How to Avoid Common Mistakes on Your Home Construction Contract to Save Money

Usually the hardest part of building a new house is to get the construction contract right the first time. The more attention you pay to this aspect of your planning the fewer headaches you will have later, once construction on the house has started.

Because owners tend to be so excited about building a house they can sometimes pass over the contract details and miss important points that end up costing up to 15% more than you had originally budgeted for the construction of your house.

To help you avoid making costly mistakes, here are some key tips to ensure that your project runs smoothly and on budget:

Oranges with Oranges

During your review of construction bids, take out your notepad and diagram with each new home builder’s offering and compare their prices.

All contractors’ bids are different so this step will not be easy. However, if you take the time to pull this data together you will be able to save thousands of dollars on construction.

Normally the better builders will be more detailed and they know that to be vague about an aspect of the construction in the contract will only cause problems later. It’s all about due diligence.

Make a Wish List and Assumptions List

You have told your short list of new home builders what you want. However they won’t know exactly what you want until you get into specifics.

If you don’t tell them specifics, they will go ahead and do what they think you want and this might not correspond with what you actually want.

Your wish list should be more detailed oriented; the colour and type of finish for your fireplace, the insulation that will be used in the walls and garage and how you want your driveway covered.

The assumptions list would include things like the addition of an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilation) to the heating and cooling system and a steam humidifier for the winter months. An HVAC contractor will tell you that these are not included in a standard installation. However, an ERV is a necessity for modern, tight homes as they bring in fresh air and expel stale and polluted air, ensuring a much healthier environment. It is better to find out now what is included than later when it is too late.

Fine Tooth Comb

Even though you might think you have everything covered, look again with a critical eye at the final building contract. Also have someone else go over the contract. They will see things that you missed.

Check the sections for the items on your own lists and check the costs. Because if there is a mistake and you have already signed the contract, you know who will pay for the mistake? You guessed right, you!

Minimise Mid-Stream Changes

No custom home ever goes according to plan. It is normal for minor issues and delays. However, you want to catch any issues or problems as quickly as possible.

You should walk around the home every day at the end of that day’s work. If you are unable to do this then you should hire someone who can do it for you. If you are able to catch something right after it has happened then it can still be fixed and in most cases it would be the builder’s responsibility.

If you don’t see it until much later then you might have to live with it. This can really hurt if it involves the size of items or the locations of doors and windows or fixtures. This is why it’s important to have someone review the builder’s work daily.

By following these tips you should be able to save a lot of money and prevent any surprises.

Here at Indigo Homes, we have a range of over 60 house designs that cater to all sizes and shapes of families, lifestyles, land, environments and budgets. Contact us today at 07 3370 6000 or check out our website for house and land packages.

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