If you are considering new homes in Windsor Ontario, then you want to make sure you get off on the right foot with your builder. This is the person that you will be working with continually for possibly the next several months. It’s important, from the moment you hire a builder, to establish a few ground rules so there is no miscommunication. Here are some of the best tips we can offer when working with your contractor:
1. Determine what you want to achieve:
It is important to have a very clear idea of what it is you want in your new home. Too many home buyers assume that a builder will know what they want because, well, they are professionals. But home builders are not mind readers. What one client wants, another doesn’t, so they need to hear from you what you desire in your home and what doesn’t appeal to you. If changes need to be made, the costs can be high and directly affect your budget not to mention a delay in the project.
2. Be prepared for delays:
It is rare when something unexpected doesn’t happen when building a new home. Even those well thought out plans experience unfortunate delays. It just seems to be part of the home construction business despite every precaution. Therefore, go in with the mind-set that you will hear some disappointing news that will delay the project. If your contractor says you will be in by Christmas, don’t plan the holiday party just yet.
3. Establish ground rules:
Your new home will be a source of activity for some time. You will have contractors going in and out at various times throughout the day. Ask your contractor to give you a weekly update (more if you prefer). Visit the property frequently to make sure workers are completing the work to your satisfaction. If you have questions, ask!
4. Keep records:
Keep a file where all communication between you and your contractor is kept. After each phone call, write down the date and what you discussed. That way, if needed, you have a careful and detailed record of your correspondence. Take photographs of the construction progress as well. If you find yourself in a disagreement, then you will have back-up to support your argument.
5. Get home inspection:
Once your new home is completed, but before you sign the final contract, get a separate home inspection. Buyers are often stunned to hear that a home inspection is an excellent idea for new construction. After all, isn’t everything brand new? Isn’t everything built to code? Well, you would think so, however, a separate, non-partial inspection, by a professional can confirm that the new home was built to specifications. If there are any problems, then it will be the responsibility of the builder to correct. Keep in mind that home builders hire out subcontractors, and they may or may not do their job correctly all of the time. Some might take shortcuts or others may hire unqualified workers. Case in point: a client hired a home inspector for their new home. The inspection revealed that the drains in the master shower had been clogged with various construction material. Another client learned that their electrical system was faulty.
6. Finalizing the job:
Once the job is completed, the final walk through is necessary to determine that both the buyer and the contractor are ready to sign off on the project. Professional, respected builders want their clients to be happy and are almost always happy to address any issues or problems. After all, builders rely on word of mouth for future business.
Finally, if you are still in the process of finding a home builder, let us suggest the following:
1. Get names of reputable builders in your area. Ask friends, family, co-workers and real estate professionals.
2. Do your homework. Research carefully the builders you are interested in working with. Visit the homes they have built. Talk to the homeowners and ask them for their opinions. The more people you talk to, the more information you have so you can make an educated decision.
3. Shop for value and quality:
When looking at new homes, look for quality. Look at the cabinetry, trim work, flooring, paint and other construction features. Ask lots of questions! Never feel that you are asking anything silly as often, the most obvious question may turn out to reveal the most significant information.