Builder Prospects

B2B Editor10 February 2015

Renovating or building a new home can be exciting. But dream builds can quickly turn upside down if the contractor isn’t suitable. Legislation in each state or territory differs; however there are some commonalities helping you spot the good builders from the bad:

Choosing a builder checklist:

Q: Has your builder got the correct registration or license for the job?

A: Builders who are members of organisations such as the Housing Industry Association (HIA), Master Builders Association (MBA) or Building Practitioners Board are often good indicators, but check with Consumer Affairs in your state or territory to see what credentials they should have.

Q: Have you received multiple quotes?

A: Getting quotes from several builders could give you a better idea of the cost range of the project. The most cost-effective quote might not be the best. Ask them to be clear about what the quote covers and compare them closely.

Q: Has your builder provided a written quote that’s simple and easy to understand?

A: Be wary of builders who include a lot of “TBC”, “Estimates” or “Costs pending” in their quotes- asking for a fixed price could help avoid hidden costs. Hidden problems arise in unstructured timelines, fixtures and fittings, and landscape costs, so ask your builder to ensure they’ve thought of everything so you’re not caught out.

Q: Has your builder got a proven track record of previous work similar to your project?

A: If in doubt of a builder’s validity, ask for referrals. Don’t be afraid to ask to see proof or to visit previous build sites. Ask friends and family for recommendations.

Q: Does your builder have the correct insurance?

A: Depending on your build size, insurance might be a requirement. Again, if in doubt, check with your state or territory governing body and ask for proof from the builder.

As with all builds or renovations, it’s important to do your homework. Choosing the right builder might not be easy, but it could be the difference between a project running smoothly and a long, drawn-out or deal.

Disclaimer: The information is in summary form and does not purport to be complete. It is intended as a general guide only and is not a substitute for professional advice. The information does not take into account your personal needs and financial circumstances and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you.

Sources: 1. ‘How to choose a builder’, 20th June 2014 2. ‘How to: Choose a builder’, 20th June 2014 3. ‘6 things to look out for when choosing a builder’, 20th June 2014 4. ‘Building a home with a smaller company’, http:// building-a-home-with-a-smaller-building-company 20th June 2014

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