Whether you are an owner-occupier, property investor or developer, your builder is undoubtedly the most crucial component of any home renovation project. They are responsible for turning your vision into a reality. Choose the wrong builder and you could wind up spending thousands of dollars to rectify construction mistakes – and can have an adverse effect if you plan to take advantage of the HomeBuilder grant to fund part of your renovation. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to sourcing an expert builder to assure a successful, quality renovation.
Here are my four tips for choosing the most appropriate builder for your home renovation:
1. Check the builder’s portfolio
Before choosing a builder, it is important to look at their portfolio of work. This will help you determine if their style or type of work aligns with the result you hope to see in your own renovation, not just whether they have done a good job. Generally, builders will display projects they have completed on their website.
2. Contact their references
Once you have shortlisted builders you like, ask them to provide references for projects that are similar to what you want to create. This process will help you determine whether they are the most suitable builder for you to work. A conversation with a past client may uncover those who are unprofessional, do not produce high-quality projects or are difficult to work with. Builders should be more than happy for you to speak to past clients, so those who refuse to provide references may be a cause for concern.
3. Ensure the builder is licensed and insured
Continue your research by checking if the builder has an appropriate license – this will either be with Master Builders Australia or the Housing Industry of Australia, or both. These independent organisations are responsible for overseeing professional building work and ensuring it is completed to a high standard. If you decide to work with a builder who does not have this licensing, you will find it difficult to resolve issues that may arise during the project. It is also crucial for your builder to have insurance. Builders should at least have Home Building Compensation Insurance (also known as Domestic Building Insurance) and Public Liability Insurance. Having insurance in place will protect you financially if the builder makes any construction mistakes.
4. Ask questions
Do not be afraid to ask plenty of questions. Before meeting with potential builders, compile a detailed list of questions to help clarify any areas you are unsure about, issues you have, or additional information you require. A crucial takeaway from your conversations with builders is how they respond to your questions. If they use a lot of industry jargon or their answers are not transparent, this could indicate that they may be difficult to work with down the track. Expert builders will see your questions as an opportunity to demonstrate their expertise and are more likely to provide you with clear, easily digestible responses. Walking away from the conversation feeling better informed and at ease will confirm the most appropriate choice of builder for you.
About Dominique Grubisa
DG Institute CEO and founder Dominique Grubisa has 25 years’ experience as a practising lawyer, debt management specialist and wealth management educator. She founded DG Institute in 2009, and is an experienced property investor, developer and entrepreneur. Dominique is also a seasoned speaker and media commentator who has provided commentary for major outlets including Sky News, news.com.au, Yahoo Finance, and Sydney Morning Herald. Dominque is a two-time winner of the ‘Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Asia, Australia or New Zealand’ Stevie Award in 2018 and 2019, and was a ‘Businesswoman of the Year’ finalist in the MyBusiness 2019 Awards. For more information about DG Institute, visit dginstitute.com.au.