Making updates and changes to your home is stressful enough without having to worry about reckless builders ruining your experience. If you’ve never dealt with a builder before how do you know where to start?
- 1. Are you a licensed builder? It may be an obvious question to ask but many people don’t ask, or they engage an unlicensed builder. The results can be disastrous. Each state has an online search to check a license.
- 2. Do you have home indemnity insurance? Make sure your builder issues you with a certificate of currency for home indemnity insurance before you pay them anything. This covers you for financial loss should the builder become bankrupt or leave without finishing the job.
- 3. Are there any current or past building disputes underway with the building commission in your state? This will let you know about the builder’s general liability and professionalism as well as the overall quality of their work.
- 4. Have you ever been declared bankrupt? If this happened previously, they may leave your house unfinished if they do not have the finances to complete it.
- 5. Do you work in the same area that I’ll be building? Your builder may not be interested in building somewhere where they must travel. The builder may also have to hire sub-contractors they aren’t familiar with and these people may not be up to standard.
- 6. Who supervises the property construction? When a supervisor is onsite, higher quality work is performed. Look into this person’s track record including their past experiences and duration with their current employer.’
- 7. What about your trade base and its long-term employment? A consistent and reliable trade base is essential to making certain the job will be high quality.
- 8. Can we view your recently finished projects? See first-hand the work, quality and state of a current project. Look at the details of finishes and talk with the owner of the property about their experience.
- 9. What other projects will you be involved with while working on my property? You don’t want the builder taking on more than they can handle at any one time.
Building a new home is a huge financial and emotional investment. Hiring a builder, especially if this is the first time, can be daunting. Take the extra time to thoroughly check references, workmanship and credentials to get the job done right.