Top Tips for Working with a Builder

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With a renewed focus on the home, more Australians are opting to renovate their homes to reflect their everyday requirements, personality and individual style.

Undertaking a renovation can be a really exciting experience and the finished home can make all the difference to how you enjoy living in the space. Adding a new multi-purpose room, rearranging the layout to cater for kids growing up or inter-generational living all add value to comfortable living.

For many homeowners, the goal of renovating is to create their dream home, so it’s worth noting there are a couple of considerations to take onboard. One of the most important is finding a good builder who understands your vision, as builders play an important role in bringing your vision to life.linea-modern_coastal-exterior-Sandy_Bay-jameshardie-_16-1024x683

When looking for a builder, do your research and ask for references. Start by looking for a builder who has delivered similar projects and is comfortable with the looks and style you like, and your preferred building materials. Ask your builder if they are fully licensed and fully insured, and how long they have been in business. A good idea is to ask if you can speak to the builder’s past clients. If a builder can’t recommend anyone, then alarm bells should be going off.

Good communication throughout the build is imperative as it will assist your builder in providing a more accurate quote and plan for the building process as well as ensure that the project delivers on the desired look, feel, time and budget. At the start of the process, find out how your builder will communicate with you and their standard turnaround time for communication.

Familiarising yourself with the correct terminology for your ‘look’ and the hallmarks that define it is invaluable when speaking with your builder. Whether it’s a beautiful Hamptons-style, coastal weatherboard home, or a modern design that uses a mix of external vertical and horizontal cladding, using the correct language will allow your builder to understand your vision and build the home you want as well as be able offer advice on the building process and materials that can assist in your decision making.

What’s your final budget? It’s important to decide on your priorities for everyday living and make sure your budget is realistic. What are the things that are important and will add value? This could be adding a level, increasing street appeal by cladding over tired brick, or converting wasted space into another bedroom. There’s often a difference between budgeted cost and the total cost of the project so try to leave some additional budget for unaccounted for expenses. Think carefully about what you really need and nail down your budget and contract with your builder before you start.linea-futureflip-seaforth-exterior-jameshardie-1-1024x683

Here’s our top ten check list to consider when working with your builder:

  1. Do your research and ask for references

  2. Check the fine print. Ask your builder if they are fully licensed and fully insured.

  3. How long has the builder been in business? How many projects of this type have they completed?

  4. Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve so that builders can provide accurate quotes and plan the process accordingly.

  5. What’s your final budget? There’s often a difference between budgeted cost and the total cost of the project.

  6. How will the builder communicate with you during the project. What’s their standard turnaround time for communication?

  7. Ask how many projects they’re currently working on, and how many they will be working on during your build.

  8. Ask your builder how often you can access your home during the build.

  9. Ask about the latest date to make changes to your plans without incurring extra charges.

  10. Ask your builder to outline exactly what is included in the contract and any items that could vary in price.

For more information and your go-to guide to help you achieve the renovation you’ve been dreaming of check out our Home Renovation Guide.

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