Building or renovating your home is a huge investment – both financially and emotionally – so it’s important to surround yourselves with the right team. The builder forms an essential part of this and as such, choosing who to entrust with your home is one of the most important decisions you can make.
With so many builders now in operation, it can be hard to differentiate between quality companies and those that are a little more suspect. Here are six things to look out for:
Any builder worth their salt will be proud of their work and the relationships they’ve built with their clients. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials from any builder you’re talking to, as well as the contact details of past clients. Hearing their opinions and experiences will give you a great indication of what the builder is like to work with.
2. Charging for quotes
Despite popular opinion, charging for initial quotes shouldn’t cause alarm bells to ring – in fact, it should do the complete opposite. Free quotes don’t require a lot of effort and time, as they are often based on a m2 rate and don’t go into specifics, excluding a bill of quantities and other important details. They can often be as short as one page! This can often lead to huge budget and timeline variations, as the quote was never applied specifically to your design.
On the other hand, a detailed and personalised quote will provide you with an accurate budget and timeline, taking into consideration everything from the type of brick used to the cost of the number on the door. Quotes like this should be in excess of 20 pages, ensuring that every element is considered before you sign on the dotted line.
Conducting this level of research and delivering this level of detail takes time, effort and expenses, hence the charge. The quote is also a great indication of the wider attention to detail of the business – if a builder’s proposal is comprehensive, there’s a higher chance their building work will be too!
Communication is arguably one of the most important parts of any relationship, not least one that involves your dream home! Therefore, when sourcing quotes from builders, it’s important to analyse their levels of communication – are they quick to respond to emails or calls? Do they answer your questions clearly and transparently? If not, it’s time to look elsewhere.
When trying to secure your business, builders should be putting their best foot forward. If they aren’t able to maintain open lines of communication this early on, there’s a very high chance they won’t be able to do it during your build either.
4. They’re Honest with You
When you’re planning your dream house, it’s easy to get carried away and have unrealistic expectations. This is when you need your builder to tell it to you straight. In a nice way, of course!
If your budget is not going to cover the changes or your timeframe is way too short, you need to know the truth as soon as possible. Some builders will tell you whatever you want to hear and just say “sure” to get the job. But then of course down the road there will be issues and upsets. At your very first meeting, tell the prospective builder your vision, budget and deadline. If they say yes to everything they are either very inexperienced or lying through their teeth.
5. They Have Ideas
Following blueprints is easy, being able to think on the spot to solve a problem is an asset. You want a builder who can think outside of the box and offer ideas and practical advice. Building your own home can be a wonderful experience so long as you choose a quality builder who will help make the project go as smoothly as possible.
6. They Encourage Customisation
Quality home builders understand that buyers want a variety of standard features in their new home as well as customised options. Whether it’s the overall floor plan, cabinetry or home technology, you shouldn’t feel you’re being forced to go with one option over another. Good builders also offer quick move-in ready options and to-be-built options, giving you choices that fit in with your timeline and budget.
Looking to build your dream home? L O’Grady Constructions can help! Get in touch with our expert team today.