How to choose the best builder for your renovation

Choosing an excellent, reliable and an experienced builder will ensure your project will be finished to a high standard, will cause you less anxiety during the project and be compliant with all safety aspects. Here are our 6 tips when choosing your builder.



1. Get a reference and check out the work

There is no better reference than seeing the quality of work for yourself. You can tell if it's up to your standard. Ask to see a project that is similar to your renovation...for example if it's a new en-suite, ask to see exactly that. Some builders are expert in particular areas.


2. Ask for a detailed quote

If a builder gives you a quote with no detail, it is likely that they will add more to the costs as you go. If they provide a detailed breakdown then it is much easier to control the costs.


3. Confirm who will be on site day-to-day

It is likely that the builder who provides the quote is the company owner. Ask them how often they plan to visit the site and who will be on site day-to-day. It's also worth checking how many other projects they will have running at the same time as your project to understand how free they will be to deal with your queries.


4. Ask your builder for a contract

A surprising amount of renovators go ahead with only a verbal contract. Ideally you would have a formal contract which would set out timelines, payment milestones, what would happen if the project and costs overrun, builders responsibilities etc. It is advisable to get one, particularly if your project is a significant investment. Medium and large building companies should be used to working with one as the contract protects them too. 

Also a good working relationship will go a long way in addition to a contract!


5. Check if the builder is a member of a trade association

This would be such as the Federation of Master Builders or National Federation of Builders. Ask your builder what association they are a member of and call to check. This feels tedious but worth double checking.


6. Check your builders insurance

The builder should have public liability insurance which will cover you if things go wrong to either your property or a neighbours. It's also worth notifying your insurance company when you are getting any renovation work as it may impact your insurance.

       

Published: July 2, 2019

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