Updated: Jun 7
Getting a contractor for your dream house can be daunting especially if this is the first time you are doing this endeavor. Having a good contractor can make building your house a breeze; at the same time, getting the wrong one can be a real headache. That is why it is important to ask the right questions to a potential contractor you are getting.
You should carefully consider your contractor so you can be sure this person is someone you can trust and want to work with since your dream house is at stake. You will also be working closely with this person to make sure there is a match in work and communication styles.
There are a lot of things to consider but here are some important questions you should ask:
Are you an accredited contractor? How many projects have you handled?
It should not be a question: you have to make sure your contractor is legit. In the Philippines, there is accreditation for contractors, Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB). By law, contractors need to be accredited. They go through a rigorous accreditation process so you can be sure accredited contractors know what they are doing. It goes without saying, beware of contractors who are not accredited. Their services may be cheaper but it is not only illegal; you have no protection when they mess up their work.
On top of accreditation, experience also matters. You would not want to get a contractor whose first work is yours. You will need someone who has had experience so he can foresee every potential hurdle in building your house.
Will processing the house permits be done by them?
Building a house requires a lot of permits: from the local association to the engineering permits. As with a lot of paperwork, this is not an easy job. From the very beginning, you need to settle who handles the permits so you can be sure no permits will be missed out. The scope of work for the contractor should be clear from the beginning.
How many workers? What is the work arrangement? Will the same team be working every day?
You have to know the details of the arrangement of the workers as well. Managing them can be tricky. A hiccup with workers can delay the construction so you have to make sure your contractor can manage them well. For big contractors, you also have to know if the same team will be working on your house for the whole duration.
How long will the house take to get built?
A good contractor will give you a good timeline that has considered all possible delays from weather conditions and other possible hurdles. This demonstrated good planning. You have to know every stage of building your house so you can plan out your living conditions and your budget.
How much are their fees? Who pays for permit fees? What is the setup when additional fees come up?
Of course, you have to discuss fees. But most importantly, it has to be cleared up what happens when the original budget is not followed. Hurdles may come up during the project or permits may be more expensive than anticipated. In this event, it has to be completely clear who shoulders the excess fees.
Do they offer a warranty? What happens when things fall apart after a month?
When contractors offer warranties, it guarantees us the quality of their work. Plus, there are bound to be loose knots in a big project such as a house. It’s always good to ask if they offer warranties so we can call them back to fix them. It’s also important to be clear on how long the warranty is.
What is the process when misunderstandings arise? Who do people go to meditate with?
Issues between parties involved are sure to arise so you have to talk about what steps are to be taken when they do. This has to be spelled out in the contract between homeowner and buyer.
Demobilization and clean-up
Who cleans up after the house is done?
People usually forget about closing the project. It has to be determined who will clean up the site, remove equipment, and close the vendor accounts? All of these need to be cleared from the beginning so the turnover will be smooth and clean. You need to ask your contractor this so his scope of work is clarified.
Asking the right questions all comes down to one thing: clarity. Things need to be clear from the beginning to minimize potential issues as you build your house. Problem-free construction journey, we can promise you, however, that things will be solved easier when all parties involved have leveled off from the beginning.
At JCVA, our project managers value clarity so they think of your potential concerns even before you ask them. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.jcvassociates.ph to know more about our service offerings.