A good builder can ensure that your project is completed on time, within budget, and to a high standard. However, finding the right builder can be a daunting task.
Local Expert builders are highly sought after as they are police checked, skilled and trustworthy with all work backed by our Local Expert Service Guarantee. Our screening process ensures you are hiring a trusted professional.
Here are some things that we look for:
The first step in hiring a builder is to ensure that they are qualified to carry out the work you require. A general builder should hold a valid license and insurance as well as have the necessary experience to undertake your project.
Once you have found a potential builder, it is important to ask for the necessary paperwork before hiring them. This includes proof of insurance, a contract that outlines the scope of work, payment terms, and timelines. The builder should also provide information about the cost of building permits and other incidentals.
We all love to see examples of previous work. Requesting before and after photos of completed jobs can provide evidence of their capabilities to complete your custom job with a level of quality you will be happy with.
Google is a great place to start but some States have specialist building regulators and tribunals with dispute resolution processes. You can also contact your state or territory office of Consumer Affairs, Fair Trading or Consumer Protection.
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) and the Master Builders Of Australia (MBA) are the main associations for builders. They will take complaints about members, but their primary obligation is to the member. You can check a builder’s membership by ringing the state or territory offices of the association.
Warning 1: Large down payment
A builder who requests a large down payment before starting the work should be avoided. A reputable builder will only request a percentage upfront and will receive the rest of the payment as the work progresses or is completed.
Warning 2: Vague contract
A contract that doesn’t outline the scope of work, payment terms, or timelines cannot be trusted. A clear contract protects both you and the builder.
Warning 3: Zero reviews or references
A builder with zero reviews or references makes it hard to believe in their work. A reputable builder will have previous customers who are willing to provide references, show you samples of work or who have left positive reviews.
Warning 4: Low estimate
A low estimate may seem attractive, but it can indicate that the builder is cutting corners or using subpar materials. A reputable builder will provide a fair and transparent estimate that takes into account the cost of quality materials and labour.
Warning 5: No insurance or permits
A builder who doesn’t have insurance or mention permits is a scary investment. Without insurance, you could be liable for any accidents that occur on your property and without the proper permits your project could be shut down or incur fines.
Warning 6: Non-itemized quote
A non-itemized quote that doesn’t break down the cost of materials is sketchy at best. A reputable builder will provide a transparent quote that outlines all costs associated with the project.
Warning 7: Asks for payment in cash
A builder who asks for payment in cash is an absolute ‘no go’. Always pay using a method where the payment can be tracked, via direct debit or credit card, this will protect you from fraud.
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