Between the decision to build and the delivery of keys, the reasons for concern will not be missed. The only watchword to limit them: anticipate.
A quarter of Argiles! The name of the sector in which the land coveted by Pierre and Virginie to build their pavilion should have alerted them. They had thought to check that it was serviced and constructible but had neglected the soil study. While the nature of the basement did not prevent the construction, it was necessary to adopt the foundations, which cost more than expected.
The stress of the future owner, they know. And they are far from alone, according to CLCV’s 2014 construction and construction litigation survey. It notes that a quarter of the problems are in single-family homes.
Compared to 2013, the study reports good news, the decrease in bankruptcies, but notes a significant rise in delivery delays (17%, more than double the previous year). And always at the top of the rankings: poor workmanship. Beyond these numbers, the emotional and financial impact is not small. It is therefore up to you, as the project owner – not to be confused with the project manager, getting a pro builder – to make your arrangements so that everything goes as smoothly as possible. The cornerstone of the project: its preparation.
1 – All foresee before signing the contract
First, define precisely your project: number of levels, basement, convertible attic space, the possibility of extension, distribution of rooms, heating mode … so that it corresponds to your family and its foreseeable evolution. Then adapt it to the reality of your budget and the nature of the field. Because the heaviest disasters come from the ground: water runoff, vegetation, unsuitable foundations.
From this point, take advice from the National Agency for Housing Information nearest you. The opinion of an external participant, less involved emotionally, is valuable to help you formalize your operation and alert you to unknown realities, such as deadlines. Indeed, it is commonly said that it takes nine months for a house to come out of the ground. Plan on double at least.
2 – Select the “good” professional
Even if your interlocutor makes a good impression, stay alert. He does not ask to visit the field? Bad sign. He is giving up references to sites he has made? Mistrust. He is slow to give you his insurance certificates? Run away! What about its financial strength? “As a precaution, log on to the Infogreffe.fr site.recommends David Rodrigues, legal officer of the association CLCV. For a hundred euros, you will have access to its accounts and any procedures in progress.
“The type of professional you will call depends on your aesthetic requirements and your involvement. From the self-construction or coordination of work ( signature of contracts with each trade), reserved for the most experienced, and on the purchase of a turnkey house to a promoter Let’s consider, however, on three types of professionals, whose cost of services will generally grow.
The prime contractor, first, assists you and coordinates the work. Attention, you must still have time and have knowledge. The individual house builder, then, takes care of everything: ideal if you have little time and no specific ideas. Finally, the graduate architect, essential for those who pay particular attention to aesthetics. Note that his intervention is mandatory if the surface of your house is greater than 170 square meters.
You chose? In all cases, require a house building contract (CCMI). This is the most protective because it provides a “guarantee of completion” and includes a descriptive notice. “This is the written translation of the plan, it details the type of heating, foundation, equipment. This contract also includes a reassuring “delivery guarantee”, with the insurer taking over the construction site by another contractor in case of failure of the contractor who started the work. Getting a pro builder has the NF House label, it’s even better. “An architect or a certified builder makes the choice of
3 – Ensure site meetings
Should you regularly visit the site? Yes. Monitor the workers? No! It is the work of the construction manager, that is to say, the architect, the supervisor, the builder or his site manager. He will be your only interlocutor.
Once a month, plan to attend the site meetings he organizes with the various stakeholders whose he coordinates the action. And also at the key moments of the progress of the works, those who determine the release of the funds, besides 5% at the signature: 10% at the start of the building site, 10% at the foundations, 15% at the completion of the walls, 20 % of roof installation (out of water), 15% of windows and partitions (out of air), 20% of installation of boiler, carpentry, plumbing, and the balance (5%) when the reserves are lifted. Never pay more than what is done.
4 – Be supported by the delivery of keys
These figures are chilling: 57% of the construction disputes analyzed by the 2014 CLCV survey report poor workmanship or compliance problems and 18% concern unregulated reserves (the defects you have identified have not corrected). This is to say the importance of the minutes of receipt of the work. Pay attention to everything: a switch that does not control any socket, a window that closes badly, door veiled, cracked base, tap where the water does not flow, convectors of a power less than that indicated in the contract, track d access to the garage narrower than on the plans …
An appointment under high voltage because you can retain 5% of the price until the lifting of reserves. Getting a pro builder suspect their client to be on the lookout for anything that would allow them to pay less, and there are those who practice blackmail: handing over the keys against signature of the minutes without reservations, or who believe that the entrance to the premises would be equivalent to a reception of work without reservations Illegal practices.
For security, plan to have a professional third party at your side (architect, building expert …): the stake is worth the vacation you will pay to be assisted in this essential step. Count between 250 and 500 euros HT according to the time spent and the region.
Finally, organize a pre-acceptance of the works while the workers are still there to remove the reserves. Take the opportunity to ask for the technical manuals, including those for the boiler and the VMC (Mechanical Controlled Ventilation), warranty certificates, and to ask for maintenance tips.