What to Do Before Hiring a Builder? Step-By-Step Guide

If you’re a homeowner, you constantly have to make stressful and impactful decisions when it comes to home maintenance and upgrades.

One of the biggest such decisions? Hiring a home builder.

The truth is, there’s a lot on the line. Get it right, and you can find someone that’s reliable and produces a new home or renovation that fits your family’s needs. Get it wrong, and you face delays, out of control costs, frustration, and a subpar final product.

In short, there’s a lot of pressure on you to get it right. But don’t stress because you’re not carrying the weight of responsibility alone. Here’s everything you should keep in mind before hiring a builder.

If you want to learn more about home builders, check out our other resources:

1. How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Builder in Fairfield?

2. How to Choose the Best Builder in Fairfield

3. Builder vs. Carpenter

4. Pros and Cons of Hiring a Home Builder

What are the most important qualifications to look for in a home builder?

First thing’s first: when looking for a potential builder, what qualifications and qualities should you look for? We recommend that you keep your eye out for the following signs of a trustworthy and reputable home builder in Brisbane.

Excellent communication

Building a home extension or a new home is always a time-consuming, stressful process – and you want to make sure that your contractor is a great communicator to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible. 

There are a few things to keep in mind here: his communication with you, and his communication with subcontractors. When interviewing, we recommend that you: 

  • Analyse how they answer any questions you ask: Are they transparent about the building process? Do they want to provide information up-front or does it feel like pulling teeth? If the communication is rocky at the start, it can be a pretty clear indicator that you’ll face more issues down the line. 
  • Check references: You can ask previous customers how well the team communicated throughout the project. Customers will always be more straightforward about their experiences, so this can be particularly insightful. 

Pay attention to how the contractor speaks to their team around you: You should also ask if they have an in-house team or a go-to team that they always use for projects, or if they use different teams every time. This will give you a sense of quality and teamwork standards.

Transparency

We touched on this above, but it deserves its own point. Any great builder should be as transparent as possible when it comes to quotes and costs, upfront pricing, and warranty coverage and insurance. Let’s say you’re planning a home renovation, you’ll want to know exactly what it will cost and where your budget is going down to the dollar. 

Without these protections, you face unexpected expenses after construction commences, snowballing costs, and possibly a lack of support if there are post-construction issues. Again, this information should be provided in a willing and straightforward manner. If not, it may be a red flag.

Knowledge

The fun part about a custom build or remodel is that you really have an opportunity to create the home of your dreams and pick the appliances, flooring, and layout that you’ve always wanted.

A contractor can really help or hurt this process. Pick the right one, and he or she will partner with you and help you pick products that are durable, functional, long-lasting, and stylish. Pick an ameteur, on the other hand, and you could wind up picking things that don’t last or that cost much more than they’re worth.

High-quality portfolio

Finally, you want to make sure that the contractor you choose has experience creating high-quality, durable builds that are similar to what you’re looking for. There are a few things to keep in mind here. First, remember that many builders specialise in a particular style or “look.” you have to check to see if this is the case – and if the “style” of the builder you’re looking into matches your own. 

Second, you want to review a potential builder’s portfolio and evaluate the quality of their work. This will not only make sure that the space meets your needs for years to come, but that the home becomes more valuable if you do wish to sell down the line. 

Need a little inspiration? Check out our gallery here

What should you expect from your home builder?

With all of this in mind, there are many things that you should expect from any potential home builder. Specifically, you should expect: 
  • High-quality, interesting designs: There’s a lot that goes into a good build, and your builder must understand the ins and outs of construction, including elements like roofing, siding, insulation, and kitchen appliances. Make sure that they are well-versed and can provide options that fit well with your lifestyle and budget. 
  • Complete customer service: There should be clear communication and accurate information at all times, from all members of your builder’s team. 
  • That your builder is timely: First and foremost, your builder should provide clear timelines – and stick to them. They should also be timely when it comes to arriving at your home, and available to answer any questions or concerns you have. Finally, they should notify you at least a day in advance if they have to cancel any appointments. This will not only make the process go smoother, but also help avoid big delays in completion.
That they provide all new materials: Electrical wires, mechanics, wood – all the materials for your new build should come straight from the manufacturer. Make sure this is the case.

How to find a reliable home builder in Brisbane and surrounds

✔ Start with a clear plan: If you know exactly what you want and what to expect, you will be more equipped to find a builder that can meet your expectations. 

✔ Do your homework: Make sure that you understand the costs of labour and materials, as well as industry standard timelines. This can help ensure that you don’t get taken for granted, and that you can stay on budget. 

✔ Get references: Interview potential contractors and their previous customers to get a good sense of their workstyle and quality. 

✔ Verify licence and insurance: Don’t take a contractor’s word for this – make sure you double check that licences and insurance are as they should be. 

✔ Be realistic about timelines: This will help set expectations and ensure that you’re not disappointed. 

✔ Sign a contract: Make sure that your contract is clear and negotiates specific ground rules. This can help if you start to encounter problems during construction. 

✔ Pay attention to your permits: Make sure that you and your team get all the right permits to move forward with construction. 

✔ Budget for the unexpected: There will invariably be delays and unexpected costs. Make sure you’re ready for this and that you budget accordingly. 

✔ Get receipts and costs in writing: Make sure that you get access to the receipts when your contractor makes any purchases, and don’t pay them in full until the project is completed.

Final thoughts: Finding the right builder is key

It doesn’t matter if you’re planning a kitchen renovation or upgrading your bedroom, you want to make sure that you get it right. To do this you have to do your homework and make sure that you have the right builder. 

Does their aesthetic match your own? Are they skilled and experienced in finding the materials and the styles that you’re looking for? Does their communication style match your own? Are they transparent when it comes to pricing and costs? 

Make sure that you get answers to all of these questions, and don’t compromise. If you have any questions about building services or what else to look for, feel free to reach out to us directly here.