7 Questions To Ask Your Potential Builder

May 3, 2018
close up of builder tool belt

Your home is, presumably, one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make.

Even when you find a home to buy you might need to make some changes and adjustments so that it suits your individual needs and preferences.

According to Roy Morgan, roughly 64 percent of Australian homeowners have renovated their home to some extent.

If you’re considering renovating your own home, you shouldn’t hire a contractor on a whim.

Here are some important questions you should ask them beforehand to ensure they’re the right person for the job and that you’re both on the same page.

1. Do you have a building license?

couple talking to builder

Don’t miss this one.

You should work only with licensed contractors, in order to obtain the best results.

While it’s true that unlicensed builders might provide services at more convenient rates, you shouldn’t make any compromises in this respect.

You can easily find out if a contractor or builder is licensed by doing a quick search on Google.

2. How experienced are you?

As a rule of thumb, working with an experienced contractor means fewer risks.

Depending on the nature and complexity of your renovation plans, one contractor might be more suitable for the job than another one.

To be more specific, some contractors might specialise in home extensions, while others focus on building new homes.

Most builders should be open to providing as many details as possible regarding their expertise. Hence, don’t hesitate to ask.

3. Do you have appropriate insurance?

Nobody likes to think that their project is likely to become insolvent or that they will go through unfavourable scenarios.

Even so, you might end up in financial loss, in the event that your contractor becomes insolvent.

In this situation, the builder you work with should have a Certificate of Currency for Home Indemnity Insurance. This should cover your financial loss in the event in which something unexpected occurs.

4. Do you foresee any additional costs?

One thing is for sure, renovations can be costly and timely.

And in many cases, there are unanticipated costs.

Still, the most experienced contractors and builders should gauge the complexity of the project and, perhaps, even anticipate price variations and potential cost overruns.

As long as you’re fully aware of the total cost of your project, it will be easier for you to make the best decision for your budget.

5. Can you indicate a renovation schedule?

builder working on roof

Most contractors and builders provide a start and completion date.

But sometimes this is not sufficient; not to mention those dates tend to be mere approximates.

Obviously, a renovating project involves a succession of steps. Each of those steps requires a given amount of time.

Your trusty contractor is the appropriate person to inform you of the number of steps that must be followed and their duration.

6. Who will supervise the project?

Your renovation project should be supervised.

When there is a specific supervisor on the construction site, the workers are more likely to do a thorough job, as opposed to when they’re working alone.

7. How will we communicate once the job starts?

Communication with your contractor is important.

Without effective communication, the results you’re anticipating may not come to fruition. At the same time, if the project doesn’t progress as you’ve anticipated, there should be a way in which you could communicate that with the contractor.

So, does the contractor schedule on-site meetings or anything of the sort? Alternatively, do they offer detailed reporting systems to keep you informed?

A clear line of communication is essential, so make sure you ask this critical question.

About the author

Luke Oleenik

Luke Oleenik serves as the Managing Director of XL Built, a trusted building company specialising in second storey additions and custom home construction across Melbourne. Prevent your dream home from turning into a nightmare with his free ultimate building guide.

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