Selecting a builder is like interviewing a prospective employee for a position involving the utmost trust. Ultimately, they hold the key to your dream home and your immediate financial welfare in the palm of their hands, so it pays to do your research. Don’t be afraid to ask some tough questions; if the builder struggles to answer them, it could be a sign that you need to seek an alternative person or company for the job. Here are 10 questions you should ask your builder before construction.
1. Are You Licensed?
Under law, builders are required to be licensed. But make no mistake – some are not. Ask for their licence number and check it. Reputable home builders such as Coral Homes provide this information readily on their websites and documentation, so you really shouldn’t even have to ask them this in person. You can also search your prospective builder’s name on the relevant state’s building authority website.
2. Are You Insured?
It is a requirement that builders have indemnity insurance prior to constructing your home. This covers you in the event they are unable to complete your home or rectify any defects due to insolvency or death.
3. Are You Bankrupt?
It’s critical to ensure your builder is solvent and reputable.
4. Have You Been Involved in Any Court Proceedings or Been Before a Tribunal for Any Previous Work?
It’s important to gauge the satisfaction of other clients and this question should not only be asked but followed up with a little research of your own.
5. What’s Included?
What will you receive for the money you pay? All inclusions and the budget should be clearly documented and signed by both yourself and the builder.
6. What Will You Do if Costs Begin to Exceed the Budget?
You need to know when and how your builder will alert you if things stop going to plan. Yes, sometimes budgets blow out due to reasons beyond anyone’s control, such as bad weather or a shortage of materials, but the earlier you are made aware, the better.
7. What’s the Timeline?
The schedule for your project is another factor that should be documented and agreed upon by both parties. Delays equal extra costs, so what does the builder expect to achieve by what date?
8. Are You Working on Any Other Projects at the Same Time as Mine?
You should ascertain whether your builder may be overstretched or have commitments that will affect your construction’s timeline and budget.
9. Can I See Your Other Projects?
Any builder worth their salt will be more than happy to provide you with testimonials and even access to previous properties they have constructed. This allows you to see the quality of their work and how happy previous clients are with it.
10. How Long is My Building Maintenance Period?
After the completion of your home, the builder should provide builder’s maintenance. For houses, this is typically a period of six months.
Asking the tough questions and doing your research long before construction gets underway can save a whole load of heartache. As the saying goes, “time spent in reconnaissance is never time wasted” and any reputable builder should be more than happy to assist.