Top 10 Questions To Ask Pre-Contract

The 10 Questions To Ask Before Employing A Builder

Building your own home is a huge decision which done correctly will enrich your life and benefit you and your family for years to come.  Not only do you want to invest in something that is unique to you, it also needs to fulfil the practical day to day living requirements for you and your loved ones.

Most people think that the most difficult part of a build is the Construction phase, whereas it is in fact the Inception and Brief that can prove the hardest part of a project to master. However, with careful planning, consideration of your actual needs, and, a great team consisting of Architect/ Designer, Project Manager and Builder working with you to create your ideal home, your project can run smoothly from concept to completion.

As one of the biggest financial investments you will ever make, the process of selecting the right team to realise your vision is key.  Professionalism, transparency, flexibility, and great communication skills are some of the essential attributes you will need from your chosen builder.

This list of 10 questions will help you to qualify your builder before signing the contract:

  1. Am I able to arrange for my own plans to be produced by my chosen Architect and will the builder be able to price these? Do you have recommendations to certain Architects?
  2. Will I have access to the owner and registered master builder of the company?
  3. How many years in business and what guarantees/ warranty does the builder offer once the project is completed?
  4. Will the builder have the expertise to assist with Council Consent and Planning Applications?
  5. How reliable is the builder’s trade base and have they been employed longterm?
  6. What are the key differentiators of this builder, what are the main benefits of their building process?
  7. How and when can I make changes or upgrades before/ during construction and will there be any additional variation fees?
  8. Who will oversee the entire project once we are in contract? How much experience does this person have?
  9. How and when will the final price for my home be determined? Once I enter into the building contract will there be any change to the price?
  10. What is the process for inspection at key points of construction/ final walk through and to address any matters that need to be corrected.

Of course this list is not exhaustive but it certainly highlights the main areas to consider before signing any binding contact and gives an insight into what to expect before, during and after the build.

Top Five Considerations before making the Final Decision

After meeting with your prospective builder to go through your list of questions, it’s important to consider their answers in relation to the following key considerations from your side.

  • Define the reasons for why you are building this home, understand your absolute needs and list of must-haves.

  • Find a team who will work collaboratively together from the start and who you trust to help you make the right decisions.

  • Make sure you future proof your home with environmental factors in mind and with high quality materials suitable to the climate.

  • Understand your financial situation, present and future, and budget at least 10% for unforeseen expenses.

  • Check that you are covered by third party insurance, either Registered Master Builders or NZ Certified Builders 10 Year Guarantees.

Now you have taken these essential elements into consideration, you will be in a much better position to make an informed, educated decision on which builder to work with to realise your vision before you sign that contract.

Read our post on Fixed Price vs Labour Only for more advice on contracts

By |2021-02-08T22:40:28+00:00May 27th, 2018|Architecture, Consent & Planning, Construction, News|