On average, there are 1,000 new homes built in Columbia County each year. That construction activity provides thousands of jobs and significant economic impact.
Most of those homes are well built, by experienced contractors. The vast majority of those homes exceed expectations of the consumers, who flock to Columbia County to buy them - thus creating the demand that warrants such frenzied construction activity.
It should come as no surprise, then, with the amount of handcrafted detail and high volume, that some of work also will be of lower quality than the customer would expect. In those cases, consumers are almost always able to work out their differences with the builders.
Sometimes, though, the consumer gets stuck - by a contractor who takes money and doesnt deliver the expected service, or by shoddy workmanship that is never fixed. Unfortunately, when that happens, it isnt just the rotten contractor who takes a hit; the entire building industry suffers.
That explains the effort by area building professionals to study possible new county ordinances that would crack down on contractors who rack up complaints.
Right now, honest contractors are being penalized for the ones who are not doing right, says Mark Herbert, chairman of the Columbia County Construction Advisory Board.
The plan calls for a task force that would come up with ways to protect good contractors while providing stiffer penalties against those who rip off consumers.
Its an admirable effort, made even better by the enthusiastic cooperation of the industry that will come under greater scrutiny as a result. It is living proof that good, honest businesses have nothing to fear from playing by the rules.
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