Before deciding on a timber frame company to help you build your dream house, you should be assured that the company is capable of getting the job done. When meeting with the contractor for an initial consultation, you should ask questions that will determine if there’s a right fit between you and the contractor. In building a house, the relationship of the contractor and the homeowner is very important, and it is important to build a good foundation for that relationship early on. Expectations have to be clarified, especially on your part. This is precisely why you should ask the following questions:
- “How can I be assured of the quality of your timber frames?” As a prospective client, you should be assured of the quality that your supplier is capable of giving you. Quality is very important in a house because it’s where you and your family will live in for a long time. You wouldn’t want a poor-quality house that cannot withstand the forces of nature and the passage of time. You want a house that lasts. You want a house that is capable of sheltering you and your family for a long time. In meeting with your contract, ask what kind of wood they use. Ask where they get the wood. Ask what treatments they do to their timber in order to ensure that they don’t rot and get infested by pests. Ask what kind of quality control measures they have in their timber frame shop, as well as in their construction sites. These are important questions that will make a huge difference.
- “How many years of experience do you have in timber frame construction? How many houses have you built so far?” Aside from quality, another important factor is experience. Years of experience in making timber frame houses is a definite plus, because it will show that your contractor really knows what he’s doing. Asking for the number of houses they’ve built will also give you an idea if a lot of customers trust that contractor or not.
- “Do you have photographs of the previous houses you’ve worked on? Better yet, do you have model timber frame houses available for viewing?” More than asking about the number of houses, it’s even more important to ask if the contractor has photographs to show you. It’s easy to talk about past works without showing proof. Looking at photographs will not only prove their experience, but it will also give you an idea about their workmanship and the timber frame construction details. It’s even better if the contractor has some model houses (or buildings) available from viewing. Looking at the actual product is better than just photographs.
- “Do you have a design team that can help me with the timber frame design?” It’s important to clarify this from the beginning especially if you don’t have a designer.
- “What should I expect in the construction process?” You should ask about the technicalities of the construction process. How long will it take? What should you expect in terms of noise and waste? What will the construction site look like?