- Posted 30 Mar
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When you build your home, or decide to renovate it, you are going to be making one of the bigger financial commitments you can make. You’ll be spending a lot of money, so it’s essential that you make the right decisions and have a plan in place.
You’re going to need to research and find a builder that you feel comfortable with. Once that’s done, you’re still going to need to be in close contact and communication with the builder to ensure that you get what you’re expecting.
1. Is the builder’s license valid?
In the same way that you need a license to drive a car, your builder is going to need a license to undertake renovations. The builder must have a valid builders license, preferably from the Master Builders Association. You’re going to want to check this out and verify the status of the license before you make any payments. If you’re unsure as to the proper licensing guidelines for your state, contact the state building and construction commission to find out the necessary information.
Never go with a builder who is unlicensed. Often time’s homeowners will seek out deals with family or friends who might have the knowledge to do some renovation work. While you may save some money in the short term, you will almost always pay in some way down the road…
2. What type of warranty is the builders work covered by?
In addition to holding a valid license, the builder must also have a current Homeowners Warranty Insurance policy. This will cover the homeowner in the case of any works that are defective or that the builder doesn’t complete. Make sure you read the fine print before signing on the dotted line. Most states and territories make a warranty mandatory for any renovation work taking place.
3. Do you have confidence in the builder’s reputation and experience?
Make sure to look at some of the builders other work. Get an idea of what you are getting yourself into. You want to find somebody whose work you admire. Never hire somebody sight unseen. If you come across somebody online, it’s a good idea to actually go visit the site they have worked on; you want to make sure that the work was indeed completed by the contractor.
Speak to some of the past clients of the builder. Were they satisfied with the work and their work ethic?
4. Has the builder given you a Contract of Sale?
When embarking on the path of home renovation, you’re going to want to have a contract with your builder. This will put the entire plan in writing and make it legally binding. Typically this works in the following manner:
- Builder presents a written quote that includes all time frames, details of the job, and the price.
- This is merely a quote, not the final price. It is not a contract.
- You can begin negotiating based on the quote to find terms of the job that are amenable to you and the builder.
Once these steps have taken place, a legally binding contract can be drawn up and signed. This will include all the terms and details of the renovation.
Do your due diligence as a homeowner when it comes to renovating. Be proactive, follow the tips above, and you should be able to find a builder that will be fair, trustworthy, ethical and that can deliver a renovation the meets all your needs.
Ready to start the renovation process? Need some extra funds to get started? Contact our team today to discuss your next steps.