How to choose the right builder for your project
There are few things more exciting than the prospect of building your dream house; planning each room and space in minute detail and selecting the colours, textures, features and fittings to create your picture-perfect home.
However, there is a great deal more involved than just choosing light fixtures and floor tiles, and when it comes to a project of such scope, getting it right the first time is imperative.
One of the most important parts of the process is the selection of the builder who will execute your plans and translate your postulate on paper into solid reality. Of course, there are a great many highly qualified and experienced builders in the market to choose from, many of whom can offer very competitive rates and schedules. So, how should you go about selecting the right team for your job?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when making this very important decision:
Know your type
Aside from being someone with whom you are able to communicate openly and comfortably, your builder should be experienced and knowledgeable in the specific style and type of building that you are looking for. It’s one thing to renovate or restore an historic building, and another entirely to build a state-of-the-art contemporary home from the foundations up.
It’s not all about the money
While you would certainly not be remiss to look for the best possible pricing for your project, it is extremely important to ensure that when you accept a quote, you know exactly what it covers. Compare several quotes from different builders and you should get a rough idea of how much you’ll be spending on the project. A quote that is significantly lower than most, most likely contains a few mistakes or is not as comprehensive, and may end up costing you far more in the longer term - not to mention the potential disputes that could arise.
Be a cunning linguist
Don’t let terminology get in the way of your understanding exactly what you’re agreeing to and paying for. Industry jargon can be confusing, and may cause unnecessary disagreements later on, if not cleared up at the outset. Don’t be afraid to ask your builder exactly what the terms in his quotes, bills of quantity and contracts mean; these documents are there for the benefit of all the parties concerned. There really is no such thing as a “stupid” question.
Homework will make your home work
If ever there was a time to take your time and carefully consider every option, it’s when you’re preparing to undertake a building project. Before you select your contractor, be sure to research each candidate thoroughly. Speak to previous clients; ask them about their experiences with the builder they used. Did they complete the work according to the stipulated schedule? Were they professional and easy to deal with? If it’s possible, arrange to see some of their past projects. Most people are more than willing to share their experiences and if most of the people a particular contractor has worked for in the past are happy, you’ll know that you can reasonably expect the same.
Accreditation where it’s due
Finally, be sure to check that your builder is registered with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) before you enter into any contracts. This is a legal requirement that not only ensures that your project is built within the parameters of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, but also that your house is covered by a five-year warranty against any major structural defects, starting from the date of occupation.
In addition to these, there are, of course, many other factors to consider as you embark on your home building journey, and to the uninitiated it may seem a large and daunting challenge. That is why we offer a comprehensive, end-to-end service to our clients. We manage the entire project from beginning to end, drawing on our extensive experience in various styles of building and working closely with a carefully selected set of partners on your behalf. Contact us to find out more or request a quote.