Your builder wants nothing more than to deliver your dream home, but remember that the builder/purchaser relationship is a two way street. As such, you play a role in making sure you can communicate freely and with ease with your builder throughout every step of the construction process.
To help build a relationship of trust with your builder, we recommend starting with the following items:
Communicate openly and clarify expectations:
- Ask to see all the stipulations of the agreement in writing. Yes, you should be able to rely on a handshake; but things happen.
- Ask your builder to provide you with confirmation that they are a registered member with National Home Warranty. If you are building in BC, ask if they are a licensed residential builder, registered with the Homeowner Protection Office.
- Ask for confirmation that your home is registered and will be eligible for warranty once completed.
- Visit your home during the construction and ask to know what’s going on. Be sure to monitor your home while its being built, and speak up if you’ve noticed something that doesn’t sit well with you.
- Ask your builder to arrange for a home inspection before you move into your home. You would for a resale, so why not for a new home?
Building your dream home:
- Request a contract be put in place with your builder. This will eliminate potential problems in the future with regard to construction or payment schedules and other items.
- Ask your builder for references before making any commitments.
- Ask what happens to the warranty if you terminate the contract before the construction is completed.
Inquire about Deposit Insurance if you are buying a home in Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Alberta:
- Ask to know where your deposit is being held and if it is insured. Double check there is deposit insurance to ensure your deposit is safe.
- Ask to know what happens to the deposit in case of builder bankruptcy or irreconcilable contract issues. And find out the differences between a house being built on your land and your builder’s land.
- If your builder works in both single and multi family construction, ask if deposits are handled differently, and if so, how.
Remember that getting in touch with your builder can be difficult on the best of days. They want to keep the lines of communication open as much as you do. Give them time to get back to you.
The sooner you start communicating with your builder on key items, the sooner you can be made aware of issues that may arise and be able to deal with them accordingly.