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Bonding


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Dennis's Forum Posts: 4

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By Dennis in Waikoloa, HI on 12/6/2011


As an owner-builder I am confused about "bonding". Who needs to be bonded? Who pays for the bonding? If I am acting as my own general contractor do I need bonding? Any help pointing me in the direction for answers would be appreciated. Dennis

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By Peter in Burlington, WA on 12/15/2011


A bond is like a small insurance policy that a third party (the bonding agency) is authorized to pay out on behalf of someone (the bonded party, usually a contractor). Bonding is usually specified by law, sometimes as one of the requirements to hold a contractor's license, for example. It is intended to grease the wheels of commerce by making one party more willing to engage in business while still providing a measure of protection regarding performance by the second (getting paid on a job, or proper results thereof). It is a bit like credit worthiness, but guaranteed to a certain amount (the amount of the bond).

The bonded party (the contractor, or in this case, you) usually pays for the bond, but other arrangements are possible.

If you are acting as a GC on your own place, the law may still require you to get a bond like any other GC. The reason would be that the subcontractors need to have the expectation of performance from you (getting paid). If you own the place, the ability to lien the property should suffice, but sometimes the rules become more important than the intent.

It should be relatively easy to get a bond on your own place. Contact a bonding agency. Sometimes, bigger insurance offices can do it. There will probably be a credit check. The cost can run anywhere from $200 to maybe $700 for a simple bond. Before you just run out and get the bond, make sure you have the details about the bond's requirements (bond terms, amount, agencies, persons or parties who must be named, etc.) Ask the office that is requiring you to have one.

You will want to familiarize yourself with how the bond works in your jurisdiction. One example might be a plumber from whom you are withholding payment because of a dispute. If he hasn't paid the plumbing warehouse for the parts supplied, they might be able to "access" the bond (get paid from it). Of course, you could then deduct that from what the plumber claims he is owed, but it gets complicated...

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By Dennis in Waikoloa, HI on 12/15/2011


Peter,

Thank you for taking the time to educate me on bonding. I own my lot free and clear and I am planning to use the cash on hand to build our house. I will check to see if I am required to be bonded. Once again, thank you for a very good answer.

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