Building process Step 6. Find a builder for your home building project
Once you’ve devised a building budget, have architectural plans or working drawings, any necessary engineering or relaxations, you’re ready to find a builder for your project.
So where do you start?
- Ask your Architect or building designer for recommendations. They often work closely with builders and can offer suitable recommendations
- Take note of builders active on projects in your local area. It’s a good sign to see them engaged in a project. Good builders are always in demand
- Check local directories and newspapers, google, yellow pages, local search for builders that service your area. Are any of these builders working in your local area currently?
- Ask around. One of the best ways to suss out a decent builder to is hear the experience of others. Some builders may have great looking websites and have highly visibly advertising but in reality… their building quality and service may not be ideal
Once you have a builder short list look a little deeper
Can you see examples of their work? Either on their website or directory pages. Is it recent or is it old? An old example may indicate they haven’t been in work.
Do they have any 3rd party customer reviews such as Google, Facebook, Local Search, Houzz, etc.
Ensure they have the right credentials. Firstly, that they have a QBCC building license. It was formerly called a BSA licence. Check the QBCC website to ensure the license is still current. You can check a builder’s record on the QBCC website. Any disputes are publicly available.
Are they aligned with a building association such as the Housing Industry Association (HIA) or Master Builders?
Once you’ve started talking to a builder and have asked them to quote on your plans you can then ask:
- Is the entire team fully qualified carpenters or builders? How many junior builders will be working on your project? And how much experience does each team member have?
- Do they do the building work themselves – or do will they subcontract your building work out?
- What subcontractors do they use for electrical, plumbing etc?
- Do they have former customers who you can talk to you for a reference?
- Do they have relevant insurances?
Cheap is not always best.
We all know this when it comes to almost every other product or service. The same applies to building. Once you get your quote be cautious not to jump to the cheapest quote. Often, to win business, some builders have been known to leave large components out to later be charged as a variation.
Your architect or designer may be able to advise the specifications you need to be quoted (i.e extra costs due to poor site access, excavation costs, piers if required, technicalities merging an old home with an extension) so that you know what to look for when the quote comes through.
What you want is an all-inclusive quote that factors in the entire build. Variations are not completely avoidable because or prior shoddy building practices or termite damage, for example, can be hidden behind walls. A good builder should be able to identify and quote most things up front.
Building is never cheap and you want it to last with no problems. When you are ready to appoint a builder for your project, do your research and be well advised going in.