Property Developing can be a very lucrative business, however many developers who are just getting started get themselves into trouble due to the fact that they just don’t know what they are doing. Many find it daunting asking the questions they need to order to be able to make informed decisions, especially on choosing your team members. This is the second part of a two part series where John Marquez, a developer himself, explores the questions you should consider when finding a builder.

Click here to read Part 1 of Things to consider when sourcing a builder

Can I view your recently finished projects. Will I be able to talk to your past clients?
A quality Builder who has been around should have a good list of clients and happy to give you their contact details. If a builder cannot provide you with at least a couple of previous clients to call, this is a red flag. Call the clients on the list and find out all you can to be able to obtain a truthful account of their experience.

By having a look at your builder’s recent projects, you will be able to see for yourself if the builder does the type of job you want. They may have previous customers that are willing to let you go through their home to see the builder’s craftsmanship and work finish.

Do they have a portfolio to showcase their past work? This will allow you to determine if they have the capability and proven track record to build what you are wanting.

How many homes do you currently have under construction?
Many successful builders may have multiple projects going on at the same time.  This is not necessarily a problem if they have a plan in place to manage them all.    

Who supervises the property construction?
When a supervisor is onsite, higher quality work is performed. Find out about their past experience and duration at current employer. Also how many jobs does he supervise on average at any one time.

How quickly will you return my phone calls or emails?
This may not seem like an important question to bother asking, but communication is everything. I know many developers that have faced this challenge, and it can be quite stressful and frustrating when you need to get an answer to an important or urgent question you may have. Ask your builder if you call and leave a message or send an email, how soon does he expect to return your message?  Does he only return calls at certain times of the day?  Does his secretary answer his emails so it may take sometime to get an answer back right away?  This is all part of building a good relationship with the builder.

Do you work in the same area I’ll be building?
It seems simple, yet many people don’t ask this question. Your builder may not be interested in building somewhere where they have to travel.

Further questions you may consider asking
During construction, how often should I expect updates from you?

Can I visit the construction site every so often. Is this a problem?

Find out if there is are tasks that he does not do: for example landscaping, perimeter fencing etc?
Will I be allowed to make changes during construction and will there be any additional variation fees?

Will I be restricted to the builders’ standard range of selections and suppliers or can I choose any items from any suppliers?

It is critical that you feel comfortable to ask any question that you may feel is important, and remember your builder is there to assist you with all your construction needs.
It is also just as important that your Builder is asking you the right questions too. This will demonstrate his experience and knowledge not to mention his understanding of your project needs. This will ensure that your specific needs are being met.

REMEMBER a builder who is not so happy to help is not what you want.

Picture courtesy of Ace Work Gear