Choose the right builder
Using a reputable building contractor in sprucing up your home helps having to possibly avoid extra insurance costs later, due to incomplete or faulty workmanship.
A number of my neighbours have paid off their bonds and are extending their homes. One of them was tempted to use the services of a builder who was not even registered with the National Home Builders Registration Council.
Though she is not an expert in construction, she could tell she had employed a chancer and terminated his services.
Lizette Erasmus, head of portfolio management at IntegriSure says: "It's also important to realise that many insurance companies will have a general exclusion clause for incomplete, defective, or non-compliant work performed by a contractor. This would result in the client being responsible or having to claim costs from the contractor on their own account," she says.
She advised home-owners to screen all potential contractors before going ahead with any upgrade.
The first step is to check whether the builder is registered with a professional body.
"This will give you some recourse should the work that they have done is not satisfactory," Erasmus said.
The client should ask the contractor if he has liability insurance in place and if it's in line with the Consumer Protection Act, she said.
Erasmus also advised consumers to:
- obtain references from previous clients;
- ensure the contract contains information such as financial obligations of the consumer; and
- contains specifications of materials to be used during the construction and building plans as approved by the local authorities.
This article was first published in the printed newspaper on 1 October 2012