How To Pick The Right Project Home Builder
Choosing to build your home yourself instead of buying one is a great option, especially for those looking to upgrade their home and lifestyle. However, in order to truly have a fruitful experience with your project, you want to pick the right home builder for your house and land package.
Choosing the right builder can take some time, but it is well worth it considering the investment you will be making into your project. You may be spending the next 10, 20, or even 30 years of your life in your new home, so you want nothing but perfection! So Here Is How To Pick The Right Home Builder In 5 Steps?
1. Finance of a Builder
By this, we mean to consider the financial viability of the builder you hire if you wish for your project to be in safe hands. Can they bring it to completion without overusing resources?
How to figure this out? Always check for experience. Experience in the construction business is vital for the home builder you hire. An experienced builder will be able to bring your project to completion using the most feasible methods possible. Moreover, such builders are well experienced with the bumps they may run into during the job and are better equipped to handle them. This will lead to the timely completion of your home and save you future reconstruction costs.
How To Proceed?
To take a closer look at their work, you should request a portfolio of their past assignments to decide if they are trustworthy or not. Any builder competent at their job should be able to provide you with examples of their previous work. Be sure to ask them how many building jobs they have taken over on average per year and how many years they have worked in the construction industry.
If you are impressed with their work, you can go ahead and ask them to provide you with a quote for your project. Send them the design documents and any relevant information so they may provide you with a comprehensive quote. While preparing the quote, see how the builder manages cost changes due to unforeseen circumstances. Ask them why they have taken this approach and how they will deal with the said circumstance. According to the ACT, you should get at least three different quotes for the job before you choose a builder.
2. Building Contract
If you have assessed the builders’ financial viability and finalized a candidate, you can move on to step two of the checklist i.e. creating the contract.
- According to Family & Community Services Australia’s Buying Land and Building a Home guide, a building contract should include the actual contract document and the architectural plans of the house, the complete specifications, and possible tender quotations.
- The guide also states that the building contract should also contain relevant statutory warranties i.e. establishing each party’s rights and liabilities under the contract, which will last for seven years from completion of work.
- It should also include the contract price, with an indication if it is subject to change over time.
What To Do?
If you are finalizing a contract, it is generally recommended that you go for a fixed-price contract. This will mean that you have to pay a lump sum for the job that cannot be changed. As a result, you won’t find yourself paying extra for any sneaky costs or fluctuations. It is the responsibility of the project home builder to supervise the project and make sure it comes to completion at the agreed-upon price.
Once your contract readily illustrates all the necessary details, the builder must send you a copy of it within 5 days of entering the contract. Moreover, for contracts over $12,000, the builder must provide a certificate of home warranty insurance before they start working. This will protect the owner from loss of response or unfinished/defective work at the hands of the builder.
Remember to closely read the contract once you receive it and consult your solicitor to ensure that all your needs have been protected by the contract proposed; only then should you provide your signature.
3. Third Party Reviews
Before you sign a contract with a home builder, be sure to look up reviews and verified testimonials from their past and existing clients. It would be even better to get recommendations from people you know personally, such as your friends and families.
As for reviews, you can easily find plenty of reviews online and see examples of different builders’ work. You can use Google reviews to look up businesses and see verified reviews from past clients and their experiences with the builder.
Besides Google, you can also use Productreview.com.au, a platform where people can independently rate and review services online. You can also get a more personal account of how the build process proceeded and, more importantly, how rising issues were resolved.
In case you can get ahold of a previous client, be sure to ask them:
- If they were satisfied with the builder?
- If the builder finished the project according to the stipulated time frame?
- Did the builder stick with the quoted price/ were there any variations or hidden charges?
4. Do Not Ever Pick A Builder Based On Pricing
Never go for the cheapest builder, you may end up paying a lot more than you agreed for, and you will have a substandard home at your hands. Keep in mind that residential construction is a high risk and low margin investment. If a builder is offering you a reduced quote, it could mean they are struggling to keep their business afloat. On the other end, it means you will get substandard work, delays, and in some cases, an incomplete home.
If you haven’t opted for a fixed price contract, they may use this to their advantage and pile on variations over variations in the design, which may lead to increased costs.
Another reason why they may reduce their price is that they may be using substandard products or they lack attention to detail. In the end, they may rush your project without any genuine care for your needs. It’s also likely that you may have to put more money into renovations and getting items replaced.
Why Hire Professionals?
A professional will aim to give you your dream home, all while providing you with a realistic budget. Instead of comparing costs, try to compare “value” and quality of work when finalizing the home builder to hire. Even if you do happen to go slightly over budget, it will save you time and money in the future – and above all, you will get the home you have always wanted.
5. Check Their License
The final phase is to make sure you hire a licensed professional. Check to see if the builder is properly licensed with the Office of Fair Trading. When you search up the builder’s license, it should provide you with the name of the builder, the expiry date, and any conditions that apply to their license. When making a new contract, you should always include the builder’s name and license number. Check the details of your builder’s license here.
A builder license is generally required for any specialist work, or residential building work valued higher than $5,000. Unfortunately, most people do not check for licensed professionals, and as a result, they have to face increased risks. This is because when you work with a licensed builder, you can reach out to NSW Fair Trading dispute resolution services if you run into any problems with the builder you hire.
That’s all; by following the checklist we have provided, you are now well prepared to finally hire the right builder for your home project! By hiring an experienced, licensed builder, you can save yourself from a lot of stress and unnecessary costs in the long run.
As a general rule of thumb, you should learn as much about the builder as you can. The best way to do that is to communicate with the builder who most closely fits your needs. Here are some questions you should be asking your project home builder:
- How long have you been a part of the construction industry?
- Have you had a chance to work on a similar project before?
- Do you provide any warranty/ Do you carry insurance?
- Can you show examples of your work?
- What extras might be included in the build?
- How many jobs are they doing at present (do they have enough time to manage your project as well?)
You should never back down if you have a question. Remember that a professional will always calmly and thoroughly answer all your questions. If they hesitate to do so or can’t seem to provide you with some clarity, you may want to reconsider hiring them.
However, if they are more than happy to answer your questions, they may be the one!
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