23 Feb 2015

Questions to ask your builder

If you’re trusting a builder to construct your new house, there are some questions you need to ask to ensure you have the right person for the job. Knowing exactly where you stand before you begin the construction process will save you a lot of stress and hassle down the track. If you find that a builder is having difficulty answering your questions, perhaps it’s time to search for a different one. In any case, here are some basic questions you should ask your builder prior to commencing construction.

1. EXPERIENCE

How many years of experience does your builder have? Ensure that they are qualified to do the job and have experience working within the particular area in which you wish to build. If you need specialist work done, confirm that the builder is experienced enough to complete the job.

2. LICENCE

Always ask to see current licenses and registration. This ensures that your builder is up to date with Australian Building Standards, further securing your chances of a safe and trusty home.

3. BENEFITS

What are the benefits of choosing them over other builders? What can they offer you? Ask what their speciality or expertise is. If a builder doesn’t know the advantages of choosing them over someone else, perhaps there are no advantages.

4. WARRANTIES

Is there a warranty on your home? Can the builder offer you a guarantee on their workmanship? What are the warranty conditions and can it be extended in any way? Always be clear about your responsibilities and any fine print that may exist.

5. REFERENCES

Ask if there are any references or testimonials from previous clients, or examples of the builder’s past work. It’s always good to do your own research on the side and see what the general opinion of the builder is.

6. FEATURES AND UPGRADES

Always find out the price of upgrades versus the standard features that come with the home. You may be able to increase the resale value of your home for a minimum outlay by upgrading some of the key features. Think of things such as materials, lighting fixtures, air conditioning systems, etc. These are all much cheaper to add during the construction process rather than afterwards.

7. CONTACT

Who is your main point of contact? Make sure the builder is easy to reach and that you know exactly who it is you’ll need to speak to about your project. It’s important that you are able to reach your builder in case of emergency, so it’s good to establish the point of contact prior to beginning.

8. CHANGES

Know when you can still make changes to your home and how. Be clear on the deadline for making design choices and know who to contact about these changes.

9. ACCESS

When will you be able to access the home? When does the builder anticipate reaching lock up stage? Ask the builder what type of timeline he expects to complete the work in so you can ensure to have materials arranged before they are needed.

10. INSPECTION

How does the inspection process work and when should you expect it to happen? Make sure you know whose responsibility it is to organise the inspections so as to prevent delays with the building process.

11. INCLUSIONS AND EXTRAS

Know exactly what’s covered in the costs and what items you’ll need to sort out yourself. Remember to ask about council and building fees, electricals, plumbing, fly screens, door knobs etc.

12. HOME INDEMNITY INSURANCE

Is the builder covered by home indemnity insurance in the unlikely event that they become seriously injured, ill, or dead? Home indemnity insurance is essential to protect clients from losing their financial investment.

13. EXPECTED LENGTH

How long do the builders expect to take with the building process? Do they have a good track record for meeting deadlines? Knowing this will help you prepare for the future and any possible delays that may happen.

14. RESPONSIBILITIES

What are your responsibilities during the project? Make sure you know exactly what your role is and what services or materials are your responsibility to gather. If everyone knows what role they have to play, the building process will be a lot smoother.