Valuable Advice from Craig Rolfe.
My best advice to you and any prospective client is for you to interview builders, and then select the builder you most feel comfortable with and work with that builder and their team for the construct process.
There are checks you should do on your shortlisted builders before you select the final builder you want to work with. They are as follows.
- License check with fair trading NSW to see if they have any insurance payouts against them and or any outstanding complaints.
- Beware of builders that say they have been building for many years yet their company has only existed for a short time. This usually means they have had complaints and insurance payouts and they have just started up a new identity.
- Speak with existing and past clients of the builder.
- Look at some jobs both under construction and completed jobs of the builder.
- Meet the builder and his team especially the construction manager whom you will deal with on a day to day basis. Beware the salesman, they in most companies are commission only and will tell you whatever you want to hear so that you will sign a contract. It is upon signing of the contract that salesman get 50% of their commission. The balance is usually paid upon laying of the foundations. Salesman get between 15k and 25k per job and this is always added to the price by the companies, so it is you that pays.
- Make sure you builder will not be retiring in the next seven years as there is a six year structural warranty with every home built and if your builder retires, passes away, or winds his company up during this period you only then have the warranty insurance to rely upon for any warranty work and you will be subject to an excess with every item and the scrutiny of an insurance company trying it best not to pay. The warranty insurance must be looked upon as a last resort insurance.
- Check that your builder has plenty of warranty insurance availability. All builders have a limit imposed upon them by the state government. Builders have a habit of signing up more work than there insurance will allow them to undertake.
- Do not allow your builder to reassign your contract to a third party builder. This is and has been a criminal offence since to 80’s yet it is a practice very widely used. A company is set up to design, and sell you the dream of your new home yet this company is not a licensed builder. They then get you to sign a contract with a builder you have never met. This company or person you have been dealing with will reassure you constantly that they have built many homes and will be watching over the builders shoulder the whole way, I will be here for you at any time they will tell you. Guess what, once they have their money from the builder whom they just sold the contract to you will never see nor hear from them again. All the promises that person made to you are nothing more than talk.
I hope that I have not turned you off building your dream home as there are many reputable builders out there that do the right thing but it is your responsibility to do the checks prior to selecting your builder. Do not select your builder based on price only. This will be your biggest mistake.