How to choose the right builder for you

Deciding to build a new home, or doing a major renovation is exciting. But, when it comes to choosing a builder it is hard to know where to start.

We think choosing a builder is like starting a new relationship. Entering into a partnership with a builder, or building company, takes honesty and an upfront approach from both the builder and you, the homeowner. 
 

Do your research

Referrals and word of mouth in the building industry are powerful tools. The first step is to ask friends, family and colleagues to see if they have had any experiences with builders or building firms. They are a genuine indicator of whether a person or firm is good and trustworthy.

It’s also a good idea to go online to do background searches of builders and/or companies. The Registered Master Builders website has guidance on finding the right builder for you. You can also check builders to see if they are Registered Master Builders.
 

Choose quality

Choosing to use a Master Builder means that you are choosing quality. To become a Registered Master Builder, certain quality criteria must be met, including building experience, trade and professional qualifications, on-site management experience and of course workmanship. You’ll also have the peace of mind that their business is in good shape financially. You are in safe hands. 

And, only a Registered Master Builder can offer you peace of mind with a 10 Year Master Build Guarantee on residential work.
 

Be prepared

Our Master Builders say that they are often surprised by how unprepared people are at their first meeting with builders, and so below are the recommended questions you should ask and do before signing on the dotted line. 

The questions to ask are:

  • How long has the builder been in business?
  • Are they a Registered Master Builder?
  • Does the builder have a successful track record in building new homes or doing renovation work?
  • Is the builder suited to the size and type of your building project?
  • Does the builder have the available manpower and expertise to suit the job at hand?
  • Is the builder ‘active’ in your area?
  • Can the builder willingly supply testimonials or referees of completed projects, including some that you can contact?
  • Who would run the job, how will you be updated on progress and how often?
  • Will you be sent photos of progress of your house, and who will you talk to if you’re unhappy about something?
  • When would the job start, finish and who advises you of any delays?
  • How long will it take to get plans drawn up, and how long will the building consent process take?

Things to do:

  • Complete a credit check on the builder, no doubt they will do the same to you.
  • Look into the owners of the company and find out if the directors have a history of integrity.
  • Make sure you feel comfortable with the builder. It is important to have open and honest communication so that any problems you strike along the way can be solved as quickly and easily as possible. To get the best out of the relationship there needs to be trust and respect between you.
  • Make sure the builder is asking questions in order to understand you and your project.
  • Get everything in writing, don’t rely on verbal agreements.
  • Ensure you have enough finance to complete the project and factor in any additional costs.
  • Ask for a guarantee.

The main points are – you need to do your homework, and you need to ensure you have the right fit with your builder– it’s about building a solid relationship with someone you can trust and talk to.