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10 Things to Talk About with your Modular Home or Cottage Builder

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of building your new home or cottage and forget to ask the detailed questions that will ultimately determine whether you are going to have a great experience or not. To eliminate any potential heartaches or unpleasant surprises, these are the things we would recommend you are comfortable with before you sign your purchase contract with your builder of choice. 

  1. Experience Level and Qualifications

Make sure you are asking questions about the existing team’s qualifications -what makes them qualified to build your home? Why should you choose them over the competitor? Have a look at their Google Reviews and see if you are comfortable with the reviews. Not every experience is going to be perfect, of course, but you need to be comfortable with – in general – how satisfied customers are and how the business seems to resolve problems. 

  1. Professional Accreditation Look for the Logos 

The Canadian Home Builders Association and the Modular Housing Association, Prairie Provinces both have standards for membership, construction, and business ethics.

 A black and white logo

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  1. Location, Access, and Transportation 

Do not get caught not having pre-planned the transportation well enough and be stuck paying a surprise bill because the transporter had to wait while you removed a tree. Map it all out well in advance of delivery day and be sure you are both clear on who is responsible for what. 

  1. Foundations 

This is the thing that is literally supporting your house and can make a significant difference in your long-term contentment with your home. It makes sense to do a little bit of homework here to make the best possible decision for your situation. An experienced builder should be able to guide you in some of the options, pros and cons of each, and even complete the work on your behalf. 

  1. Service Installation 
  • What are you going to need for services? Talk about all the things, even if you are planning on having substantial work done onsite by another contractor. If you talk it all through with us, we may be able to install thoughtful features that will save you time and money in the long-run (ie: Celebrate Christmas? Don’t forget to get an under-eave plug in installed for simple Christmas lights set up!). 
  • Hiring your builder to install the services? Take the time to ask about the warranties of these items and who is covering the cost of permits. 
  1. Understand “The Standard”  

Many items in a show home will be upgrades. Make sure you are clear on which items are “the standard” and which are upgrades. What is included in the base price? Most modular home retailers will include skirting if the home isn’t going onto a basement, but not all do. Does the skirting include installation? What is the cost to go to a colored or insulated skirting? Take the time to ask the questions. 

  1. The Purchase Contract, Payment Schedule, and Additional Costs 

Be sure you are comfortable with all of these things and ask about additional costs. Are there hidden costs or unforeseen costs that might arise? In the past 12 months, how often have they billed for additional costs not identified on the purchase contract? 

  1. Timelines 
  • How soon after payment will they start construction of your home? 
  • When can you expect to have your home delivered? 
  • Once the home is delivered, when can you expect their set-up crew? 
  1. What is the Warranty? 

A good warranty protects both the home buyer and the builder. You will want to know that you are protected against defects in materials and workmanship; your builder wants to provide quality craftsmanship but can’t be on the hook to remedy issues forever. At some point, homeowner maintenance needs to take over. A good warranty will be clear on the responsibilities of both parties. 

  1. Who will be Overseeing the Project? Can you Speak with Them? 

If you’re hiring someone to complete all the work on your behalf, how accessible are they going to be? Ask the question now to avoid potential disappointment later. 

Bottom line, don’t be pressured into making quick decisions. Take the time to ask all of the questions that will make you more comfortable with your buying decision. After all, building a house is one of the most important – and costly – decisions you will ever make.

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