Which house designer to choose for your real estate project?
Choosing a manufacturer is not just about the price of the house ! The technical skills, the quality of listening and the guarantees of the legal contract must be taken into account. Indispensable for making the right choice !
Architect, company with all state bodies or individual house builder ? There are many players on the individual house market. But before choosing the professional who will carry out your construction project, you will have to sift through both the legal contract, the structure of the company and its professional skills.
The guarantees of the individual house construction contract
Be vigilant about the legal contract that will be offered to you. Because the guarantees are not the same. In a master’s contract, the evolution of the price of the house is not regulated. The prime contractor can thus impose additional costs on the individual, for example invoking an increase in the price of materials. Likewise, the construction of a house, carried out within the framework of a master’s contract, can be lengthened and lead to a delay in delivery of the property.
CCMI: a secure contract. Risks that the buyer will not face if he has signed a contract for the construction of an individual house (CCMI). Created by the 1990 law, the latter is undoubtedly the most reassuring there is for individuals wishing to build. Because the rise in the price of materials that can occur is framed, avoiding consequent increases. No other capital gain can be imposed on the client. The additional costs that may arise during the construction site will be borne by the manufacturer. “The Construction Contract – Law of 1990 is the only one to offer compulsory protections, including the guarantee of delivery at agreed prices and deadlines”, points Serge Nauges, leader of the Serge Olivier Houses. “In the event of a manufacturer’s failure, the guarantor (contract insurer, NDLR) takes care of the successful completion of the work at the same price and within the same time. “
The responsibility of the manufacturer engaged. The house that will come out of the land will have to comply with environmental regulations, the RE 2020. An individual who calls on an architect to design the plans for his home will see his responsibility engaged in the event of non-conformity of the construction. Sanctions ? Carrying out work to comply with the law. He also risks a fine of € 45,000. In a CCMI, it is not the individual who assumes the risks of a possible non-compliance: “It is the manufacturer who is legally responsible for compliance with RE 2020”, indicates a manufacturer “And if the house is not compliant, he will have to carry out the necessary work and it is he who incurs the sanctions. ”
A quality dialogue. The quality of the relationship between the commercial and the client is essential to the success of the project. “It is the budget of a lifetime that will be entrusted to a professional”, explains Miguel Gomes, manager of Yvelines Tradition, a manufacturer specializing in high-end. “The latter must listen to his client to clearly define his needs. “ The manufacturer’s salesman must in fact offer him the project most suited to his lifestyle, to the land envisaged. Without forgetting of course the budget !
Check the know-how of the individual house builder
The job of manufacturer has become more complex because these professionals are subject to an obligation of results. Environmental regulations, RE 2020, have strengthened requirements in terms of energy consumption. These include heating, domestic hot water, lighting, ventilation and cooling are capped. The constructions must also be more airtight. Manufacturers must obtain a maximum seal of 0.6 m3.m².year which will be measured during a test carried out before delivery of the house.
Craftsmen to retain. These are all requirements that weigh on the shoulders of subcontractors who work on behalf of the manufacturer. Masons, electricians, plumbers: all trades are affected by this obligation of results. The work will be all the better done as these companies have worked with the manufacturer for a long time. Three years are often necessary for the latter to have assimilated the manufacturer’s requirements.
Rigor to the program. But this loyalty does not exclude a permanent requirement from the manufacturer regarding the work carried out. “If we find lower quality services from our subcontractors, we warn them. And if we don’t see any improvement on their part, we don’t give them construction sites for six months ”, warns Miguel Gomès who can call on the three other companies selected in each trade to continue his activity.
The quality of the construction of the house to be checked
A manufacturer playing transparency will easily communicate the names of the companies with which he works. Nothing prevents you from visiting construction sites and chatting with its artisans. This visit also allows you to assess the cleanliness of the site, the qual ity of the materials chosen. Visits are also often offered by the manufacturer. “Before signing the contract, we organize site visits for our future client at various stages of advancement details Miguel Gomès. We show him, for example, masonry, frame and undercar screen. This is the heart of the book that the client generally does not see. We will also take it to another site in the state of finishes when the tiles are placed. The distribution of the parts being made, the individual better visualizes the volumetrics. We will also show him the windows, the radiators. “
Work to watch. Site monitoring must also be scrutinized. All manufacturers employ work managers responsible for coordinating the work of artisans and controlling the quality of the work. It is still necessary that this technician does not have too many sites under his responsibility. In some manufacturers, these professionals manage 40 to 60 when others only take care of 10 to 20 constructions. “Our drivers spend every two days on our customers’ sites”, details Miguel Gomès. “They make a point with the companies, check the proper execution of certain tasks such as the scrap or the layout of the staircase. These visits can last from 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on the progress of the work . “ A true conductor of the site, the work conductor also asserts himself as one of the key interlocutors of the buyer who can question him about the progress of his site. The latter has either the professional’s mobile or his email. The important thing is to respond quickly to questions.
