Choosing the right builder for your renovation or new build project can make all the difference between having a stress-free experience or having a nightmare experience. And with so many builders out there, it can be hard to know what is important to consider when selecting the right fit for you. That's why I have put together my top 5 tips to help you select your builder:
1 | Engage a builder fairly early on
I have worked on jobs where builders were engaged at the very start and I have worked on jobs where builders were engaged once the design had been finalised. Generally, we get a better overall result when builders are engaged as one of your first steps and can collaborate with us on the design phase. This is because they,
1 - are able to provide estimates of building cost based on your scope of work, which is incredibly helpful when selecting and designing to ensure we stay on budget
2 - they are an expert on building materials and techniques and can contribute great ideas (that can sometimes also save you a lot of money!).
2 | Ask lots of questions
Renovating your home is a big investment and you should feel 100% confident with the process from the very start, all the way to completion. That's why I have a 'no stupid questions' policy with my clients. I want them to ask me anything and everything they might think of so that they can feel confident that the process and the end result will be right for them. The same goes with selecting your builder. Make sure you know the answers to the important questions (like have you completed a job of this size before, when can you start and how long will this take) but also don't be afraid to ask anything else that you might think of, no matter how silly you think it sounds!
3 | Ask for a referral from a client or for a walk-through of a current or completed job
It's always helpful to look at Google reviews when making a decision, however, I would go one step further and ask to speak to one of their clients directly. If they say no, this is automatically a red flag. If they say yes, then hearing about the experience straight from another client can really help you understand if this is a good fit for you.
If you can, take it another step further and actually view a current or completed job so you can get an idea of their workmanship and level of detail. If you are touring a job that is still on site, make note of the condition of the site and the trades - is the site clean and tidy? Are the trades neat and respectful?
4 | Make sure you receive a detailed building contract
The contract should explain exactly what is included and not included in the cost, how long it will take, and how variations and delays will be handled. If you find that you are not understanding what is included, the wording is too vague or has incorrect information, it's important to ask that the contract be revised and all information included before you sign anything. If the builder refuses to do so, then I would not be signing with them!
5 | Go with your gut instinct
Large renovations can take a long time and involve a lot of coordination from your builder. That means that you need to trust that they can be on top of what is happening on site and that they will keep you informed of any issues. Having a good relationship with your builder is therefore vital to ensuring that your build goes as smoothly as possible. If from early on you are finding that the builder is not clear with their communication, takes too long to get back to you, or ignores your questions, then these are all red flags. Don't ignore anything that doesn't feel right and go with your gut instinct if you don't think it will be a good fit.
I hope these tips have been helpful for you! If you are planning to build or renovate and want to get in contact with us, you can do so by filling out the client contact questionnaire below,
Hope you have a wonderful week,