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How to Choose the Right Builder for Your Next Home Project

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Canberra-Home-Builders-Oct-1aBuilding a new home can be a daunting and stressful task, particularly when your builder isn’t right for the project. It’s amazing how much difference an intuitive builder can make to your house project, and in ways that you may not even have thought of before you chose them.

Before you begin building, here are some steps to follow when choosing the right construction firm for your next home project.

Step 1: Ask your family and friends – This is a tried and true method of hearing from someone who has experienced firsthand a builder’s work. You can find out how they operate, any concerns your family/friend had after the project, how any conflict was resolved, etc.

Step 2: If your family and friends are unable to provide you with a reference for a suitable builder, your next step should be to make a list of potential builders. Things to keep in mind include:

  • Where are they located? – Although it may be cheaper to use a builder from out of your area, you should also take into account possible lost working time due to traffic, or travel inconveniences.
  • Are they registered and licensed? – If they aren’t, then it’s recommended that you avoid these builders as you could be at risk of inferior work.

Step 3: Interview a few different builders to get a feel for them. If you can’t get along with them in an interview, then it’s doubtful your building project will have smooth sailing down the track. And building a house takes a lot of communication between yourself and the builder, so if they make you feel uncomfortable in any way then you should choose another builder.

Before the interview you should have clear idea of your projected budget, your expectations, and your timeline – that way everyone is on the same page from the start.

Questions to ask in the interview include:

  • Canberra-Home-Builders-Oct-1bWho will be your main point of contact throughout the project?
  • How available will that person be? And what is their preferred method of communication, ie email, phone or in person?
  • How will they address any concerns or questions you have?
  • Do they use individual contractors? And if so, what guarantees do they have in place on their quality?
  • Are there any guarantees they offer to ensure that timelines are met?
  • What is their history like regarding meeting deadlines?
  • How do they deal with extra charges?
  • What costs are not included in the standard contract?
  • What is their definition of complete?
  • Do they have references they can give you?

Step 4: References are something you should look at closely from a builder, and we recommend that you look at the dates on the references. Are any from the past year? If not, ask the builder if they have references from recent projects. It is also strongly recommended that you visit at least one recent site that the builder has worked on, as it’s unlikely they’d give you a bad reference to view.

Step 5: You should ask the builder for a detailed quote on the work, and once all bids have been submitted you should discount any high- or low-standouts. This is because labour and products are generally fairly similar in pricing, so if there’s a bid that is much lower it means they aren’t allowing enough budget for quality products. And if there’s a bid that’s much lower, they’ve either padded the costs or they’ve built in too much leeway – either way, you will end up paying more.

Step 6: Once you have made up your mind on a builder, you should always ask for a comprehensive contract to be written up. This should outline the obligations for both parties, the timeline, the predicted budget, and a host of other details that could save you from a headache later on.

It’s important when choosing a builder that you pick someone you can trust, who has experience, and who can provide guidance throughout the project. And if you have any further questions, contact the team at Canberra Home Builders today for help.

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