The only problem with it is that it seldom comes with proper instructions – the important issues to talk to these clients about, so I will summarise them here:
- How efficient a manager the Builder is. By ‘Builder’ we mean the Boss, the person that is ultimately responsible for the entire project; and with whom you will be entering into a Building Agreement with.
- Is he fair? Does he acknowledge mistakes and errors that benefit him and disadvantage you?
- Does he ‘fix things’ without further ado in the most efficient and fair manner?
- Does he short change in any way at all?
- Is he easy to communicate with; does he answer and return calls?
- Is his staff easy to deal with? Is there a high turnover of staff?
- Were there any/many ‘mistakes’ on the job?
- Were they caused by inattention to detail?
- Were they financially penalized due to the builder’s inefficiency?
Those are the basic issues to discuss. From them you will be able to discern for yourself if you would have been happy with the job. Too often, people ask the referee if they were happy with the builder.
The response would be quite irrelevant; many people are happy with their Builder, because the hassles will have been sorted out by the time you speak to them. Many people are way too nice to give any negative feedback about anyone.
By discussion at least some of the issues above, you will be able to tell for yourself whether issues existed, and how they were dealt with.
Happy House Building!