Selecting the right builder – a designer’s tips

Selecting the right builder – a designer’s tips

How do you select the right builder for your project?  Whether it’s a new build, renovation, extension, or refurbishment, finding the right trades person is an important and often difficult process. 

You will need someone who knows what they’re doing.  A skilled professional.  Someone who communicates well and in a timely fashion.  A builder that doesn’t take the advantage and rip you off.  And of course a builder that is reasonably priced.

I think this is where clients get unstuck.  They generally under budget for the labour involved in any type of project.  We’ve all heard the cliches; you get what you pay for and cheapest isn’t always best but neither is the most expensive option either. 

From my experience and research, I wanted to share how to select the right builder for your home.

My Tips on Selecting the Right Builder

First tip is to take your time.  Don’t rush the process.  For a simple window replacement, I had to call 10 trades.  For a fence replacement I tried Google, Hipages and Facebook groups for a referral, had four people come to see the fence, and received two quotes.  I don’t know why it takes so long but it does.

Ask to see their work, this could be an actual on-site meeting at lock up stage or close to handover, a drive by of an current project, or pictures.  Pay attention to the details, corners, edges, finishes etc.

Make sure your builder is licensed and is insured.  This is really important to mitigate risk, if something goes wrong.

Don’t be embarrassed to ask to talk to previous clients.  A good, reputable builder will not mind being asked and will readily make the connection with previous clients.

Extension project, Richmond, Grace Interior Designs

It’s really important to have detailed drawings so you can receive accurate quotes.  This avoids any costly surprise further along in the building process.

If you need to engage a solicitor to review and compare all contracts thoroughly, do it.  Each contract will be different.  Terms and conditions will differ as will inclusions, exclusions and allowances.  A solicitor will help you compare apples with apples or point out important differences and discrepancies.

Also, be inquisitive and ask a lot of questions.

Finding the Right Builder

There are many ways to find the right builder for your home project. 

Use all of tools available to you to choose the right builder. For example, referrals from family and friends, Google, Hipages, Facebook groups, seek referrals from your building designer, architect, draftsperson, or interior designer.

You can also walk around your neighbourhood and notice the signs put up by builders doing work.

There are many how tos and checklists on selecting the right builder, so take your time and do your research and your homework to find the right builder for your home project.

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