Choosing the right builder will be one of the two most important decisions you make in your life.
Warren Adolph from Warren Adolph Homes knows a thing or two about the builder selection process based on years of working with clients.
“Aside from choosing a partner, it’s probably one of the most critical life decisions you’ll ever make,” says Warren. “The wrong choice could mean years of heartache and financial pain, so you need to put the time into romancing each other!"
The Warren Adolph Homes team have put together a starter-kit of ideas to help you make the right decision.
Here are five key tips to consider when selecting a builder:
1. Check the builder's website and Google reviews. Look for examples of projects similar to yours. Have they completed projects recently? Have they got a longstanding track record? Who are the owners of the business and do they appear to be directly involved? Are there recent client testimonials on the website? Is their evidence that they belong to professional industry bodies like the Certified Builders Association.
2. Call them, rather then email and ask to speak to the owner. Are they friendly over the phone? Are they enthused by the sound of your project? Do they have time to meet on site? Make a thorough list of questions before your initial meeting. Have a clear objective of what you want the meeting to cover. Allow enough time for conversation to flow.
3. Ask for names and contact details of client references: Just like a job interview, the work and feedback from recent work will give a picture of what you can expect. Ask the client if you can see their home to check first-hand the quality of workmanship. Be accepting that not all goes according to plan on any project when asking for honest feedback on the builder.
4. Ensure their team is qualified: Don’t skimp on quality or offer to project manage to save money, if you’re not qualified or have th
e time to do so. Make sure your builder holds a building qualification and has the right class of LBP (licensed building professional) licence for the residential work they will be undertaking for you. Be fair and allow for a budget variation of 10-15% as things often change from the plan once the project takes shape on site.
5. Get an independent opinion on your shortlisted builders. If you’ve got a few options and can’t decide who to go with, seek outside advice from someone neutral like a quantity surveyor or architect you trust to assess the quotes and service being offered.
6. Book early: Top building professionals are in high demand, so do your research months before and get in early.
“Above all,” says Warren, “make sure you’re comfortable with the personalities involved on your project and their ability to listen, rather than talk. Two way communication is the best litmus for success. If you hire right at the start, you won’t look back.”