Choosing the right Building Contractor for your project
Selecting the right building contractor for the job will determine the overall success of your building project. A building project whether it’s small renovation or a complete overhaul of a project is an expensive undertaking and by researching your builder, it can ensure the overall success of your project.
Your contractor will be tasked with making crucial decisions and their knowledge and experience will result in your project experience being a positive or negative one.
Use this guide to ensure you find a good contractor, capable of the project:
Finding a good builder
- Ask your architect for a referral
- Have a look in your community newspaper
- Ask friends for trusted referrals and testimonials
- Look around your neighbourhood for contractors currently working on projects and ask the homeowner for their opinion on the contractor
- Browse the internet
- Once you have identified your top three options, contact each one for an initial quotation
Do your homework
- Ask the builder for at least three references of their past work, make sure you get the addresses and contact numbers for each of them and check them out. Do not work with a contractor who will not give you any referrals.
- Ask for information on their current job and go visit the site and chat with the owners to get their feedback. It is the best way to gauge the building contractor operates on a site.
- Make sure that the contractor is a registered member of the Master Builders Association or the National Home Builder Registration Council (NHBRC).
- Make sure you have both your builders company and residential contact details
- Check that your builder has a valid insurance policy that covers the project and personal liability
- Find out who your builder’s suppliers are and whether they are creditworthy
- Check if a Health and Safety Plan is required for your project and if your builder is able to produce and comply with one
- Check the registration details of the electrical and plumbing sub-contractors that the builder will be using with their respective associations. Make sure you do this as an unregistered electrician will not provide a valid Electrical Compliance Certificate.
Managing the project cash flow
- Provide your short-list of builders with a drawing, a specification and a pricing schedule from your architect. This will make their quotes easy to compare
- Make sure that the quotes are broken down into various items and not given as a lump sum so that you can compare the quotes properly
- Take note of items that have been left off the builders quotes as you may need to purchase these yourself
- Ask your builder to give you rates in their quote for items you may wish to extend or upgrade during the project
- Check that the quality of the material and finishes that have been costed are of the standard you would like
Appointing your builder
- Make sure that you have a detailed contract that has been signed by both parties
- Work out a payment schedule before you sign the contract. This should be based on a works schedule according to the progress of the project
Make sure you stay involved by visiting the site often and overseeing the payment schedule to ensure that the project runs smoothly and according to the standard, and time-frame that you have specified.