Choosing a tradesman or builder without the stress typically associated with home building…
Would you choose a builder which constructs architect designed properties? Would you choose a builder which already has done the hard work of going through the land selection and design process, creating quality properties?
What does a builder do? These days many builders do not actually do the building work themselves…
Builders or building contractors:
- Builder manages and coordinatea home building or renovation projects
- Builder manages purchase and delivery of materials
- Builder coordinates work of tradespeople (ie, plumbers, painters and carpenters involved in the project)
How to Choose a Builder?
- Ask people for their personal recommendations
- Ask other people in the industry (at least 3 referrals)
- Ask relevant industry association for a list of names
- Look for advertisements on television, radio, in home buyer magazines or local newspaper
- Search Yellow Pages or relevant online directories for ‘building contractors’, ‘home improvements’ or specific trade categories.
Would you choose a builder which can design and build for you, where turnkey packages for investors are their speciality?
- New Homes
- Industrial Buildings…
Would you prefer to see a range of properties and quality of workmanship before selecting your builder? Would the building process be much easier and more enjoyable knowing your home is finished on time, on budget and to a high quality of finish?
How to choose a builder for your needs…there are number of questions you should ask. How to choose a builder for qualifications and experience:
- Are the owners/manager of the company themselves degree qualified and licensed builders? It is important to have a qualified builder considering the value of investment at stake.
- Are the builders a member of the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and Master Builders Association (MBA)?
- Do the builders have an annual contract works insurance policy and qualify for indemnity insurance?
- How long has the site manager been building for?
- Does the building company own commercially established office premises? (ensure you can get in contact with them)
How to choose a builder quality assurance:
- Does builder use leading award winning architects and interior designers?
- Does builder use quality brand name inclusions?
- Has builder won multiple industry awards?
- How many building awards over what period?
- Does building company have display home(s) and guarantee you same quality of workmanship and finish?
How to choose a builder for best product offering:
- Does the builder offer Builders Guarantee in writing? (e.g. $500 per week liquidated damages for late completion, display home quality of finish)
- Is the quote professionally presented and fully inclusive upfront? (ask for a written quote because many quotes exclude items which are essential for any new property (e.g. flooring).
- Does builder provide a checklist to ensure that everything you expect to be included is explicitly listed in the quote?
You want to make sure the builder’s design service is available and they’re able to work with you to suit your budget. This means you want all documents in writing before plans are started of your budget, inclusions required, desired home size with a land survey.
Before paying your sales consultant for design/drawings ensure you get a written estimate based on information requested above. You need to establish additional and final costs for custom design.
Typically final costs can not be determined until after the architect has completed initial sketches, after this time the design may need to be increased or decreased in size and features to meet a final budget.
How to choose a builder for the true total costs:
- Instruct builder to include allowances and advise about all possible costs before your sign contracts.
- Make sure quote is in writing, including all site costs, bushfire costs, EER, approvals, as what you see at the display home.
- Ask for a checklist within brochure to be sent to you…
- Do not rely on a verbal promise to provide full upfront disclosure on all possible costs to finish and move in…make a list and ask builder if your not sure whats included
The above list is not exhaustive, it is intended to provide you with an overview of the types of information you should consider before selecting a builder.
Remember, when choosing a builder you’re in the process of forming a relationship which expires at least within one year, so you need to be very comfortable and confident you can trust the builder to deliver on time, on budget and to high quality standard you expect.
The golden rule is to make sure all builders and tradespeople have a valid licence. You can do your research online via public register to look up the licence details of any tradesman, builder or sub-contractor you are thinking of using.
How to choose a builder