Choosing the right builder is VITAL

Custom building your own home can be the biggest, and best decision of your life. It can also be the most costly and most frustrating decision you will ever make. The way it goes depends largely on your choice of builder, yet so many people make that choice on a whim, on cost or on a recommendation.

There's no "right" answer when choosing a builder, but there is a right and wrong way to make the choice. With the help of the following checklist you can follow the path to the right builder... the one who's right for you!

Do your research

Internet? Yellow pages? Local paper? There are almost as many ways to find a builder as there are homes to be built. The obvious sources are a good start, but smart researchers step outside the usual avenues and speak to the people who really know.

Start with the builders' governing body. The Master Builder's Association can provide lists of registered builders in your area.

Interview the Builder

Don't just meet your builder, treat the meeting like a job interview - after all it's a significant opportunity you're offering! Come prepared for the interview with a clear idea of your expectations, your budget and your time-line - then ask detailed questions about how the builder will meet them.

The issues you need to cover are:

Communication

  • Who is my main point of contact during construction?
  • How and where will I meet with that person? How available will they be?
  • How will my concerns and questions be addressed?
  • Do we have the same understanding of cost, quality and timing?

Quality

  • How long have individual contractors been working with you?
  • How do you ensure the quality of your contractors work?

Timing

  • What is the time-line?
  • What happens if dates on the time-line are not met?

Cost

  • How are extra charges dealt with?
  • What is your record on completing on time?
  • What is the definition of complete? Will work continue after we move in?
  • What is the cost? What does this include?
  • What costs are outside the standard contract?
  • When are part-payments due?
Visit some homes

Every good custom builder will have a portfolio of properties to show you - but don't stop there. Ask to visit homes under construction, or recently completed (allowing for the privacy of the owners). .At the very least you should be able to drive by some completed projects.

Ask for client references...and follow them up

While not every builder will be able to take you through many completed houses (after all they are his clients' homes!), any good builder should be able to supply written references and a list of satisfied customers to whom you can talk.

Ask for references

Satisfied clients are a good sign, good trade relationships are a great sign! A quality custom builder will have strong connections with contractors, suppliers and lenders. Speaking to these connections will give the truest picture of whether your builder will deliver on time, on budget and on quality.

Review the documents

This is perhaps the most important part of the process. The documentation is never as daunting as it first appears. Think of the documentation as a list of all things relating to your home, then read it carefully, then read it again, and again...then start asking questions.

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Get Professional Advice

Call Vitalmark Constructions on 1800 828 453 if you have any questions about selecting a builder.