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10 Most Important Questions to Ask Your Builder

Building a new home, as opposed to buying one already constructed, is a big deal. Unless you’re a professional yourself, you’re likely going to have to hire a contractor to do all of the work. Trusting someone else with your home can be scary but if you ask the right questions then you can be sure you’re going to make the right decision.

Here are 10 questions you need to ask your builder before you start construction on your new home.

Is your builder licensed and insured?

Almost anyone can say they work in the trades, but you’ll want to make sure the crews working on your home are licensed to the standards held by the Ontario College of Trades, registered with WSIB and have a list of current references. Do not be afraid to ask for proof of their experience and accreditations.

What is your time commitment to me?

Your builder might say the house will be done by a certain date, but what if it isn’t? Ask them what kind of allowances and compensation they offer if they go over the schedule and how this will impact your move-in date. Chances are, you’re selling the home you’re living in now so you need to know you’ll have somewhere to live. Get the commitment in writing, and discuss what can happen if they don’t meet those timelines.

Are there hidden costs?

All those little extras can add up if you aren’t careful. Ask your builder for a line-by-line detail for exactly what you’ll get for the price you’re agreeing to. Ask what they will do to avoid the price changing at any phase during the construction.

How do you guarantee a quality, custom home?

You’re spending a lot of money so you want to make sure you get what you want out of your custom home. Your builder needs to be able to provide you with the exact layout of how they perform quality checks on the entire process from construction to after the home is finished. You’ll also want to ask about the efficiency of your new home to determine how expensive it will be to live there.

Will you be available for communication during the process?

You should be able to contact your builder almost any time you need to talk to them, and they shouldn’t have any (big) delay in getting back to you. Your builder needs to provide you with a consultant or project manager that you have direct contact with should you have any questions or concerns.

Will employees on the job site respect the property?

You’ll want to make sure any crews doing work properly dispose of garbage, abide by parking restrictions and are just generally respectful while working on your new home. If the crews leave garbage everywhere and disturb your neighbours it won’t leave a very good first impression.

How do you choose sub-contractors?

Your builder will likely use a multitude of sub-contractors. You’ll want to make sure the ones selected by your builder have the right licenses, experience and are going to be completing the work up to your standards. A quality control measure or check should be provided by your builder so you know how the sub-contractors are chosen and supervised.

What if I change my mind about the details?

Building a home can be overwhelming and there are so many options for finishes that you may change your mind. You’ll want to know what their change policy is before you go into any work so that you know how much time you have to change your mind and if there will be any extra cost incurred to do so.

Do you have references?

This may sound like a job interview question, and it should, given the amount you are investing in your new home. Can your builder show you work they’ve previously done? Are they registered with Tarion and can it be verified that they did the work? When you’re hiring a contractor or builder to build your home you want to make sure it’s done the way you want it to be done, guaranteed.

What happens after the work is done?

There could be some follow-up or warranty work that is needed or a service call if something isn’t working properly. Does your builder stand behind their work, or are they done as soon as they give you the keys? It’s important to understand exactly what kind of support you’ll be getting after your home is built.

At Quality Homes, we ensure the quality of every home we build – from our craftsmen to the materials we use, we also guarantee the price and completion date. We work with you through every stage of the process and are happy to answer all of these questions, and any others you may have. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.