18 December 2019

4 Tips to Consider When Selecting a Builder

Vic Lorusso

When selecting your builder, going with a recommendation from family or friends may not be the best way to go. It’s deceptively easy to fall into the trap of automatically choosing the same builder as others in your circle because the quality of work, costings and experience have already been shown in the finished build.

However, like most things, every project is different and therefore each one brings its own set of new challenges. So, before you decide to ‘keep it in the family’ here are our four top tips you should consider when it comes to selecting a builder.

1. The Devil is in the Details
With serious research and planning, a very detailed tender or briefing document capturing the entire scope of work should be drawn up and sent to at least three builders. This allows for the builders to provide you with a clear outline of costs and to quote the job as accurately as possible. Knowing you can now compare apples for apples will minimise the chances of any costly surprises popping up later on down the road when construction has commenced and you’re committed.

2. Dealing with Disputes
Disputes are an inevitable part of most building projects, no matter how detailed and planned both parties are. Therefore, a clear dispute resolution plan must be included in any building contract or agreement. If a dispute does arise, open and early communication is essential. If the steps to resolve the dispute are clearly outlined in the contract, both parties can quickly move through the process and avoid any unnecessary delays or costs.

3. Research Your Builder
Check out their Google Reviews as a first port of call. CoreLogic states that over 89% of people make their decisions based on reviews, and they are now a reliable source of info about how a builder conducts themselves, how easy they are to work with and the quality of their finished product. Check and make sure any builders you consider hold workers compensation and liability insurance as well as a builder’s warranty. This is to ensure the homeowners are protected should any incidents occur or should the builder default. Home Builder’s Warranty Insurance is required on all projects over $20,000 and must be taken out by your builder before starting. Always check builder references and don’t be afraid to interview your potential builder on more value-based evaluations. You will be relying on your builder to construct what will become your home, so complete trust is essential.

4. Volume Vs. Custom Builders
Volume builders offer preexisting house and land packages to buyers who don’t already own a block of land, which streamlines the process and will therefore be more cost effective when compared to your typical custom builder. However, this severely limits buyers to specific suburbs, usually on the outskirts of major cities or in regional areas. For those who already own the land, the block itself will dictate the type of builder required, as most volume designs can’t be built on awkward or sloping blocks. Identify the right type of builder before you start asking for quotes in order to save yourself precious time in the planning stages.

Choosing a builder is one of the biggest decisions in the home-building process, as they are responsible for creating the house your family will live in for years to come. With these tips in mind, you can be confident that you will select the right builder who can bring your dream home to life!

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