You’re getting started with building your new home? A great place to start is to find the right builder for you and your project.
Where to start?
Ask for referrals from friends and family. Who did they use? Did they like them? Was the process enjoyable? Were there any problems along the way? Would they use them again?
These follow up questions are essential because they will provide you with a lot more detailed information about the quality of the builder they used rather than just a name and phone number.
Check their credentials
You should always check that any builder you’re considering has a valid contractors licence.
Every tradesperson is required to include their builders licence number on all their marketing materials and display on their banners outside a property their woking on.
This information is public but you should always double check that they’re certified by heading to https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/check-builder-or-tradesperson-licence
What to look for?
Have you seen any of their previous projects? Most builders have their projects on their website, social media pages, or they will be able to provide you with a catalogue of homes they’ve built previously.
This will show you a myriad of things including their style, their experience + their quality.
You’ll need to look at what their past projects are and try to find multiple examples of houses that are very similar to what you want to do.
For example, if you’re looking to build a contemporary home, you wouldn’t go for a builder if they mainly do French provincial-style homes, and vice versa.
You could also go to an extra step and drive past a few of the homes they built in the past and you can get your own, real life view into their work.
What about costs?
There’s no point in gathering building quotes first, because many of the builders may not be appropriate for your project.
So do your research first, narrow the field, and only then start asking for prices from the builders who’ve made your cut. And remember: cheapest isn’t always best.
Start by letting them know your budget and what you're willing to spend and then they’ll be able to come back to you with the scope of work and whether or not the amount of work proposed can be executed within that budget.
Anyone who’s had a renovation done or a house built knows that 99% of the time the project will take longer than anticipated.
So getting the most accurate time frame possible from your shortlist of builders should be a key factor in determining who gets the job.
You need to know how long they anticipate the project will take, as well as when they’ll be able to start, as every delay will cost you money.
Do you get along?
Your relationship with your builder is critical, considering you’ll be dealing with them dozens of times over many months, so take note of how they communicate with you during those initial exchanges. Were they responsive? How long on average did it take for them to respond to you? (between 24-48hrs is ideal)
You want to have a good rapport with the people you’re going to deal with.