Tips for choosing the right Builder
Your home is a valuable asset and building or renovating can be a very expensive major undertaking. You may not be aware how important it is to know the difference between registered builders and tradespeople. That’s why it’s best to know how to check credentials and references to ensure you make an informed choice when choosing the right builder for your project. It is also recommended that you also check Consumer Affairs Victoria website which provides detailed information about all aspects to consider before choosing a builder.
You will want a builder who has the skills to transform your vision into a reality. Checking out each candidate’s recent work will enable you to see the quality of the work they’ve completed for other homeowners. You will want a builder who has a proven track record of building homes similar to your design ideas. A log of similar projects may indicate the builder prefers to stick to a particular style, and is best served in doing so.
Don’t hesitate to ask for references. References are very important when it comes to hiring a reliable builder. Extra care should be taken with builders who are either reluctant to provide references, or who cannot be located online when you conduct a search, whether for a direct website or through various industry and company checking websites.
References are great but nothing beats getting direct recommendations from past clients – maybe just check if they are related at all! Request to speak with previous clients then get in touch with them. People are usually happy to share their experiences – especially when it comes to building work. They will tell you everything you want to know about prospective builders, both good and bad.
All builders must be registered with the Victorian Building Authority. Visit the VBA website and use the ‘Practitioner search’ function to see if your builder is registered. More detailed information is provided about this by the VBA.
A builder must not carry out, manage or arrange domestic building work worth more than $16,000 if they are not covered by domestic building insurance. Check if your builder is eligible to obtain the appropriate insurance. More details about this on the VMIA website.
By now you should have shortlisted your candidates and are ready to discuss costs with shortlisted builders. You need to know what is included in the build. This is important as many features such as floor coverings and landscaping may not be included. Understanding this will give you a better idea of expected overall costs.
Do you have a timeframe to stick to? You can forget about that for now because everything depends on your builder’s ability to deliver. It is important to seek accuracy from your shortlisted builders. An indication how long the project will take and a confirmed start and likely end date is essential.
Remember that every hour wasted has the potential to cost you money. You may be paying rent or a mortgage to stay somewhere while a new build is underway. If the builder you want is not able to meet your timeframe, you have to think carefully about the impact on your budget. Be aware that reputable builders aren’t sitting around waiting for work, so factor that into your search. Make sure you go with someone who is either just finished a project or very near the end of one.
Do You Gel?
Interview your shortlisted builders as if seeking someone with whom you will have a close working relationship – because that is exactly what you will be doing. How you gel with your builder can have a considerable impact on the quality of work he carries out. A good relationship is also important to ensure there is open and honest dialogue between the two of you.
Getting to meet the builders who will actually work on your project is preferable. Site managers manage any onsite issues, so finding out whether you have ‘rapport’ is a good idea.
Independent Building Inspections
Building a new home or renovating a house is a complex process. Most builders are reliable, but even the most reputable can’t be 100% perfect. You may also choose to engage an independent building inspector, who can make sure the plans suit your specific needs and to check the quality of work during construction. Reap the benefits with Houspect Victoria’s experienced Building Inspectors’ independent expert advice and you can rest assured that your new home construction or home renovations conform to building codes and are completed to a good standard.