So for me it seems the hardest part of getting the reno started was choosing a builder!
Choosing the builder to make your vision come to life is a big decision and one that can have devastating consequences if you get it wrong.
It’s certainly taken me a while to get to this point. As I’ve worked for different types of builders (new home ones), I know how much the standards vary and how good and bad they can be to deal with.
Another problem was when I’ve received quotes, they’re not quite comparing apples to apples and therefore the comparisons take some time to work out.
Don’t assume the cheapest quote is the best though. Although budget is a huge factor, make sure you get the best quality you can afford.
So after much consideration and debate, we finally have our builder chosen (woohoo).
Now I wanted to share 5 quick tips to help you in choosing a builder and hopefully enjoy a stress free build (and avoid budget blow outs).
5 Quick Tips for Choosing a Builder
1. Carefully check and understand the builder’s specifications
The standard inclusions and products that each builder provides can be vastly different so you need to be sure you know what you’re getting.. 70mm or 90mm skirtings? Stone tops or laminate? Full height tiling or just a skirting tile? Also confirm the items they’re NOT including like flooring, driveways and stormwater as you’ll need to arrange and fund those afterwards.
2. Talk to previous clients
Ask not only about the quality of the work, but about the builder’s communication skills, time management skills and how they dealt with cost variations and any unexpected hiccups. You’ll quickly learn a lot about the builder and know if they have happy customers or not!
3. Know/Like/Trust Factor
You’re going to be talking to this person nearly every day for at least the next 6 months so you do need to like them and feel that you’ll be able to comfortably communicate with them throughout the build. This is vital when you’re living there throughout the renovation, they almost become one of the family!
4. Make sure the builder is a specialist in your type of build
Renovation/extension is a very different process to a new build. It’s no use choosing a builder who is great at project homes but has never done an extension. It also goes without saying to check they have the appropriate HIA licences and registrations to do the work.
5. Will the builder allow you to supply some products yourself?
This can be a cost saving exercise but many builders don’t like doing it and possibly won’t allow it, so check that, and take it into account if it’s something you might want to do. It was an important factor for us as we’re supplying a lot of the products ourselves as well as using our family trades.
Hope this helps!
Now our contracts are signed we’re good to go!