We want you to get the best experience possible when purchasing your modular building so whether you choose Avalon or not we have provided some tips and advice that will ensure that the purchase, delivery and installation of your building go smoothly without any shocks or nasty surprises.
Contracts & Deposits
You may be asked to sign a contract and/or pay a deposit prior to planning permission being given for your building (if planning permission is required at all). There is no harm in doing this IF the contract is fair and reasonable. In fact it can be a benefit - it can secure your place in the priority list for the builder cutting time off the build. However it is very important that you ensure that you won't be penalised if planning permission is delayed or refused. Any contract you sign should have a specific clause, sub-clause or paragraph which states clearly that you will receive a full refund and not be liable for further costs if planning is refused. Exception may be valid if you ask the company to start work prior to planning being approved, it is only fair that they are paid for work they have completed in good faith.
At Avalon we offer peace of mind. Any contract is based on the client receiving planning permission for the agreed building, should planning for the building be refused then this contract is terminated without cost or penalty (subject to whether any work has begun). If a deposit has already been paid prior to planning being decided then it will be returned in full if planning is subsequently refused by the relevant authority.
Research Local Planning
Every Planning Department has slightly different criteria and views. Don't assume that your experience of a previous authority or an acquaintance's experience will hold true. Allow a minimum of 6-8 weeks for an answer once you have submitted your planning application.
You can access information about your local planning department using this link: Planning
Meet with your chosen company face to face
This might not be possible but if it is then we'd strongly recommend it. You are going to place a lot of trust in the company you choose as well as them in you so a meeting is important. Despite all the modern technology face to face meetings are still the best way to make sure that you can work together. The right company for you will give you their advice but also listen to what you want too, it should be a partnership.
At Avalon we invite you in to meet with us, see our factory and ask as many questions as you like. We believe that you should also have the chance to inspect the building during construction so once it is underway we'll invite you to come and meet with us so that you can see if there are any changes that you want made. Maybe it's an extra window, or an electical socket in a different place. Maybe it's perfect but we'll let you decide not tell you what is right or wrong for you.
Speak to Previous Customers
If a company genuinely builds quality cabins then they should have no problems putting you in touch with happy clients. Remember - recommendations will tell you far more than marketing.
We have some case studies on our website but we'd be more than happy to put you in touch with our previous customers - they are the best sales team we could ever have!
What's Included and Not Included
Make sure that you know what is and isn't included in any price that you are quoted. A good company will be transparent about what they provide. There are several types of cost that you should expect to pay when purchasing a modular building;
- The building itself (incl labour)
- Haulage and delivery
- On-site assembly (you may find this is included in the cost of the building but double check)
- The base (depending on what your site's ground is like will vary from building to building)
- Connecting utilities (the utilities should be available to the outside of the building for connection but will not be automatically connected in most cases)
We aim to be completely clear about is included. Our initial quote will include building materials, labour and on-site assembly. You will also be given a price for haulage before they are added together for your total and VAT added. There are no surprises. We are clear that we do not automatically quote for the base and connecting utilities, mainly because we believe that you can save money by having these things done locally (see below) however we can quote if you wish us to.
As cost effective and relatively inexpensive as a modular building is it is still a large purchase. As such you want to make sure that you are making savings where you can. When you choose your company it is unlikely to be nearby. Given the specialisation it requires to make a quality building the companies who can do it are not in every town. This means that asking them to complete the simple tasks of setting the base and connecting utilities is likely to involve travelling, possible hotel stays and the cost of taking trained staff off actual building tasks to complete. All in all this is likely to be more expensive than hiring a local company. Before you select a local company check with your building company whether they have delivered a building to your area before as they may be able to pass on a recommendation from a previous client.
Secure a Warranty
Any reputable company should provide a warranty for their building. However it is important to find out exactly what is covered by the warranty as they may differ. You may also find out that you are expected to carry out repairs and possibly even pay for them before invoicing your builder which is not ideal. A perfect warranty will make it clear what the builder is responsible for and for precisely how long the warranty lasts. There may be certain aspects that are covered by 3rd party warranties such as heaters or air conditioning units however your builder should take responsibility for ensuring that 3rd parties honour any warranty obligations and they should always be the first point of contact for warranty issues.
At Avalon we offer a 2 year no quibble warranty. If there is an issue under the warranty of a 3rd party then you still need to contact us and we will ensure that the work is carried out.