How can you make sure you select the right builder?

Date Monday, 4 August 2014 12:00 AM

When it comes to building your new home, choosing a builder is one of the most important steps. Here is a guide to make sure you find the right one.

Checks and balances

Your builder (and all tradespeople who work on your property) should be licensed and properly qualified. Also ask your builder for evidence of their current home indemnity insurance policy and whether they have ever been declared bankrupt or involved in a protracted legal dispute. These questions may be uncomfortable, but remember you are investing a large amount of money in this business relationship, so it is important to vet your builder thoroughly.

Quality control

Ask your builder for references as to the quality of their workmanship and take a look at their recently completed projects. If possible, speak to some recent clients and enquire as to your builder’s reliability and professionalism.

Maintain it

A building contract usually specifies a building maintenance period, during which your builder will perform maintenance after handover. This period is typically between six and 12 months, so ask your builder what their policy is and what the agreed maintenance does (and doesn’t) include.

Be inclusive

Speaking of inclusions, make sure you and your builder agree in writing on exactly what is covered under your quote and contract. Discuss whether your builder will supply standard fixtures and fittings under the quote, or whether you will source (and pay for) your own. A full list of inclusions will allow you to manage your budget and prevent any nasty surprises down the track.

Under supervision

If you are engaging a large building company, ask to meet the person who will be supervising your project. This person is responsible for the quality and craftsmanship of your home, so it is important to feel comfortable about their level of expertise and their ability to get the best out of your tradespeople.  

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