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New home construction question related to excavation and deposits

last month

My spouse and i are building a new home in Morrison CO. We’re currently waiting for the final building permit but the excavation permit has already come through. We’re also getting a construction loan but that wont be finalized until the building permit has come through. Our GC wants to start digging before the building permit has been issued. Is this normal practice? He‘s also asking for 40% of the excavation estimate as a retainer (per the company that provided the bid.) As our loan isn’t finalized, this significant retainer/deposit would come out of our cash reserves. We’re not comfortable paying these fees out of pocket as this reduces our ability to cover any unexpected expenses down the road. Any advice or thoughts are appreciated!

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