How to Choose the Right Builder and Team for Your Project
The biggest decision you will make when creating your dream home is which builder to work with. Building a custom home is a huge project that not only requires a big financial investment but an emotional and mental investment as well.
So, you need to make sure the builder you choose can deliver an exceptional home that not only fulfils your needs, but also exceeds all expectations in quality, style, and longevity. Today, we are sharing what to look for in a quality home builder and what to look out for when building a house.
5 Things to Look for in a Home Builder
The underlying principle common to all high-quality builders is respect. Not only should the builders show respect, but their team should also be respectful of clients, neighbours, designers, and other consultants. Look for builders who hand-pick likeminded tradesmen, contractors, office staff and supervisors. A high-quality builder understands the importance of not only building quality homes but also strong relationships with everyone involved in the process.
This is not just about the way the builder and their staff present themselves, but also about how their building sites look. A high-quality builder always has clean, organised building sites – never grubby or messy looking construction zones that annoy neighbours or bring down the tone of the local area.
Everyone has to start somewhere, but when it comes to your new home, finding a builder with extensive experience is always best. They will be able to:
• Recognise problems before they arise.
• Provide comprehensive solutions to challenging areas quickly.
• Manage your project effectively so it is delivered within your budget and on time.
However, it is not just on-site experience that matters. Your builder should have a strong operational history. When researching, make sure to enquire about:
• How long the company has been in business.
• Whether they are financially stable.
• Their insurance.
• Their registration, certifications and licences(*1).
One of the worst things that could happen would be for your builder to go bankrupt during your build or cause extensive damage that they are not covered for by insurance.
3. Detailed and Accurate Quoting
With many years of practical experience, a high-quality builder is an asset. This means their time is valuable and they will likely charge for things like cost plans and quotes. While this might sound strange, a paid quote or estimate is likely to be far more detailed and accurate than a free one. Quotes should be(*2):
• Detailed and clear.
• Reflect on your brief.
• List all materials to be used.
When comparing building quotes, make sure that you compare ‘apples for apples’. Ensure every builder is providing the same level of service (including full-time supervision on-site).
All building projects have many moving parts and if no-one is overseeing it all, things can be missed, and the results – catastrophic. Often these consequences may not present themselves until long after the builder is gone, or worse when the statutory warranty has run out. This is just one of the many reasons to ensure you are choosing a high-quality builder upfront.
Communication is one of the most important elements of the building process. Your chosen builder must communicate effectively. Luckily, many points in the research stage will give you a clear indication of their communication style.
• Take note of their processes when initially reaching out and sending over any information you request. If they respond promptly and clearly, this bodes well for the type of communication you can expect throughout your build.
• If they take too long, are not clear or are hard to get a hold of, this could be a warning of things to come.
5. Time Management
A great builder should be able to deliver your home within the desired time frame without compromising quality or safety, so they need to have exceptional time management skills. One key indication of this is simply whether they show up to initial appointments on time(*3). Punctuality should be linked with quality. If your builder is constantly late during the building process, this will:
• Delay your project.
• Encourage them to cut corners and you will suffer a drop in quality.
That said, it is also important that your builder communicates the realistic timelines of a project. The average duration of a home build in Australia is around 6 months to a year, especially when building to a high standard. A good Builder can manage to produce great quality building work in good time frames without compromising on quality or safety. A good builder will also pay close attention to the day-to-day project management of each project ensuring the works are always progressing, no one wants an empty construction site incurring additional site or holding costs whilst there is no one on-site for the day at a time.
We would be happy to explain our process and connect you with past clients.
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References *1. Service NSW. Check a Builder or Tradesperson Licence. NSW Government. 2021. *2. Service NSW. Getting Quotes. NSW Government. 2021. *3. Housing Industry Association (HIA) NSW. What to Look For in a Builder