Professional Builders specialise in what they do, and operate differently from others.
When you invest huge amounts of time, energy and money into planning your new home you need a professional company who wants to act in your best interests.
This compassion, understanding, wanting you to get the best, starts not at contract signing but the very first time contact is made.
How many builders offer insights and information about the building industry & the building process online, purely because they want to help the consumer make the right decisions, and raise the bar of the building industry?
Not all Builders want to be a ‘Professional Builder’. History unfortunately shows that many builders do not act in the client’s best interest.
Both client and builder want to establish a good match, shared values and a level of commitment to the project. Therefore, taking some time to meet, chat about the project and learn about each other is critically important for both parties. You also need to ensure you are learning about and talking to the builder who will be involved in your project once it starts, not just a sales person whose job is over once the contract is signed.
A decision simply made on money is not a sound decision. A professional builder will act with integrity, transparency, be thorough, accessible, understand your fears and wishes, and communicate communicate communicate!
A little time, energy and money committed up front will save a huge amount of time, energy and money down the track.
So, what are some of the Questions to Ask Your Potential Builder
- Ask who will be building your house and what experience does that team have? Find out if they are experienced in your type of build and the construction methods used. Also, asking about the qualifications and experience held by the persons on site is important. How many people are supervising versus the number of apprentices? If your build involves a specialist construction method, or materials, does the building team have sufficient experience and a successful background in this type of build?
- What system does the builder have in place to ensure quality control, schedules are met and you get the home you want? Once upon a time things were stored in heads or scribbled on a piece of 4 by 2. These days online cloud based job management systems have been specifically designed for the building industry, taking over the excel spreadsheet and filing cabinets.
- Ask how they communicate with clients and how often? Does their process allow regular onsite meetings with you, and who will be present? We have an entire blog dedicated to this subject. Check it out!
- Find out what steps they take to guarantee the quality of your build and any defects? Check out Building Industry Membership organisations, such as New Zealand Certified Builders. They have a large amount of information for homeowners on matters such as guarantees, contracts, plus contractual and legal obligations.
- Ask if you can speak with any of their previous clients. Can you view their previous work? Try to ensure its from past clients who have undertaken similar projects to yours.
Questions a Potential Builder May Ask You
When you first have verbal contact with a company they too should have questions for you. This should be your first indication of a systemised process within the company.
They are wanting to find out if they can offer you the service, and result, you are looking for.
For example, you may want a house built in the next 12 months and the company may indicate to you that they are unable to, due to workloads. At least then you can make the informed call to either wait, as they are worth waiting for, or to avoid wasting time here as you need a builder right away. It’s a case of filtering for both parties and should be looked at positively.
Some companies may say yes they can do the job, without asking questions, just to get your work, and you may find yourself waiting a long time to get started, or having someone lacking on the experience needed, costing you time and money…..so do your homework and spend that little bit of time and money up front to find out who you are really dealing with.
A potential client may be looking at budget as opposed to value added service and product. Each building company will have its own set of benefits which need to match the client’s needs to avoid disappointment.
For some client’s budget is the only criteria, but a specialist builder who has a lot to offer a client in terms of service, experience and quality, may decide not to join a tender process where price is the only factor for the client. This understanding of client’s priorities is essential to save all parties unnecessary time and effort.
In fact, if a builder asks what is important to you, which is a big tick in itself, why not follow this through one more step and ask for examples on how they demonstrate that they can fulfil the needs you, the potential client, have just raised with them? Of course, everyone can have rehearsed responses but by requesting examples, talking to past clients and seeing evidence of good business systems, it all helps build the picture of the company you are considering investing a huge amount of money with.
To find out more about what you should look out for when choosing a building, the right questions to ask, and importantly what to avoid, grab our FREE Brochure here. Make sure you make the right call!
Footnote: Featured image ‘Certified Professional Builders’ is copyright of the Association of Professional Builders, of which we are an accredited member.