- 1. Not adequately checking references
- 2. Not verifying credentials and documentation
- 3. Not putting everything in writing
Building a new home can be both exciting and nerve-wracking.
For one thing, you don’t have to compromise, which is the usual situation with pre-built homes. On the other hand, it also comes with a lot of risks, especially when choosing a home builder.
To guide you in your decision-making, here are some costly mistakes you need to avoid when choosing a home builder:
1. Not adequately checking references
Hiring home builders without thoroughly verifying their references is dangerous and can be very expensive, especially if you have the misfortune of hiring one doing bad practices.
Doing your homework and checking their previous work will give you peace of mind.
In the construction industry, word of mouth is a powerful thing. Make sure to contact a potential home builder’s previous clients and ask questions about their homes.
Questions that you must ask include:
- Were you satisfied with the work?
- Was the job finished on time?
- Did the home builder communicate regularly?
- Did the home builder commit mistakes?
- If there were mistakes, were they corrected willingly?
- Did the home builder honour the contract’s terms?
- How much was the initial budget?
- What was the final cost?
- Will you hire the home builder again?
- Do you recommend the home builder to others?
f you are satisfied with the answers, then you will have little to no risk in hiring the home builder.
2. Not verifying credentials and documentation
Construction is a professional discipline and thus, it requires home builders to acquire the licenses necessary to practice the profession. These standards and licenses help customers ensure that the people they are hiring are qualified.
Ask the potential home builder of the status of their license and insurance. Since industry practices are constantly changing, a renewed license means they are updated on the latest trends and techniques in construction. If the home builder does not have insurance, they can go after you if they get injured on the job.
3. Not putting everything in writing
Trusting oral agreements and not putting them in writing is the worst mistake that you can commit.
Construction contractors are professionals but lapses can happen and what was agreed upon may not be followed.
A written contract is legally binding. Should things go wrong, a written contract will protect you when it goes to court.
The contract also gives both parties have a reference document that states a detailed description of the project, the scope of work, the start and completion dates, plans, materials, and their respective quantities, the process for change in work orders, and a payment schedule.
Hindsight is 20/20.
You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you are trying to get hold of a home builder for a botched job. Take note of these potential pitfalls to ensure the successful completion of your project.
About the Author: Aki Merced is the Content Manager at Handle, where they build software that helps contractors, subcontractors, and materials suppliers secure their lien rights and get paid faster by automating the collection process of unpaid construction invoices.