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5 Quick Tips for Choosing a Builder

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 on choosing a builder


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!



Don’t forget to follow Home of Marble and Mint on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to catch all the pics and latest news as it happens 🙂

Home of marble and mint Tash signature

*This week I’m linking up with The Builder’s Wife for Home Improvement Thursday

5 quick tips for choosing a builder


By | 2016-04-16T15:12:01+00:00 April 14th, 2016|Categories: Building 101, Our Reno|Tags: , , , |7 Comments

About the Author:

Mum of 3 crazy loveable ratbags, property obsessed, renovation nut. In her "spare time" she'll be watching reno shows. And drinking coffee, always coffee. Unless it's wine.


  1. Erin April 15, 2016 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Wishing you the best in your building project. Hoping all goes smoothly and is low stress.

    • Tash April 16, 2016 at 11:13 am - Reply

      thanks so much Erin, I hope so too 🙂

  2. Nicole @ The Builder's Wife April 20, 2016 at 5:17 am - Reply

    Great tips Tash! So important to be able to speak with previous clients, a testimonial on a website can be written by anyone. Speaking with a past client and perhaps even touring their home is one of the most reliable forms of testimonial we find. Thanks for linking up with #HIT

    • Tash April 20, 2016 at 1:26 pm - Reply

      Thanks Nicole, yes speaking to past clients was a great help and gave me a lot of confidence. The builder had recently completed 2 extensions on my street so at least finding them was easy 🙂

  3. […] Home Improvement Thursday again! Last week we had some fantastic link ups, like these important 5 Quick Tips for Choosing A Builder from Home of Marble and […]

  4. Alix @ The builderette April 20, 2016 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Great post and good tips. It can be very hard to compare apples with apples when you’re looking at quotes – some builders go in low and then load it up as you go – which is no fun! Glad you’ve made it to the starting line!

    • Tash April 21, 2016 at 10:38 pm - Reply

      Thanks Alix, and that’s exactly right, you don’t want a variation every 5 minutes! One quote was extremely low but really, half the house was missing! It pays to be on the ball that’s for sure.

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