Working with Your Builder

establishing a relationship based on trust

The best client relationships are based on trust and mutual respect. Your builder has professional obligations and standards that must be met in order to be licensed to build and sell new homes, but you are engaging together in a very important business matter –it makes sense for you to invest your time and effort wisely in establishing and maintaining this relationship. Here are some tips that may be helpful in creating a solid working foundation and a good relationship with your builder:

Tips for
working effectively with your builder

  1. Be Aligned in Decision-Making with Your Fellow Purchaser
    Most homes are purchased by more than one person – spouses, partners or family members. It’s helpful to both yourselves and your builder to be sure that you and your partner are aligned in thought and action before you talk to your builder on any matter. Not only does this help expedite any business process, it also helps provide a level of ease to the discussion that will assist in keeping all lines of communication open.
  2. Do Your Homework
    To ensure that you get all of your questions answered and work most efficiently with your builder, do your homework and come prepared. If there are documents that you need to understand before you meet, make sure you’ve read them. If there are issues that you want to discuss, make sure that you’ve done some thinking about them before you meet.
  3. Ask Questions
    Asking plenty of questions helps you learn more about your builder and your new home. It also helps the builder understand how to work with you better when they know that you are highly engaged and motivated to care for your new home. Do not be afraid to ask any questions and be as specific as you can when you ask.
  4. Ensure Communication Styles Are in Sync
    Work to ensure that your communication styles are in sync. It seems simple, but it can prevent a lot of unnecessary strain in any relationship. Be clear with your builder about what your preferred method of communication is (i.e. phone, email, text). Also, inquire about what their preferred method of communication is and seek an agreement on the standard method that you will both use. If your builder is going to ask you to be in touch with multiple members of their team, you can seek the same type of agreement from them as well. It is very important that the contact information that both parties have for each other is reliable and ensures timely communication.
  5. Explain Problems Clearly
    Be transparent about your expectations and your concerns. Your builder should provide an environment that allows you to feel comfortable bringing up concerns and/or unmet expectations in a way that allows you both to have a good discussion about how to overcome any issue. Effective problem-solving discussion relies on good information so it’s important that you transparently disclose your concerns to your builder. Fully express what is on your mind with your builder so that you can continue to work in a trusting relationship, your builder continues to have opportunities to deliver a quality product and you are satisfied.

What Happens When Things Go Wrong?

If there is a problem that remains unresolved by your builder that has to do with their competency, conduct or financial responsibility, the HCRA has the legal authority to hold builders accountable for their actions. The Registrar may refuse, suspend, or revoke a licence if an applicant for a licence or a licensee cannot be reasonably be expected to meet the expectations of competency, conduct or financial responsibility.

To make the HCRA aware of an issue about your builder, please visit our page on the complaints process, which provides an overview of what a complaint is, the types of complaints we can or cannot address as well as how to file a complaint. Please note that complaints relating to the statutory warranty on new homes are matters for Tarion to address.