“We need to have some major works done on our property, but how do we know which builder to choose?”
There is no question that for major building works you will need a team of professionals to get the job done. After all there are important legal and safety aspects to consider, not to mention the fact that building works tend to require a significant investment in terms of your time and money.
While it’s probably easy enough to find a list of builders who could do the work you need done, how do you go about actually choosing the right builder for the job? Here are our top tips to help you evaluate different builders and decide on which one is the right fit for you.
STEP 1: Compare
To ensure that you are getting a fair and reasonable price, source at least three quotes. What you might find is that the quotes you will be given are presented and worded in different formats, which can be confusing. To work out if you are comparing ‘apples with apples’, print off all quotes and lay them beside each other. Make notes on what seems amiss or where you would like further information. This method will provide you with a clear understanding of what is and isn’t included and what has been overlooked.
A difference in price may sometimes be that a scope of works has been forgotten e.g. the price for installation, removal of rubbish, incorrect number of light fittings etc.
STEP 2: Clarify
Now that you have compared the prices and have correlated what has been missed or what you are unsure of, this is the opportunity to clarify. With your notations on each quote, contact the builder and/or tradespersons and ask questions to understand exactly what is excluded from the quote. Ask that they confirm this in writing. This is the fastest way to clear up any misunderstandings or presumptions by you or your builder as to what items are included or excluded. This ensures that you are organised and can systematically work with the builder/tradespersons without confusion and distraction.
Ask questions until you are satisfied that you are being given a fair price, know what the scope of works are, and what their and your responsibilities will be. Remember to make sure you understand any and all the jargon in the quote. Now is not the time to be too proud or shy to ask and if you still do not understand it, ask again!
STEP 3: Communicate
Know who you will be dealing with during the build cycle. Some builders may have a person who prepares and presents the quote to you, but who will not actually be your primary contact during the build. You may have a foreperson allocated to this function. This project is going to take some time, so make sure you know who you will be dealing with and that you are happy with the proposed team.
Remember, your builder is going to be sharing your journey with you, so make sure you like them and are comfortable with their experience, manner and communication style. Communication is key from the start!
So, where to from here?
Whether you are simply thinking about renovating or building, or are just about to kick things off, having our Toolkit by your side as you source, plan, negotiate and manage your project will save you time, money and take the headache out of building!