Here we answer the top 5 questions we get from clients all the time in regards to process, price and general building.
1. What should we consider when choosing a building company?
Most clients tend to lean towards the lowest priced builder, or the builder that they know through mutual friends, which is not necessarily the wrong thing to do, but a simple checklist can be a very effective way to determine whether the builder is the right fit for you. First things first is if you are undertaking RBW (restricted building work) you need to know that your builder is a Licensed Building Practitioner, this means they have passed the requirements set out by the Practitioners Board and that they are competent in their respective field. The second thing to check is if they are a member of an organisation like Certified Builders or Master Builders, these organisations have stringent entry requirements which separates the cowboys from the quality builders, they also provide guarantees for works completed so you are not left high and dry.
Outlast Builders Limited are Licensed Building Practitioners and members of Certified Builders providing the Halo 10 year guarantee.
2. Should i pay for a quote or just ask for an estimate?
Most of the time when clients are just looking for prices to compare builders they will ask for estimates, these are a good way to see how each company stacks up on a price basis, but keep in mind that estimates are just that, estimates. Very rarely will a builder provide a full fixed price quotation without some sort of charge, as these are very time consuming, require hours of work and the majority of building companies will utilize quantity surveyors for their fixed price quotations, which costs money that the builder doesn't see again if the job is not won. If you have found your dream building company and they require a payment for a fixed price quotation, 9 times out of 10 it is worth the investment, as this will give you a firm figure for your project, and it instills trust in the building company that you will go ahead with your project, usually leading to the builder providing you more value.
3. i trust my builder, do i need a contract?
Regardless of whether you trust your builder or not, if the building work is valued at over $30,000.00 incl GST then a contract is required. its also a good idea to have some sort of agreement in place even if the building work is valued at less, as it holds both parties accountable and makes sure each party knows their responsibilities.
4. How do i pay my builder?
Most projects, unless extremely small, will be broken down into progress payments. this means that the client only pays for work completed and the building company isn't left to carry over the large expense of the project until completed. These are usually structured based on the type of project - and to fit each parties specific requirements. Deposits are usually set at around 10% to secure the project and cover the building company if the project is cancelled at the last minute leaving the builders out of work or with hefty material bills. Charge up jobs will usually be invoice on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.
5. Our builders did a great job/terrible job, how do we let them know?
If you are unhappy with the quality/time taken/attitude on your project, it is best to sit down with the builder or project manger and voice these concerns, as most building companies will go out of there way to rectify any issues, its all about keeping everyone on the same page at every turn of the project, which is why we hold weekly or fortnightly site meetings and record minutes, so that if there is the smallest of inconveniences, we can rectify it before it becomes an issue.
On the other hand, if you are over the moon with your builders and would like to show your gratitude, it is a scientific fact that builders always work harder if they have either a bbq or a beer to look forward to on a Friday afternoon, this also gives the clients time to learn about the team and forge healthy relationships.
If you are thinking about starting your building project and would like to go over any of the questions covered in this article in more detail, or if you have questions of your own, contact us today!