How to choose your house building partner
It is now more important than ever for anyone building a new home to choose their construction company very carefully.
One of New Zealand’s most trusted home building companies offers practical advice for anyone considering building a new home or wondering if it’s time to build.
“Construction costs are unlikely to fall anytime soon. They are more likely to continue to rise for a few years as manufacturers and distributors around the world grapple with the consequences of Covid,” says Dave Andrew, General Manager of Platinum Homes.
“We’re taking a pragmatic approach to the situation. If you want a warm, healthy home, do your homework carefully and get on with your building plans. It’s unlikely to be cheaper.”
Economic forecasts and the shortage of building materials mean that more and more people are visiting construction companies with a checklist in hand – in search of the cheapest offer.
“Unfortunately, some of these people will find out the hard way that this isn’t the best way to choose a builder for their new home – which is likely to be the biggest investment they’ve ever made.”
Nothing can replace your research and Andrew suggests a checklist that starts with questions such as how long the builder has been in business, if they have experience and expertise in building the type of home you want (and in your preferred location), what precedents clients say about working with them, and what protections they offer their clients.
“It’s really important to read the fine print around building insurance. You want to know that your home will be built well, that materials and workmanship are guaranteed, and that you’re protected if something goes wrong during construction.
“I would ask potential home builders if they are master builders and if they offer the standard Master Build warranty – or any other construction warranty and coverage. If the worst happens and the company goes bankrupt, you need to knowing that your house will be finished and you won’t have to pay extra for it.”
It’s understandable to focus on the total cost of building a new home, especially in today’s economic climate, but Dave says he can’t stress enough the importance of knowing exactly what’s included in a contract and what is not, avoiding any unpleasant surprises. Track.
“You don’t want to know that the cost of paint has been included, but not the cost of the paint itself. Or that you still have to arrange for the removal of construction waste from the site after the builders leave” , he said. .
“The devil is in the details – if the quote you’ve been given is surprisingly low or lacking in detail, there’s probably a good reason for it.”
He says many of his clients received quotes from other builders before showing up at Platinum Homes, only to have his staff point out what’s not included in the competitor’s quote.
“It’s important to see the big picture, so you know exactly what is costing as well as the dollar value. You also need to be very clear about when payments are due and how that fits into the milestones of the project,” he said.
Andrew says he always suggests asking friends, family or colleagues who have recently built a new home for their recommendations. Visiting show homes can also help you visualize what a construction company can offer you.
After cost, the next big question people want answered is how long it will take to build their new home.
“With the current uncertainties around supplies and obtaining council consent, it may be difficult to provide a timeframe with any great certainty. What you need to be sure of is if your builder is being honest with you and not just say what he thinks you want to hear,” he says.
He suggests that the level of communication during the sales process is an indicator of how well you can expect to be communicated once you’ve signed a contract.
“If a construction company can’t get this part right, communication throughout the project is unlikely to improve. How quickly do they respond to your questions and do you get all the information you ask for? Are they satisfied? provide information in writing? ” he says.
Andrew says it’s important to know how and how often you’ll be updated on your build’s progress and to feel secure knowing that someone will always be available to take your calls and answer your questions every time. step of the process. This is especially important if you don’t live close enough to make your own drive to check on progress.
“If you build with Platinum Homes, your home will be complete, you will be protected throughout construction and for 10 years after that. This level of reassurance is hard to beat – and some of our competitors don’t even come close. not,” said André.