Choosing the right contractor for you is a very important decision to make. It’s crucial to have a trusting relationship with the person(s) who ultimately, are creating a place for you to inhabit. The property needs to be safe for all residents and neighbours, needs to be completed at a time and within a time frame convenient for you and of course, it needs to have a professional and quality finish.
- How long will the project take?
It’s important to know how long you and your family will be living in a construction environment. If you’re paying a builder to have the job finished within a particular time, it should be completed then, unless weather or technical problems should arise. It is also a good idea to give 3-4 weeks leeway for the project to be developed, so don’t go booking any holidays if you want to keep an eye on the construction work!
- Would you like me to be available for a reference?
If your builder thinks you are willing to act as a reference/show your finished property to prospective clients, it can help smooth the road for your project and will give your builder more of an incentive to keep you happy.
- How will you handle any issues that arise after the initial build?
It’s good to know if your builder will compensate you for any work not completed/needs to be resolved after the closing. Discuss early on if the builder will do the work or compensate you for finishing it yourself or hiring someone to address the issue.
- Do you plan to subcontract the job?
Find out if your builder has a team on his payroll or if he will be subcontracting some of the work. If so ask if he has worked with them before/how many times.
- How will you deal with the process of change during the project?
Different builders will have a different process/price when dealing with changes during a project, whether it’s because you’ve changed your mind or a designer has deviated from the blueprint.
- Have you done similar work?
Make sure the contractor has references from different projects that have had some of the same requirements as yours.
- How many projects are you currently working on?
It is useful to know how many different projects your builder is working on at the same time as yours. This may explain why the project is taking longer to progress that you anticipated.
- Finally of course, how much will the project cost?
Once you’re happy with the details of how and when your builder works, ask him for a quote. If you think you can get a better deal elsewhere, do shop around before making that important decision. However, be aware that the cheaper the job, the more likely it is the cheaper the materials used. This could mean that the superb professional finish you were looking for is not guaranteed.