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4 Must Avoid Mistakes after Building a Custom Home

Dec 17, 2021

17 min

    construction

Home builder’s jobs are not yet over even when the house construction is done!

Must avoid mistakes

1. Pushing work after possession since warranty exists

Aside from the known home warranty providers, home builders also offer warranties to their clients. These warranties are usually handed out once the home construction is completed. While this sounds appealing, some contractors could sometimes be used as an excuse to compromise some of their work. 

Based on an article published by the Canadian Home Builders Association of BC, the most common defects recorded by warranty providers are related to wall and drywall problems which account for 13% of the total complaints, issues with the bathroom by 8%, problems with exterior doors by 8%, problems with the basements and windows which both accounts for 6% of the complaints. Based on the report, these problems arise due to complications brought about by changes in materials' size and forms when installed. 

Builders are familiar with these issues. However, the warranty makes some of them settle for less. Even if they see small loopholes that could ruin some parts of the house, they will ignore them in the meantime and solely wait until the homeowner discovers such and claim the warranty. For sure, you don't want to hire such types of custom home builders. To help you be mindful of the quality of work of your builder, see the following list for the kind of work that must be completed before possession. 

What kind of work must be completed before possession? (Should not be pushed and is a mistake)

  • It has to be livable and has a compliance inspection by the city. 
  • Electrical/Plumbing/Heating must all work. 
  • All-access to and from the buildings must be good. 
  • Exteriors - weather elements are kept outside, there is no leakage into the basement, and windows can close. 

If your builder did any of the following work related to the list above after possession, that means they have committed a mistake. Well, pushing work after possession should not be an option because as much as possible, builders must make sure that their work is done efficiently. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Check the list below to know these exceptions.  

What kind of work is expected after possession? (can be pushed)

  • Seasonal items like landscaping. Because you can't plant trees in the middle of winter, and you can't necessarily do concrete walkways when it is scorching hot outside, and concrete will have shrinkage cracks. 
  • Items that don't show up right away or are not noticeable unless someone has used the custom home and lived there.
  • Shrinkage due to house expansion

Works and house repairs related to the list above are the only acceptable reasons builders should push after possession. It can be considered a red flag if your builder is doing many repairs unrelated to the list. Maybe it's time to reconsider your choices. However, if it's just a simple repair, perhaps you can still give them the benefit of the doubt. ;)

2. Failing to perform a check towards the end of the warranty period.

Typically, warranties provided by the builders last from two to ten years depending on many factors, particularly the one related to possible structural issues. Builders need to keep the length of their warranties in mind for all their projects so they will not forget to check the house before the warranty coverage ends. If custom home builders fail to do this, it might impact their reputation, especially if problems arise after the coverage period ends. The client discovers that the builder is at fault for that problem. A responsible custom home builder should perform some inspections at least one to two months before the end of the warranty period to avoid this problem.

3. Providing incomplete information during turnover

Some contractors leave their clients hanging right after the house construction. This should not happen. Turning over projects to clients is like selling a gadget or appliance. Contractors should not fail to provide their clients with all the necessary documents to manage the new home they built. Here's a checklist of documents that should be handed over to a custom homeowner once their house construction is done: 

  • Certificate of substantial completion (issued by the local city regulator) - this document certifies that a project is genuinely completed and that the house is inspected and deemed finished accordingly.
  • Complete home operation manual - these documents will help the homeowner understand their house's technical aspects. This document should also be demonstrated through a house tour so that homeowners learn the whereabouts of their new home, including the dos and don'ts.

Aside from providing all necessary documents, contractors should also inform their clients about some possible issues which were already foreseen in the pre-planning process to prepare their clients just in case it occurs. 

For homeowners, if your custom home builder failed to arm you with all information mentioned, insist on getting one. 

4. Not conducting follow-ups to check for satisfaction

Due to busy schedules, contractors sometimes fail to check their clients, especially during totally new seasons for the house--during its first year. If the house was built in the summer, then contractors should follow up on the house during the winter season when new issues may be encountered.

To be consistent with the promise general contractors deliver to their clients, they should inform their clients about their post-construction service. Whenever the contractor forgets to perform it, homeowners can take the initiative to communicate with their contractor. Such practice satisfies the homeowner; therefore, builders who aim for this goal must start updating their calendars already!

Conclusion

Pushing work after possession since warranty exists, Failing to perform a check towards the end of the warranty period, Providing incomplete information during turnover, and not conducting follow-ups to check for satisfaction are the must-avoid mistakes that builders must keep in mind to make sure that they deliver a house project of the highest quality from the beginning until some valid extent.

Who among the general contractors, custom home builders, and renovators in Tampa, Lutz, Dunedin, and Clearwater do you think are well-equipt with these pieces of information? Once you have identified who they are, enlist them as your options in your next project. You'll definitely not regret it! :)

This article was last updated on Jul 6, 2022

    construction

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