10 SIMPLE THINGS YOU SHOULD ASK YOUR BUILDER
1. How long is the contract price held for and does it meet your time frame? If not, what will the increase in price be?
Most builders will offer a fixed price guarantee. It varies from builder to builder with no fixed rule. Naturally the longer the better. Expect anywhere from 3 months to as long as 15 months.
2. How much compensation do you pay if you don't finish on time?
Your contract should have in place compensation for being overtime. Most reputable builders will offer this. For example, if you have moved out during the build process, a suggestion is to ensure you are offered compensation eg a rental guarantee of $500 per week. You need to reasonable with inclement weather but at the same time be firm with your desires to finish on time otherwise you may be out of pocket.
3. How do you define what is over time?
You want to understand where the end point is of the build. Be clear with the builder of when the start date is and when the finish date is. If you have a start date on the 1st January and its a 6 month build. Then you know anytime beyond 30th July is over time taking into account a reasonable period of 4 weeks for inclement weather.
4. How much time do you allocate for inclement weather?
As inclement weather is out of a builder’s control, an allowance is generally factored into every building contract. This means the contract completion date can be pushed out by a number of days.
5. When does the house construction start?
Some builders consider the start date the date you pay the deposit. For others, its actually when they start commencing work on your property. The builder usually has to start construction within 20 days of obtaining the construction certificate.
6. As a company, what assurances can you provide clients about the capacity to build the home to the required quality and time frame?
Some builders wont have any quality assurance systems. Good builders will be able to clearly describe how they manage quality. Some builders will limit the number of jobs they take on to ensure they are not stretched, while others will use external inspectors through the build to monitor the quality.
7. How do you provide progress updates on the new construction?
Some builders will provide a weekly email detailing what they have achieved and where they are up to. Some builders will have this templated in email format. Ask them to show you this email format. Others go the trouble of setting up a dedicated client portal with 24 hour camera for you to peruse at will.
8. Are your contract price & site costs fixed and will there be increases beyond the contract?
Can you afford to enter into a contract where you don’t know what the final price will be? Good tenders will have no surprises or additional charges for unforeseen site conditions.
9. Do you have an accredited quality system?
Some builders will use an external company for property inspections to keep quality in check. Others will use formal qualifications to be recognised as master builders. Remember, alot of builders bring in external tradespeople so it’s important to ask about their expertise and quality.
10. Please describe in detail the business and financial strength of the business.
Looking for awards and accolades such as “Best Employer” is a good indication. In other instances, you may need to be forthright in asking them for proof that they are solvent.
The good news is that there is no cost to use Builder Finders. We are paid by the builder you have selected.
Building is an exciting time. It can also be a time of great anxiety if you choose the wrong builder. Did you know Builder Finders does not accept every builder. Many builders who apply to join the Builder Finders panel don’t make it. There is a 62 step vetting process for builders to join the panel. In addition, the Builder Finders team conducts comprehensive due diligence through reference checks, ASIC searches and CreditorWatch reports to ensure they are not insolvent. You may not be aware that in the last financial year just over 500 builders went bust. Worse still, right now there are builders in financial difficulty that are cutting corners to stay afloat. Fact is, a lot of builders will tell you what you want to hear. Engaging with one of these builders will invariably mean subpar construction of your home. No one wants that.
With Builder Finders, you are in safe hands.
Why risk it? The Builder Finders team have done all the background searches for you. We take pride in knowing our clients are dealing with some of Australia’s leading and award winning builders. We understand the services of a builder broker may be a new concept for you. It would be our pleasure to refer customers that have used our services in the past.