I became a licensed Michigan Builder.
In 1988 I interned with a national builder on a 100 unit condo project in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
In 1989 I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Building Construction Management from Michigan State University.
In 1993 I moved to Charlotte, NC and became a superintendent for Charlotte’s largest production home builder. 
In 1996 I was promoted to Area Manager.
In 1998 I became a Project Manager for Charlotte’s largest custom home builder. 
In 2002 we were named “America’s Best Builder” by Builder Magazine. That same year, I was
named Employee Of The Year. During my 11+ years there I built over 80 million dollars of new homes.

In 2009 I started Erick West Construction Management.

During my 19 years building in Charlotte, I have been lucky enough to build for many great people. Their repeat business and referrals have kept me very busy. 

Q: Why are you different from other builders?
A: I think there a lot of great individual builders in Charlotte. I have worked with many and we still network today. Think of building like cooking, we can all read a recipe, but somehow I know I cannot cook like my Aunt. Why? Experience. She has done it for years, not just read the recipe or simply used the best ingredients. It takes experience knowing how to blend those ingredients to create a great meal, or in this case, a great project. I have actually built homes. I did not just sell the job and hoped it all worked out for the best. I worked directly with the clients, architects, designers and subcontractors solving problems creatively. 

Q: Are you licensed?
A: I have an unlimited NC builder’s license and a SC residential builder’s license allowing me to build any size residential project in both states. 

Q: What are the advantages of a fee job vs. a fixed cost job?
A: A flat fee project helps both the client and the builder. It provides full transparency of the project costs. The client is able to see all the pricing, they are able to add or delete items during this process. The client controls all the money. No builder deposits, the client pays the subcontractors directly. The builder is paid a monthly flat fee and does all the accounting. The client gets the builder's pricing. Some bigger builders will use their economies of scale to their own advantage, not necessarily to the client's advantage. In addition, there are no change orders or allowance overages, a source of many builder's income. 

A fixed contract will often have tension, the result of the builder, trying to maximize a profit vs the customer trying to make sure they are getting their moneys worth. If there are changes, there will be additional builder costs. There will be changes, there are always changes…..Many times builders will keep the allowances low to get the job and figure it out later, i.e. change orders or allowance overage penalties. 

Q: How many projects do you build at a time?

A: Typically I will build two or three homes at a time depending on their size, complexity and location. Depending on all the above I may have one or two renovations going on while still being able to service existing customers. This is a key question, many builders cannot say no and they take every job they can get. This is another reason to find a builder who will build your project, not just hire a superintendent. 

Q: Will you build my project?
A: I will build your project. I will estimate the project with you, set the budgets with you and build the house
with you. 

Many companies will have an owner sell the job, give it to an estimator and then to a superintendent. All these people just add to the cost of the job and dilute the line of communication.

Erick West Construction Management  •  4416 Parkwood School Road, Monroe, NC 28112
tel. 704-309-1449  •