Managing Miscommunication

As a Homeowner, it’s crucial to document everything that is expected to happen with the construction of your new home. 

Building a home is a team effort. It takes many different companies, with many different employees, to install all the products and systems a new home requires. And with so many hands involved in one project, there’s always a risk of miscommunication, which in turn can lead to disappointment and costly mistakes.

That’s where documentation comes in. As a homeowner, it’s crucial to document everything that is expected to happen with the construction of your new home. 

The following are the first documents you and your builder will both sign:

  • Building contract: This is a legal document that clearly states the role each of you is expected to perform during the construction process. Price, terms of payment, timelines, and warranty are just a few of the important components of the contract.
  • House plan: This is the most visual and important document the builder and his or her suppliers and trades are going to use during construction. It should be as accurate and detailed as possible to clearly show how your home is to be constructed. Every page of this document should be initialed and dated so those working on your home know the most recent version to use.
  • Building specifications: These are attached to the building contract as Schedule B. They contain detailed information about all the products and systems you and your builder have agreed upon. They should also contain information on the products and systems you did not discuss with your builder! Carefully review every word before you and your builder sign each page.

These documents are the legal responsibility of each party who signs them. You and your lawyer should approve them before you provide your signature. Once all the required parties have signed off on these documents, construction on your new home can start!        

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Keith Sawlor Sawlor Built Homes Custom Home Builder in Nova Scotia

Keith Sawlor

Keith Sawlor is the second generation Owner of Sawlor Built Homes. With more than 35 years experience building custom homes in Nova Scotia, Keith has built a team that mirrors his professional knowledge and values.

Keith is a Certified Residential Builder who is also certified with many leading industry organizations. He is a Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) Certified Builder, a Net Zero Energy (NZE) Certified Builder, a Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) R-2000 Certified Builder, and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS).

Keith is a Board Member of the Atlantic Home Warranty Program as well as the Canadian Home Builders' Association Nova Scotia. He is involved in many other industry programs and associations, such as the Canadian Home Builders’ Association National, Safety Services Nova Scotia and Better Business Bureau.


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It was clear that your approach was different from others. You were transparent, to the point, respectful and very professional. You made us feel good about our decision.

Branko & Tatjana

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