9 Top­ics to Dis­cuss Be­fore Pick­ing a Com­pany

Be­fore you sign on the dot­ted line, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got all the facts straight. Ask these 9 es­sen­tial ques­tions be­fore de­cid­ing on a tim­ber com­pany.

Timber Home Living - - Annual Buyer's Guide -

1 Do you pro­vide free pre­lim­i­nary es­ti­mates? Pre­cise cost fig­ures may re­quire blue­prints, which carry a fee.

2 When will I re­ceive a price quote? Ev­ery home and site is unique, and price quotes need to reflect the cost of ex­actly what’s needed to build the home. The quo­ta­tions you re­ceive should con­tain spe­cific in­for­ma­tion on the pay­ment sched­ule, de­liv­ery cost, ser­vice poli­cies, war­ranties and any spe­cial charges in de­sign­ing and build­ing your home. Price quotes also should in­clude a com­plete bill of ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing grade spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

3 Will you need a de­posit? Be­fore work­ing on blue­prints or pro­vid­ing firm price in­for­ma­tion, many com­pa­nies re­quire a de­posit. Be sure you un­der­stand what you’re get­ting for your de­posit, and find out about re­fund poli­cies should you de­cide not to pro­ceed.

4 Do you of­fer a war­ranty? Is it clearly writ­ten in eas­ily un­der­stand­able lan­guage?

5 What other ser­vices (like de­sign­ing and plan­ning) do you pro­vide? Be sure you un­der­stand the com­pany’s pro­ce­dures and poli­cies.

6 Can you meet my dead­line? Dis­cuss the fab­ri­ca­tion sched­ule with your pro­ducer to be cer­tain it’s achiev­able. Be aware that your pro­ducer’s method of fab­ri­ca­tion can af­fect the time needed to pre­pare tim­bers and the re­sult­ing de­liv­ery time.

7 Can you pro­vide proof of in­sur­ance? Make sure each builder and sub­con­trac­tor on your job site can pro­vide proof of in­sur­ance for them­selves and their staff. If they don’t have in­sur­ance and they get hurt on your job site, you could end up pay­ing for their lost time and wages — even if you didn’t hire them di­rectly.

8 Will you pro­vide all the home’s en­gi­neer­ing and de­sign cri­te­ria to build­ing-code of­fi­cials and the other pro­fes­sion­als who will work on my home? Many pro­duc­ers also pro­vide on­site tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance.

9 Do you of­fer hy­brid de­sign or dec­o­ra­tive (non-struc­tural) tim­ber ac­cents? Many tim­ber com­pa­nies now of­fer these op­tions to give buy­ers the tim­ber look they de­sire at a lower cost.

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