How to work best with your builder
Once you have chosen your builder, and checked they are a Registered Master Builder, it’s important to set clear expectations around things like communication, deadlines and roles and responsibilities before you start.
Communicating with your builder
Establish what is the best way of communicating with your builder, what you expect to see and hear from them and how often you expect to hear from them.
Make sure you understand what they are telling you. They might use technical terms you don’t understand, so ask lots of questions and get them to clarify anything you are unsure of or don't understand.
Budgeting and paying your builder
Make sure you understand the quote you have been provided and have room for contingency. It is not uncommon for costs to go up once work begins, but if they do, make sure you understand what the extra costs are for.
Agree in advance how and when you will stagger the payments to your builder. It is important to have the agreed payment schedule in writing, and you know what to expect. This way everyone is on the same page.
Managing the project
Managing the project yourself? Be aware of your responsibilities. Even if you’re not the project manager, you still have overall responsibility for making sure everything in the building consent happens.
Confirm who the project manager is in your design and building contracts (it could be your architect, designer, builder or a professional project manager). Make sure you formalise all roles in legal contracts, spelling out what you mean so that all parties have a clear understanding.
Each builder will be different and have different ways of working. The relationship with your builder, or building company, takes honesty and an upfront approach from both you and the builder.