Buying a new house is no simple task. For many of you, it will be the biggest deal of your life. A high quality construction is therefore essential. Among the many things to check, we have established 9 key points.
1. Is the contractor certified at the Garantie de construction résidentielle (GCR)?
The GCR coverage is a significant advantage for a buyer. Generally, a certified GCR contractor is financially solvent. GCR enjoy of an inspection team that does site visits. However, it is not all new buildings that are covered by GCR. The guarantee is applied to single-family detached dwellings, semi-detached or row houses; to multi-family buildings with two to five non-condominium dwellings (duplex, triplex, etc.) and to condo buildings of four or less superimposed units.
2. Conduct an investigation on the contractor
When we buy a car it is not something we take lightly, we should do the same thing for a property. “Scrutinizing” the contractor is a good idea. E.g.: ensure that the satisfaction of the neighbors who bought a property from the same builder, ensure that the contractor entered into arbitration on the website of Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) and ensure that the contractor has his licence from RBQ 1.1.1 or 1.1.2. Also ensure:
- How long has he been in business, how many successful projects he has on his road map? (we can see it on the quality of the construction and on the after sale service and we can also get in touch with co-owners , suggests Me Allard.);
- Does he often change his firm name or is he being prosecuted? To determine it you can visit http://jugements.qc.ca;
- Has he ever been the subject of complaints to Office de la protection du consommateur? You can verify it at http://opc.gouv.qc.ca;
- Is the builder registered with la Régie du bâtiment du Québec? You can consult the Licence holder’s repertory at https://www.rbq.gouv.qc.ca;
- Do all the documents he provides to you are clear? Is it easy to get information?
- Is the staff from the sales office open-minded and able of providing specific answers to the questions being asked?
3. Audit the soundproofing
If you are a homeworker or if you need specific rooms to be soundproofed, make sure to express it to the contractor because this element rarely forms part in the base estimate. However, if your investment relates to a condominium, a semi-detached house or a multi-family building, the soundproofing should be an integral part of your project.
4. Take into account the insulation
The future buyer must be sure that the property is built to adhere to high insulation standards. In this way, he won’t hit the roof when he’ll receive heating bills. To preserve the air quality in a house that is airtight, the buyer should ensure that the heat recovery ventilator (HRV now mandatory) is of good quality and maintains a high quality of interior air.
5. Proper doors and windows
We have to make sure there are proper insulating and soundproofing doors and that windows were installed by following the standards of best practices in the industry (e.g. from inside instead of the outside), that the framing had good insulation and caulking and the interior of the double glazing has a low-emissivity film (LowE Argon) which will reduce heat loss.
6. What is the building code in force?
Municipalities are free to enforce construction norms that they want on their territory. It is agreed that the use of the most recent code should guarantee a best construction quality.
7. Ensure the good quality of materials used
Certain contractors use less expensive glitzy materials instead of sustainable materials. We must be vigilant and verify their quality and sustainability. For example, a quartz kitchen counter will be more sustainable than a melanin or a laminate kitchen counter, hardwood floorings will be more sustainable than floating floorings.
8. Hire an inspector
For the building time, the buyer can hire an inspector, preferably a member of a professional corporation (architect, engineer or professional technologist) because they have insurance. He will verify the different steps of the construction and he will ask the builder to fix a certain thing or to install a more performing insulant in the walls, etc. The builder may not appreciate but the buyer has the right to ask.
9. Choice of lot and sector
It’s important to make sure that the lot and the sector match with your lifestyle. The issue of the acreage will be important according to needs (e.g. outdoor life, future extension project, need of intimacy, etc.). Other factors that you could take into account: lot conditions, type of subsoil, orientation, zoning certificate, neighborhood, services, etc.
A few months ago, I visited many builders with the objective of buying my first home, it was exciting and stressful at the same time. I live now in a wonderful new house signed by MCL that makes all my friends jealous. I would like to thank the MCL team for taking the time to respond to all of my questions and for their excellent service. I strongly recommend them!
- Myriame Germain-Poirier
Source : https://www.guidehabitation.ca