We have done our best to create our top tips for choosing a builder and to make it as unbiased as we can. We are not suggesting that we are the perfect fit for everyone. In fact, we have selection criteria for clients as well. Our aim is to work with clients that align well with our style and values.
Whoever you choose we suggest you consider these tips and wish you the best for your project.
1. Do you get along with them?
If you don’t feel a connection with them they are probably not right for you. You are going to be dealing with them for a long time so having a good relationship with your builder is crucial to getting the outcome you want. When you are in the phase of selecting your builder, take some time to get to know them. It could make a big difference.
2. Who else from their team have you met?
In addition to the principle, it is a good idea to meet at least one or two people from their team. For example, who will be your main contact on site throughout the build? What if you don’t get along well? When you have a shortlist of builders, ask to meet a couple of their key people. This will give you a good idea of what their culture is like. If you feel the same about their team as you do about them, chances are high that your experience will be good.
3. How well do they stand by the quality of their work?
What is their maintenance period? What is the process they use to manage any maintenance items you want to be addressed? Asking them to explain their process and what guarantees are in place can give you a good idea of their commitment to ensuring you get the quality build you want.
4. Do you get help with your selections?
Understand the builder’s process in choosing your selections. How do they help? What sort of relationships do they have with suppliers? Who on their team will guide you through the process? Choosing your selections can be a time-consuming and difficult process so working with a builder that has a great process and/or a selections team can save you time and money.
5. What is the process for variations?
Variations can be common. You might change your mind about something and if so, how do they handle that? What is their process? Can they tell you about their track record for variations? If they have a history of larger variations, that could indicate that their quoted pricing is not as accurate as it could be.
6. Is there a breakdown of trades?
A trade breakdown is a document listing all the different trades of the project and their respective costs. If you ask for this from all the builders you speak to, it is much easier to compare their costs directly. By doing this it may highlight some differences e.g. one builder includes the supply of a certain product and another doesn’t.
7. Is there a list of inclusions and exclusions?
Has the builder given you a detailed list of inclusions and exclusions? You may, for example, assume that something is included only to find halfway through your project that it is not. This can add cost and frustration.
All builders are not the same, but choosing the right builder for you who is going to do a quality job and make your experience an enjoyable one can make the world of difference. We wish you success with your project.