TIP 1 – Communication is everything

Good communication is important in any working relationship, but it is particularly important when choosing a builder. You want a builder who will be prompt and proactive in their communication with you, be happy to answer your questions, and be willing to provide advice to get you the best outcome.

TIP 2 – Everything is documented & finalised before starting

When building or renovating it is crucial that your construction drawings, specifications and selections are accurate, well documented and finalised before you start. A good builder will have processes in place to help you achieve this.

TIP 3 – Start your journey with your builder

Most people go to a designer, architect or draftsperson first, but the better approach is to talk to your builder first. They can help you with the general design, provide broad pricing and give you cost-saving ideas from the start. This can help you avoid paying for structural drawings and council approvals only to find the design is out of your budget.

TIP 4 – Allow time to plan

As anxious as you might be to start, the result of your renovation or custom home will be better if you allow for adequate planning time. Getting drawings and approvals through to final selection of fixtures and fittings can take quite a while before the building work commences. Allow yourself the time to make the right decisions for you now and in the future.

TIP 5 – Factor in contingencies

This is particularly important during renovations of an older home. Old and unsafe wiring, plumbing issues and rotted timber or termite damage can be some of the unwelcome surprises you encounter through the renovation process. When establishing your budget, make sure you build in a buffer for unexpected costs – don’t just put it all to the build or renovation.

TIP 6 – Protect yourself with a written contract

Make sure you have a written contract with your builder as this prevents confusion and contention. It’s also illegal to not have a contract for works above $3,300. Read the contract in full and to sit down with the builder and ask as many questions as you need. If you aren’t sure on some aspects of the contract then seek legal advice before signing.