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9 Topics to Discuss With Timber Companies

Prospective home buyers are wise to inquire before they buy. Use the following nine questions to analyze if the company you’re considering is the right fit for your situation.

 Photo Credit: Andrew Neel / Unsplash


What to Ask: Do you provide free preliminary estimates? 

Why: 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.


What to Ask: What is included in the price quote?

Why: 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 quality/grade specifications.


What to Ask: Will you need a deposit?

Why: 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.


What to Ask: What other services (like design or technical assistance) do you provide?

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


What to Ask: Do you offer a warranty? What does it include?

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


What to Ask: Can you hit the deadline?

Why: Discuss the 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 may affect the time needed to prepare timbers, which could impact the resulting delivery date.


What to Ask: Can you provide proof of insurance?

Why: 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.


What to Ask: 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?  

Why: Clear communication between all relevant parties — of which there are several on any build — is the key to timber home success. Reputable companies recognize this, and many producers even provide onsite technical assistance to help guide your project’s site staff.


What to Ask: Do you offer hybrid design or decorative timber accents?

Why: Whether the purpose is to satisfy structural constraints or shave expenses, many timber companies now offer these options to give buyers the timber look they desire.


See Also: 10 Questions to Answer Before Building a Timber Home

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