From our years of experience in the construction of homes, we have over the years developed a simple questionnaire for homeowners and developers to use to gauge whether the team builder they are considering has the adequate requirements for the task at hand.
Besides the usual questions of “How much does it cost?,” and “When will it be finished?” here are some other questions you should ask:
- Will the builder provide you with references for recent projects and contact or recent clients?
- Does the builder have the financial capacity to handle the project phases to meet your payment plan?
- Does the builder have the financial capacity to continue with the project if there are unexpected delays?
- Can a room or building element be left unfinished?
- Can a room or building element be added?
- What are the local council fees, and licenses required?
- Does the builder have a warranty program?
- Does the builder have any restrictions or limitations the builder has?
- What is the emergency plan for the builder for those unforeseen circumstances?
- Ask the builder to show you his PPE (personal protective equipment) list.
- Ask the builder to share his Health and Safety training certifications.
- What tools, equipment, or plant has the builder got, and what has to be hired?
- Does his quote include landscaping? What if the plant dies within a year?
- Does the builder have the option to change (upgrade or downgrade) any of the features or finishings?
- Is the builder familiar with the construction method you are using?
- What is the builder’s plan for accommodating the team?
- What is the builder’s plan for transporting the team?
- What is the builder’s plan for sanitary facilities for the team?
- Does the builder have insurance or liability protection and how will liability be handled?
- What payment plan is acceptable for the builder including a damages retainer?
- Does the builder have experience from similar projects and your current location?
- How will disagreement with the owner/ developer be handled to proceed smoothly, what is your reconciliation procedure?
- Have you worked with any of my construction team (consultants, project manager, suppliers, other builders, or any other team or individual you are considering putting on the project), and what is your professional relationship like?
The questions above will expose the experience and weakness of any builder you are hiring. It is very important to have a construction contract drawn up to protect you and your builder from changes that usually happen during construction.