Part 1: Check the reputation of your Builder
It is important to research your builder and to find the right building company to work with you on your project.
You need to take into consideration whether or not the builder has a good reputation, and if they are respected for their quality of work.
If you are looking at extending or renovating your home, it’s important the builder is capable of this type of building. The best referrals are those from previous clients, so you should ask to see testimonials and projects that they have completed that are similar to your project. Good builders should have nothing to hide.
Make sure the builder has all of the necessary licenses and insurances in place:
- Google builders and check online reviews
- Do a Queensland Building and Construction commission license search at www.qbcc.qld.gov.au – they provide licensing in Queensland to all subcontractors and builders
- Ask to see their license and insurance details
Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
The biggest mistake made by home owners is that they assume so much instead of finding out the facts. Most have no knowledge of the building process and many builders use this to their advantage with variations at exorbitant rates for things thought to be included. Often the owner can feel mislead and trapped and this is a major contributor to breakdowns between the builder and the client.
Questions to ask your builder
What is your building contractor licence number?
If the builder is a company, they need a company builders’ licence and the company needs a supervising builders’ licence. This might not be the director of the company but an employee or partner. Ask for the licence and check it out at www.qbcc.qld.gov.au
What insurances do you have in place?
Make sure the builder has public liability for at least $10,000,000. Construction insurance can be a job by job cover, or an annual policy. Construction insurance covers the cost of the building up until handover to the owners. This is when you will need to take over insurance coverage so you are covered in case there is a fire, theft, vandalism, etc.
QBCC Home Warranty Insurance is compulsory in Queensland. Anyone that holds a license and carries out work over $3,300.00 has to take out insurance for that project. Home warranty insurance is a protection for homeowners. It provides cover in situations where the contractor or builder fails to complete the work, the work is defective, or subsidence occurs.
How much deposit do you need?
For Renovation Builders Gold Coast maximum deposit allowable by law is 5% and this will be in any home building contract . This question will check the integrity and knowledge of your builder.
Can we work together?
Building a home involves participation by many different parties and clear communication is an essential part of a smooth building process. It is really important that your builder can communicate clearly with you as the client and listen to your needs. This will also give you confidence that they do the same with all of their team including tradespeople, contractors, employees, engineers and architects.
You should be able to get a ‘feel’ if a builder is a good communicator at your first meeting. You will be dealing with them for many months of the building process, so it is important to feel confident that you can talk openly to them.