Choosing the right home builder can often feel like a daunting process, but when you consider the amount of money involved when it comes to building, it is time well spent to ensure you have the right builder for you. Choose a builder that will listen to your needs and work with you to ultimately build you and your family your dream home you will love to live in for a lifetime.
Whether you are building for yourself a new luxury home, carrying out a renovation, addition or as part of a development project, we have five tips below that can help when choosing the perfect home builder for you.
Know what you want and be realistic to your budget
Before you consider any prospective builders, it would be in your best interest to take some time to think about what YOU want. Once the building process is finished you may be living with your decision for years to come. For example:
- • What type of home do you want?
- • What is the scope of the project?
- • Do you have a budget in mind?
Many building companies may specialise in certain areas and just by having a good idea of what you hope to achieve can help narrow down your choices right away.
Licences, Insurance and Experience.
After taking into consideration your requirements and budget, with the few builders you have selected, it would be wise to next research their backgrounds and qualifications. You want to make sure the builder you choose is both reliable and trustworthy. Spending time doing research upfront will pay off.
Firstly, check that the builder is licenced. You can confirm this by visiting www.commerce.wa.gov.au and conducting a licence search. Once you have checked that the builder is licenced, ensure they are Insured, this will protect both you and the builder if something goes wrong. As a minimum, your builder must have Public Liability and Workers Compensation Insurance. If you are carrying out renovations or additions to a house you already have, make sure you contact your insurance provider and advise them of your plans to conduct works on your home and find out what changes you are required to make to your home and contents policy.
Ensuring the builder has experience and that they deliver a high standard of quality is also a very important step. You want a builder that will not only be there for the planning stage for your project and the build but will also be there for any rectification works, should any be required. This means you should find out how long they have been in business, look at builders with many years in their business demonstrating they have good business sense and are in it for the long run.
Reputation and References
It’s very important to read reviews or testimonials and speak to past or current clients. Most companies will have reviews online and if they don’t, ask them for some. Outlook at their previous jobs and if possible, have a walk- through of a home they’ve built. A reputable builder should have no issue with letting you speak to some of their clients.
Its advised to obtain at least three quotes. When obtaining quotes, provide your prospective builder with a detailed scope and schedule of fixtures to ensure you are both on the same page when it comes to meeting expectations.
You want to compare all quotes, so another key point is to ensure builders are pricing for the same work, i.e. all the inclusions and exclusions are the same. A lot of the time the builder who quotes accurately will often look like the more expensive choice upfront, but you are less likely to get hit with hidden costs later. What seems like the cheaper option doesn’t always turn out to be, some builders may not include the right scope of works or use reduced scope detail, cheap materials or even possibly use or cheap unskilled labour to cut corners.
Look for recognisable brand names in your quote. If there are any faults or issues in the future, you don’t want to be trying to source unknown brand names that may not be available; which could then lead to more expenses.
Communication and Rapport
Lastly, communication is usually a major downfall of projects that don’t run smoothly. You want to make sure you get along with your chosen builder. It’s likely you will need to work with this person for a period of time, so it is important you feel you can trust them, and you are comfortable around them You want a builder who can not only communicate clearly with you, but also with their suppliers and their team.
It’s always good to ensure that you know who your contact for the project is and that you feel comfortable with them too. This will allow you to trust that your project is in safe hands and that they are available to answer any questions you may have.