Making changes and updates to your home is demanding enough without having to be concerned about cowboy builders messing up your experience. To save yourself from unnecessary heartache, there are a few simple questions that you should ask before hiring a builder. A good builder makes the whole building process easier and helps you get your dream home with little or no frustration. If you listen to your friends’ and relatives’ stories about builders you will realize that there are a good number of doggy ones out there who will shirk responsibility, skip corners, and are usually a pain dealing with.
If you have never hired the services of a builder before, it becomes even trickier to tell the good ones from the many scammers in the market today. However, you can easily get a potential cowboy builder by asking the following ten questions.
1. Ask If He Is a Licensed Builder
This should be the first question you ask the potential builder. Always make sure to hire only licensed tradesmen. This might sound obvious but people either do not ask or hire a builder who is not licensed to save money. The outcome can be disastrous. Every state lets you run a search on the builders in the area to check their license.
2. Ask If He Has Home Indemnity Insurance
Before paying your builder anything, ensure that he issues you a Certificate of Currency for Home Indemnity Insurance. This guarantees that you are covered for financial loss in case the builder dies, becomes insolvent or does a runner.
3. Ask If There Are Any Past or Current Building Disputes Underway With the Appropriate Building Commission in His State
This is important as it helps you know about the builder’s professionalism and reliability, as well as the general quality of work.
4. Ask If He Has Ever Been Declared Bankrupt
Avoid any builder who has ever been declared bankrupt. A bankrupt company might leave your project without notice leaving you stuck with a house that is half built and in search for a builder ready to complete the job.
5. Ask If the Builder Works In the Same Area You Will Be Building
This seems easy, yet many people do not ask this question. Some builders might be uninterested in building in an area where they will have to travel. Besides, he might have to employ sub-contractors he is unfamiliar with and these people might be substandard.
6. Ask How Long the Building Maintenance Period Will Last
Builders agree to conduct building maintenance for some time before handing the property to you. A 6 months maintenance period is recommended for residential units and 12-18 months for commercial assets.
7. Ask Who Supervises the Construction of the Property
This is crucial since the construction supervisor is the person who keeps everyone honest. Higher quality work is carried out when the construction supervisor is onsite. Take a look at this person’s track record, which includes past experiences as well as duration at current employer.
8. Ask about the Builder’s Trade Base and Its Long-Term Employment
A reliable and consistent trade base is important to ensuring the job will be premium come what may.
9. Ask If You Can View His Recently Completed Projects
Make sure to see the builder’s recently completed work before hiring him. This gives you a chance to see if the builder is doing the kind of job you desire for your home. Look into the quality of products utilized as well as the work completed. Speak to builder’s customers and get references, if possible. This way you are able to get feedback about client experience and satisfaction. People are very forthcoming with details, you will be surprised.
10. Ask About Other Projects the Builder Will Be Involved With While Working On Your House
Hire a builder with very few or no other commitments so that they can fully concentrate on your job. Besides, such a builder will make fewer or no mistakes and your project will be completed faster.
In conclusion, keep in mind that building a new home is a big financial as well as emotional investment. For this reason, it is important to take the added time to carry out a thorough check on any potential builder, their references, workmanship and credentials. These questions also apply when looking for a builder to remodel your home.
Tim is a property, renovation and building enthusiast who blogs on real estate, property markets and investing. He has an experienced background in renovating and flipping houses, purchasing his first home at the age of 24. He also works alongside Redink Homes, a home builder in Perth, Western Australia.