Assessing the risk of choosing a “local builder”.
You’ve seen the signs around your neighbourhood, or even the ads in the local newspaper. There’s always a local builder that advertises for the best deal in town. Buyer beware. Too often, the “local builder” is code for amateur handyman, and although the upfront cost might be attractive, the residual costs of repairing poor workmanship can be substantial.
There’s implicit value in peace of mind. So, how can you assure that you’re choosing a credible, reputable, and professional builder? We recommend researching prospects on your local home builder association website. Go to renomark.ca and look for accredited remodellers in your area.
Looking for the best price isn’t the wrong approach. Staying within a comfortable budget is certainly important, but you should look at your build budget as a long term investment. If you’re spending money down the road to fix work that wasn’t done right in the first place – you may find that your total cost is much higher than the initial price tag.
The associated risks of just looking for the lowest price are great; building a new home or remodelling might be the greatest investment you’ll ever make. You may encounter delays in communication and even start dates for your project. Poor communication at the outset should be a sign of unprofessionalism to come. If at the start, your builder is unresponsive or missing deadlines, the entire timeline of your project will be affected. If your builder is not certified, or part of an industry governing association, you also run the risk that work will not be done to code. They may not be properly insured, which leaves the homeowner on the hook and liable for the cost of any damage on site or injury to people involved. An obvious professional red flag is when the builder requests only cash payments for their work. Always ask for and check references, and request to see their credentials before signing on the dotted line.
Do your research and be careful not to make your decision based solely on the bottom line. There will always be a less expensive option. But, not all money or savings is created equal. Peace of mind and quality of work should always be part of the equation.