How to engage a builder
How do you find a builder for your project? There are simple things you can tick off to find a builder for your project. Let's briefly go through them.
- Obtain a copy of their building license, referees on their past projects, and any professional referees like architects, engineers, town planners, or certifiers, that they've worked with before that would give them a recommendation.
- It's also important to see what other projects they've built that are similar to yours. These don't have to be exactly the same, but you might want to compare dollar value, or the type of project (residential, commercial, industrial, fit-out, etc.)
- Meet with them. Get them to come to your home or your building site, and get to know their personality. You don't necessarily have to always focus on the things you're wanting to build, but get to know them, find out if you can work with this person, as you're going to be talking with this person from anywhere between 12 weeks and 12 months, subject to how large your project is, and you've got to be able to work with their personality.
- Give them a full set of plans that they can price on.
The best timing to engage a builder to price your project is once you have either development application approval, development consent, or complying development approval.
This sets out the conditions by which your project has been approved, and the builder needs to have this as a basis fo their costing for 2 reasons; 1) so they know what's involved, what's been approved from your plans, and what hasn't, and 2) so that there's a strong basis for you to go back to them when you do receive their quote and talk about project specifics, making sure they've allowed for all items.
After this, you should have 3 or 4 builders price your project. The reason we recommend 3 or 4 is so that if we get one price that's high and two that are close together, out of the three, we know that's generally market value.
Once the builder gets the quote back to you, this isn't the end of the process, this is only the beginning for you. Once you get 3 or 4 prices back, pick 2 of those builders to have your next meetings with, and go through your plans again, and your works, and their quote in detail.
Make sure they haven't assumed or misunderstood anything, and vice versa, that you haven't misunderstood anything in their quote. Then, get them to re-issue that quote.
Once you've chosen your builder you can ask for a draft building contract for you to review, and you're underway.