Eight things you should ask before committing to an off-site build – ReadyBuilt by Lockwood

Eight things you should ask before committing to an off-site build

Prefabricated home construction has had a huge rise in popularity over the last five years with many new construction companies promoting off-site construction solutions. Off-site construction comes with advantages; homes are constructed in one convenient, central location before being delivered to site, often saving money in travel for trades. Completed homes are delivered site ready for connection to services reducing disturbance on site, and keeping your section clear of building waste and potential hazards. However, building off-site means it’s harder to track the progress of your new build and, if the company goes under, it can be difficult to uplift your home, whether it is complete or still under construction.

In the last year, the media has reported several transportable home and tiny home business going into liquidation, leaving homebuyers devastated, out of pocket, and without a finished home.

So how do you know who to trust when it comes to purchasing a prefabricated home? Determining a professional company from a reckless cowboy can prove challenging, particularly when you’re being presented with a persuasive sales pitch. It is very important that you do your homework and research the company thoroughly. Here are 8 key things to consider before making your choice:

1. Research the company’s reputation:
Look up online reviews and ratings for the company you are considering. Check their website, social media, and other review sites to see what past clients have said about their experiences.

2. Ask for client references:
Look at the company’s previous work to see if it aligns with your expectations. Ask the company for references and testimonials from previous clients and follow up with them independently if possible.

3. Find out how long has the company been operating:
Construction is a boom-and-bust industry and if a company has only been around for a year or two, this may be a red flag.

4. Check their credentials:
Verify that the company is licensed, insured, and has all the necessary certifications to build homes that meet or exceed NZ building standards.

5. Find out who you’re dealing with:
A good operator will have dedicated staff and processes to manage the sale, ordering and construction of your home.

6. Make sure you know what you’re getting:
What exactly is specified in the cost of your home and are these specifications clearly communicated? Check that the building materials you expect to be paying for are the ones you are receiving. You should also ask about where the materials are coming from and if there are any potential supply issues that may cause delays or changes to specifications.

7. Get a clear understanding of costs and progress payment:
Any excluded costs should be clearly outlined and discussed with you before proceeding. The company should supply you with access to see your home under construction, or provide progress photos that align with your progress payments.

8. Trust your gut:
Finally, trust your intuition. If you have any doubts about a company, it’s best to keep looking until you find one you are comfortable with.

For seventy years, Lockwood has designed and built safe, secure, natural timber homes throughout New Zealand. ReadyBuilt homes are Lockwood’s off-site construction solution and share the same high-performance, low-maintenance features as all Lockwood homes, including a reputation for high-quality, strong, warm and dry homes.

Most construction materials in Lockwood and ReadyBuilt homes are from NZ suppliers and manufactured on site. Joinery, cladding, insulation, and interior walls are all crafted in our Rotorua factory, so the quality and supply of materials is guaranteed. We have longstanding relationships with trusted local suppliers for items we don’t manufacture, such as kitchens and bathrooms, electrical and roofing.

With ReadyBuilt homes, you will have a fixed price contract for your build. When you’re ready to proceed you will sign a Residential Building contract which will include all specifications and clear payment terms.

Right from the time you we place the order for your home, through manufacturing and into construction, all materials are clearly identified as belonging to your project. We love to host our clients at our yard and welcome people to visit throughout construction to see your home take shape.

Ultimately, the decision to choose ReadyBuilt by Lockwood or any other transportable building company depends on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. It’s important to do your research and consider all your options before making a decision.

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