New home building checklist: what you need to ask

Date Friday, 4 October 2013 12:00 AM

Before your sign a contract, or pay a deposit, be sure you ask your builder the following questions:

Deposit and pricing: how much is the deposit and what will happen to it if we don’t proceed? If we pay for reports, such as soil testing, who owns these reports?

The land: Is the storm/septic water disposal system to be engineer-designed? Are retaining walls likely to be required? What are issues and costs involved in bringing soil/fill into, or away from, the site?

Design and plan: Can I bring my own home design for you to price? Will you inspect our block before we buy to see if it’s suitable for the house we want? Can I modify your standard home plans and if so what would this cost?

Inclusions: Is your quote comprehensive? Are floor coverings, heating/cooling, full drainage and other service costs, wall and ceiling insulation, trenching and conduit for service connections included? Can you tell me what is not included?

Confidence and credibility: Will you show me any houses that you are currently building and any completed homes? Can I speak directly to the registered builder who is legally responsible for my home’s construction? Could you give me details of your home owners warranty insurance and what it includes?

Check your builder’s supporting material and how willing they are to answer your questions. Are they approachable and professional? You need to have full confidence in your builder before construction starts.

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