10 Questions You Need to Ask Your Builder

Making updates and modifications to your house is stressful enough, without needing to be worried about cowboy builders destroying your experience. A few straightforward questions before you hire somebody could save you plenty of heartache. Help identify possible cowboy contractors by asking the following 10 questions.

1. Are you a licenced builder?
This is the first question you will need to ask. Only ever work with licenced tradesmen. The results can be catastrophic. Each state permits you to conduct a search on contractors to look at their license, a simple Google search for ‘assess a builder’s licence’ will get you started, please take action.

2. Do you have Home Indemnity Insurance?
Before pay a cent, ensure your builder issues you with a Certificate of Currency for Home Indemnity. This insures you for financial loss if the builder die, become insolvent or do a runner.

3. Are there any disputes underway with the building commission in your state?
This will inform you more about the builder’s overall reliability and professionalism in addition to the general quality of the work.

4. Have you ever been declared bankrupt?
If your builder went belly-up at any stage it may indicate a fast twist button on your job if they don’t have the financial means to complete the job. A building company with little or no money may be forced to pull the plug without warning leaving you stuck with a half-built house and looking for a builder willing to finish the job.

5. Do you work in area where I will be building?
It appears simple, yet a lot of people don’t ask this question. Your builder might not be considering building somewhere where they need to travel. The builder may also need to employ sub-contractors he’s unfamiliar with and these people might not be up to standard.

6. How long will the construction maintenance period last?
A builder agrees to perform maintenance on the building development for a time period after the property is handed over to you. Most experts recommend a six-month maintenance period for residential units and 12 to 18 months for industrial properties.

7. Who supervises the property structure?
This is important because the building supervisor is the man who keeps everybody honest. When a supervisor is onsite, higher quality work is done. Look into this individual’s track record including their past experiences and length with current employer.

8. What about your trade base and its long-term employment?
A consistent and reliable commerce base is vital to ensuring the job will be high quality come what may.

9. Can we view your newly finished projects?
This is absolutely a no-brainer. You must have the ability to check at the contractors’ recently finished work. This way you can see for yourself if the builder knows how to build a house. Take a look at the quality of products used and the job done. If you can, talk to the builders’ customers and get references. This way you can get opinions about customer satisfaction and experience. You’ll be amazed about how forthcoming men and women are with details.

10. What other projects are you going to get involved with while working on my home?
You do not want the builder to be biting off more than they could chew. The more they can focus on your work, the fewer mistakes they will make and not to mention your job will be done quicker.

And finally…
Bear in mind, building a new home is a huge financial and emotional investment. Take the extra time to do a comprehensive check on any potential builder, their craftsmanship, credentials and references.

Paul Henry