www.trustedsaskatoon.com the SASKATOON DIRECTORY of expert's FaceBook fan Cathie Calarco-Watson asked a great question..
“ What is the checklist to follow when seeking a new home builder or renovation company? (credentials, references, association memberships etc). As it is the largest investment one typically makes, it is critical to know you can trust your contractor, particularly in a time of economic growth where "everyone" is a builder/contractor. A friend of mine just lost over $20,000 to a contractor who never completed the job and is nowhere to be found. Do your "homework"”
We have already heard from one of our Trusted SASKATOON CONTRACTOR and RENOVATION experts J.A.B.A. Construction in a previous tip ..now here is a response from Heather Kehoe from Decora Homes, a Trusted SASKATOON HOME BUILDER expert!
"Hi Cathie, Thanks so much for your question, and I am sorry to hear about your friend's unpleasant experience. I agree with all of the points and the checklist that Dave from J.A.B.A Construction has given you. In the home building and renovation market it can be confusing and overwhelming trying to find someone who is reputable,reliable and trustworthy,especially when you have so many options. My advice would be to follow Dave's checklist, whether you are building a new home or getting renovations done.
A few other key points:
- Go and see the homes/and or renovations that have been done by the builder/contracter, check the quality and speak to the clients who purchased the home or had the renos done. Find out what they have to say about the builder and how their experience was. References and referrals are how a business grows.
- What associations are they a part of and what is their warranty?
- Does the builder/contractor have a service manager and project manager? These are key components to a successful build or renovation. This assures that the project timelines and possession dates are followed, product arrives, is inspected and is accounted for, the tradespeople are arriving to their jobsites on their scheduled dates, trades and suppliers are following quality and safety standards and install of product is completed as per blueprints and plans. The service manager also communicates with the clients to provide service during and after the build to followup on any warranty or touch ups that need to be looked after. Service and followup are key!
- How long has the builder/contractor been in business? Is it their fulltime job, or is it part-time or a hobby?
- Who are the sub-trades and suppliers that they use and how long have they been working with them? This is very important. Having established a committed working relationship with your trades and suppliers shows trust, loyality,consistency and reputablity.
- What locations do they build in and how many homes do they build a year?
- Awards and recognition.- Has the builder/contractor had special recognition for quality, customer service, uniqueness,etc? DECORA HOMES Ltd was recently awarded a 2011 Bridges Award and is nominated in 3 categories for the 2012 SABEX Awards in May.
From a reputable home builders percpective they key is to know and understand the clients budget and expectations. Communicate constantly, be honest and have the customer be involved. Does the business owner come on site? What is his/her involvement in the company? At DECORA HOMES, Ricky and Rhonda Iula make it a priority to meet each and every client, and are in the office and on the job site on a daily basis . They ask clients about past experiences they have had with builders/contractors. What did they like/dislike? Contractors and Home builders should ask cliemts what their main concerns are, do not assume that you know the answer to this question! Does the builder/contractor use any online tools? At DECORA HOMES we use an online tool marketed towards builders, trades, suppliers and clients. Clients can log into their buildertrend account and have access to their account 24/7. Each client can view a calendar of what is scheduled to be done at their home daily, which trades are at their home that day and changes to schedule. They can also send messages to us, or suppliers, view what products they have picked, access and approve change orders, view and add pictures, and see documents such as plans, quotes,etc. It is also a easy and reliable way for trades,suppliers,project and service managers to communicate. It is a fantastic tool!
Does the builder have an dedicated Sales Representative/Interior Coordinator to assist clients from beginning to end through their build or renovation? At DECORA HOMES my job is to assist clients in creating and designing the home of their dreams. For most people this is the largest investment that they will make in their life, and it is extremely important that there is constant communication between myself and the client and that they are informed and involved in all decisions regarding their home. Every client is different therefore everyone's ideas and home will be unique. I work directly with the client to establish rapport and a relationship built on trust and honesty. I take the time to get to know my client, what is important to them in a home, what type of floorplan would idealliy fit their lifestyle/household , what are their likes/dislikes. Together we design or make alterations to a floorplan. We work together to create the home or renovation they have envisioned within their budget. One of the benefits of my job is I get to spend time with the clients and suppliers, assisting the client in picking out all their product, getting quotes, coordinating samples,etc. For some clients this can be the most daunting part of a build /renovation. I schedule adequate time with the clients and suppliers to go over the plans in detail, and make sure timelines are followed. I confirm all product from shingles to flooring, stucco to plumbing fixtures. I love this part!! Assisting a client with kitchen cabinets, granite, flooring,plumbing,etc and watching everything come together is amazing! Thank you again for your question! Feel free to contact me with any other questions or concerns!"
Sincerely, Heather Kehoe Sales Representative
Decora Homes and Renovations
What GREAT advice from Heather at Decora Homes for anyone building a home or thinking about major Renovations!
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