The price of the services to be studied. This is often the main criterion used by buyers during the manufacturer’s final selection. Examine the materials, equipment and services provided by the manufacturer. “An abnormally low price always hides something and it is better to base it on the value for money to choose well” advises Jean-Michel Bournerias, the boss of Maisons en Ligne. A price 10% or more lower, may be indicative of the use of lower quality materials, the use of low-skilled labor … As a result of the risks of poor work that may occur during construction. Not to mention that the practice of low prices degrades the commercial margin of the company which makes it possible in particular to ensure the after-sales service due to customers.
Mandated by insurance companies, the insurance brokerage firm Verspieren provides its guarantee to nearly 600 manufacturers of individual houses. Philippe Jarlot, director of the construction department, explains to us how this precious sesame is attributed to companies.
Build your house: What are the elements you analyze to give your guarantee ?
Philippe Jarlot: We are studying the leader’s experience in different areas. Whether it is his ability to manage his business, his commercial and technical skills. This professional must have, above all, a culture of the building. Another component: the administrative organization set up by the manager. We verify the conformity of the CCMI (individual house construction contract), contracts concluded with subcontractors, the after-sales service procedure … We also check the adequacy between the structure of the company and the volume of activity. Commercial forces, administrative staff such as secretaries, accountants, must be sized according to business forecasts. Likewise, the design office must be able to examine building permit files. There are also enough work drivers to properly monitor work in progress.
Control the financial situation of the company ?
Yes, we are studying the company’s last three balance sheets. We check the margins of the houses sold by the manufacturer and we check that the level of margin observed on the houses delivered is indeed that expected. A controlled margin will preserve the financial health of the company, and will, among other things, provide quality after-sales service. We also control the quality of its achievements by analyzing the statement of claims which is communicated to us by its technical insurer. The latter is one of the means of measuring the quality of the sites delivered. In addition to these checks, we then go to the manufacturer for an audit in situ. We carry out a number of site visits, depending on the size of the production, in the presence of site managers.
Follow the manufacturer’s activity once the guarantee line is open ?
Absolutely. Thanks to software, we follow the reception of the houses. Delays in delivery would be a negative signal which would show difficulties. We also carry out very strict monitoring of reservations because, as guarantor, we are bound by these reservations. If they are justified, we ask the manufacturer to lift them. Other position: management of complaints during work. The guarantor is informed by the client of the complaints. Because we have become a stakeholder in the construction of the house. If these complaints are justified, we ask the manufacturer to do what is necessary. But this is not always the case !
What do you do if the problems reported to the manufacturer are not resolved ?
Depending on the severity of the deficiencies, we can make the decision to block its line of guarantee until the problems have been resolved. This means that the manufacturer can no longer open a single site.
How can a lambda buyer ensure that the manufacturer has a guarantor ?
He must ask him for a certificate of delivery guarantee and nominative technical insurance. The latter includes civil and ten-year responsibilities, as well as the damage-to-work guarantee taken out on behalf of his client, if the latter has given him a mandate to subscribe to it.
The five key points for choosing its manufacturer
1. The manufacturer must offer you a contract for the construction of an individual house (CCMI) which will secure your project.
2. A quality dialogue based on trust and transparency.
3. Check the professionalism of your manufacturer. The latter must know how to surround themselves with subcontractors who will carry out quality work. Manufacturers are now subject to a performance obligation both on energy consumption and on air tightness.
4. The work driver must be in charge of a number of sites enabling him to coordinate and control the work of subcontractors.
5. Beware of abnormally low quotes that can reveal the use of poor quality materials or the use of low-skilled labor.