Most important questions to ask your home builder

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Selecting the right building partner for your new home is a big decision.

Published:

Jan 10, 2022

National

Selecting the right building partner for your new home is a big decision.

Your home builder should understand your vision for your dream home and also provide maximum protection of your investment throughout the process.

Quality, cost and building company reputation are important factors to consider. As with any major decision, it’s important that you weigh up your options and ask some key questions before making your final choice. Below you’ll find our top tips and recommended questions to help you select the right partner.

Do your research

This is the time to shop around and do your research on different home building companies. Ask your family, friends and colleagues for recommendations so you can get a sense of who the best builders are in your local market, and why.

Check out building company websites and read their clients’ testimonials to get a feel for each home builder. Check out their company values and get a sense for how those align with what’s important to you. What type of builds do they have experience in and does their expertise fit with the vision you have for your dream home?

It’s also important to make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities as a homeowner during your build. Check out the government’s homeowner rights and obligations guide that details what you need to do to ensure your building project is legal and how the law protects you if things do go wrong.

Protection for you and your home

Building a new home is a huge investment. You want to be sure you pick a company that will protect you if things don’t go to plan. Whether it’s checking if the company is a registered Master Builder or finding out what warranty and construction cover it offers – it’s crucial to read the fine print and make sure your investment will be looked after first.

You need to be comfortable with the company’s reputation. How long has it been in business? What’s its reputation been in the building community during that time? Building companies that collapse are more likely to be those newer to the market.

Some other important questions to ask might be:

  • What protection will I have if your company gets into financial difficulty?
  • Do you offer the Master Build Guarantee run by Registered Master Builders NZ?
  • Do you have good relationships with your subcontractors? How long have you partnered with them?
  • What site security do you have and who is responsible if anything goes missing?
  • How will I be protected if something goes wrong on site, such as a workplace accident or damage to my home?
  • How has the Covid pandemic affected your business, such as cashflow or supply of labour and materials?

Understand the process and costs

Building your new home should be an exciting time, not a stressful one. Take time at the outset to make sure you understand your building partner’s process and that you’re happy with how they will communicate with you during your build.

You also need to be very clear on what’s included and what’s not included, what the final cost is, and when and how you make your payments – so there are no unwelcome surprises down the road.

From the time you sign your building contract, it’s likely that your main point of contact will be your project manager or the builder of your home, rather than the company’s sales team. It’s important to know who you’ll be liaising with and how they will update you during your build, so you can be confident that you know who to go to when you have questions.

At Platinum Homes we’re here to do the leg work for you. We do everything we can to make your building journey as enjoyable and stress-free as possible — from design to completion. Read more about our streamlined building process here.

Some other important questions to ask in your search might be:

  • How long will it take to get plans drawn up, and how long will the building consent process take?
  • What’s the building schedule? How long will you have to wait to have your home started and how long do most of their builds take? Who advises you of any delays?
  • Will you be sent progress photos of your house? Who will you talk to if you’re unhappy about something?

Further reading

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Most important questions to ask your home builder

Selecting the right building partner for your new home is a big decision.

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