When you have made a decision to build your own home, then the most important decision would be choosing a builder who will have to bring your dream to life and we hope this article will help you with tips for choosing the perfect builder.
Choosing a builder (or contractor) doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are tips to consider when choosing the perfect builder.
Get referrals from friends and family who have gone through the construction process. Whether you get your builder by referral or you source from the industry, we recommend selecting a builder from the area of construction or one who has worked in that area before under similar circumstances. A builder with experience in similar projects, working on a similar site within the same area will offer the best expertise for your project.
Prepare your construction documents
This is your project so make sure to have all the details about exactly what you wish to achieve. Write down your preferences in regards to budget, beauty, timeline, quality, get your drawings together and all other relevant construction documents. Send a copy to your builder (or builders if you are using the bid process) to refer to when making a quote.
Study the quotes
When you receive the quotes from the builders, measure them against each other. Refer to your BoQ – bills of quantities (or have one done for you here) to make sure the builders did not leave anything out. Do not necessarily go with the cheapest but ask how they will achieve the build without cutting any corners.
Measure management and business experience
Apart from analysing the quotes for prices, access the builders management and business skills. An experienced builder will need to earn a profit and get a referral from your project, this means the material and labour prices will be reasonable, the communication skills will be professional and the technical prowess will be reflected in the quality of works
Ask the builders to share photos of their previous projects. Where possible, as for contacts of occupants to talk to them about how satisfied they are with their projects. Most people will give you honest information to recommend a good builder and to discourage a problematic one. If the builders cannot share contact of their recent employers, ask them to drive over to those houses to access the quality of work preferably on a day and time when the owners are home, you may be able to get the owners opinions this way.
Good communication and reporting skills
Choose a builder whose communication is professional and understandable. A good builder will serve you the technical and industrial jargon but comfortably communicate proper construction practise to get you the most appropriate work even when its doesn’t fit into your budget. A good builder should not simply roll-over to contravene good engineering practice because you asked them. A good builder should have proper reporting skills detailing all construction activities, challenges and delays and promptly share these reports with you. The communication should be two way, both professional, respectful in order for both parties to achieve the common goal.
Look critically at the pricing, as mentioned above, make sure no item is left out. When items are over-prices or under-prices (in relation to the BoQ), then there is usually a misunderstanding of the details regarding this item. Offer for clarification before you proceed.
Access the technical expertise of the builder and team. The builder should have knowledge of the construction methods and standards of that area, the challenges expected and appropriate solutions, knowledge on use of materials and equipment and the ability to check the quality of materials, equipment and construction work. Where necessary, ask the builder to share experience and training details of the team.
The builder should have be financially sound to take on the project and expect payments only as agreed. Do not hire a builder who will require payments more often than agreed or who cannot handle the financial needs of their team even when delays occur. Depending on how you plan to finance your build, the builder should take into considerations that funds may delay from time to time but the project should continue without hindrance for at least a reasonable duration.
Willing to work within your budget and timeline
Choose a builder willing to stick to your timeline and budget. As the owner you will from time to time change the specifications of the build, which may drive the price of some items up or you may take a while to make a decision and cause the timeline to shift, in both cases, the builder should be willing to accommodate these changes while trying to keep the build on track.
Ask the builder these questions
As a first time builder you often struggle with knowing which builder can actually handle your project. To make it easier, we complied a list of the questions you can use to access the strength. Go over to Questions To Ask Your Home Builder.
Get a contract
it is important to get a contract signed before work commences. This contract should have the BoQ, builders quote, timeline, drawings as part of the supporting documents. This contract will protect you and the builder from the unforeseen disagreements, changes or delays that may strain your working relationship. Take the time to look through all the documents together with the builder and only sign to what you feel is fair.
Was this information helpful to you? Do let us know in the comments below or on email at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to know whether we should write more articles on this topic. We wish you the best with your build!