Most of us have experienced that gut feeling, when we know something's not right with a business transaction. But other times we simply miss the warning signs and don't realise our mistake until it's too late.
So when it comes to choosing a builder for your new home, it pays to look out for the following three red flags. Believe us, it can save you big headaches down the road!
The Contract is Confusing/Misleading/Lacking in Detail
Not many Australians would elect to have their house built without a written contract from their builder. However, plenty of homeowners still get stung by poorly written, unclear or misleading builder contracts. Watch out closely for red flags within the contract document; if for instance calculations don't make sense that's a red flag right there! If items are missing from the contract too, that can be serious cause for concern. A trustworthy contract will be comprehensive, including items like:
- The plans and specifications
- A detailed description of the works
- The deposit amount and specific details about terms of progress payments and amounts
- Details on domestic builders insurance (this is required for any contract above $16,000 in Victoria)
- Precise details on fittings and fixtures (right down to the make and model of appliances)
- Specified responsibility for supply of specific items and materials
- Provisional sum items - if any costs are yet to be agreed on as they may be subject to change, for instance excavation costs, they should still be included under provisional sums
If you're unsure what should be included in your building contract, it's worthwhile doing your homework by checking out sites like this one, and even seeking legal advice to make sure any red flags are picked up.
They Don't Know their Way around the Permit System
When you choose an experienced, professional builder, they'll be 100% across the types of permits needed for your jurisdiction and how to obtain them. They should also be able to explain to you exactly why you require each type of permit. If you talk to a builder who can't tell you the difference between a planning and a building permit or the likely cost of either, view that as a red flag. Building without a permit, or building under a lapsed permit, is illegal so it's important that you choose a builder with the experience to get this step right.
They Don't Return Your Phone Calls
If a builder won't return your phone calls, or get back to you in a timely fashion, BEFORE you sign a contract with them, what do you think they are going to be like after you've signed on the dotted line? Choosing a home builder is a significant decision and you want to make sure you have complete faith in their ability to communicate with you honestly throughout the build, rather than fob you off or ignore your calls. If a builder can't communicate, find one who can!
We hope this article has helped you in your quest to find a quality builder to create your dream home.
For award-winning, custom home builders you can trust, contact Wojcicki Constructions today.