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9 Topics to Discuss With Timber Companies

Buying a custom timber home is a one of the biggest commitments you’ll make in your life — you’ll want to ensure you’ve got the facts straight. Ask these essential questions first.

Notebook for Topics to Discuss
Photo: Andrew Neel / Unsplash

1. Do you provide free preliminary estimates?

 Precise cost figures may require blueprints, which carry a fee. This design fee is often applied against the cost of the package when you commit to a timber provider.

2. When will I receive a price quote?

Every home and site is unique, and price quotes need to reflect the cost of exactly what’s needed to build the home. The quotations you receive should contain specific information on the payment schedule, delivery cost, service policies, warranties and any special charges in designing and building your home. Price quotes also should include a complete bill of materials, including grade specifications.

3. Will you need a deposit?

Before working on blueprints or providing firm price information, many companies require a deposit. Be sure you understand what you’re getting for your down payment, and find out about refund policies in the unlikely event you should decide not to proceed.

4. Do you offer a warranty?

If the answer is “yes,” make sure it’s comprehensive and clearly written in easily understandable language.

5. What other services (like design or technical assistance) do you provide?

Be sure you thoroughly understand the company’s abilities, procedures and policies.

6. Can you meet my deadline?

Discuss the fabrication schedule with your producer to be certain it’s achievable. Be aware that every company has a different approach and your producer’s method of fabrication can affect the time needed to prepare timbers and impact the resulting delivery time.

7. Can you provide proof of insurance?

It’s not uncommon for timber producers to erect the frame on your site, then leave the finishing tasks to an independent builder. Make sure each player in your project can provide proof of insurance for themselves and their staff. If they are uninsured and they get hurt on your job site, you could end up paying for their lost time and wages — even if you didn’t hire them directly.  See also: Who Actually Builds Your Home?

8. Will you provide all the home’s engineering and design criteria to building-code officials and the other professionals who will work on my home?

Many producers also provide onsite technical assistance.

9. Do you offer hybrid design or decorative (non-structural) timber accents?

Many timber companies now offer these options to give buyers the timber look they desire at a lower cost.

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