Having a house built can be both exciting and daunting. There is a lot that you have to do before building can even begin. Having plans drawn up, getting Council Consent, arranging finance, and more. One of the key tasks though is making sure that you choose the right building company. We have all heard of nightmare stories of poor builders, so it is essential that you do not cut corners at this stage. However, finding the best Waterview house building company is easier said than done. Here are a few ideas that will help you.
The first thing to look for in a house building company is to see if they are properly licensed. In New Zealand there are a number of assessing bodies but the government runs the Licensed Building Practitioners. This accreditation programme requires members to “undertake skills maintenance to continue to promote and uplift your knowledge and skill.” That means an LBP will have up-to-date and ongoing training meaning those people working on your home, are good quality builders.
If someone tries to carry out Restricted Building Work (RBW) without a licence, they are open to a fine of $20,000. There is a public register so you can easily check of they area current licenced member.
Always ask to see insurance certificates. They should have a range of insurances including
contract works insurance to cover theft, sub-contractors and natural damage.
public liability insurance to cover damage to other properties, people and workers.
If you are employing a builder to manage the whole contract, they should provide the insurance coverage. If it is a managed- labour or labour-only contract, you need to negotiate who arranges and pays for the insurance.
A good way to narrow down the list of house building companies to choose from, is to look at the quality of their previous work. A builder will say that they can do X,Y and Z for you but the only way to be sure is to look at what they have done for other people.
A reputable building company will have a portfolio of projects to show you and tell you about past projects that you can view.
Be sure to ask them about the range of different materials they recommend and use. A lower-priced item may not be bargain in two years when it is worn or damaged.
It is easy for a builder to show you their finished projects, but there is much more to a good house builder than that.
The project may have gone way over budget or been finished long behind schedule. You cannot see those in pictures of a completed house.
Therefore, ask potential builders for references from previous customers. Most will be more than happy to give you people you can talk to.
Companies that are sure about the quality of their work will provide you with a good guarantee. There are different types of guarantee but make sure that you are given a guarantee of the work and finishing the project.
While it is possible to hire an architect or a designer yourself to draw-up the building plans, some builders have a good relationship with proven designers. This can save you a lot of time, energy and money.
Your first step will be to talk to a builder about your ideas so you can brief the designer. However, at that initial meeting with the house builder, ask if they can recommend a good architect that they have worked with in the past. This will make life going forward a lot easier.
Communication is key on all walks of life, at work, in your family, and if you are going to spend many thousands of dollars on a house build, then you definitely want to know that the builder will be good at communicating with you.
There will be problems during the building process. These can be delays, sub-contractors not turning up, materials not available at the right time. A common cause of problems is the homeowner wanting changes part-way through the building process.
All of these will require good communication skills from the builder.
When you first contact the company, consider how long it takes for them to get back to you. If they take a long time, this can be a sign of things to come. Once they have replied, you need to ask about how they communicate details about the project. When you are checking the references of a potential builder be sure to ask other clients how that aspect worked.
Choosing the right house building company can be daunting. It is important that you choose a local house building company that understands the is licensed, can demonstrate good quality work, has insurance cover, a good warranty, and communicates well.