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Building FAQ

Below are some questions we’ve found people commonly ask about building and building contractors.

What does a builder actually do?
Building contractors provide a range of services, from construction to renovation, maintenance, repairs and even landscaping to domestic and commercial property.
What about trades?
Your builder is responsible for co-ordinating all the tasks on your building project. You’ll find that larger building firms have in-house trades resources. Other builders usually rely on dependable and regularly contracted trades.
So how do I choose the right sort of builder?
Many building contractors specialise in particular types of projects. So if your job is a renovation, look for a builder who specialises in this sort of work.
What about project management?
Most builders have in-house project management expertise. But that doesn’t preclude you from taking on the task yourself ... or staying fully informed throughout the project.
How can I determine the quality of a builder?
Most quality builders will be able to offer professional, trade and credit references. Follow those up and also do your own investigation. Check for industry association membership too.
What should be in the quote?
To begin with quotes should always be in writing and easy to follow. The project scope should be clearly outlined along with inclusions and extras. Also check for fixture, fitting and finish allowances.
How do I compare quotes?
Be sure you’ve been offered a similar level of quality and service. Often hidden building costs and extras make a big difference. So be sure the quotes you’ve received provide for the job you expect.
Do I need a contract?
Absolutely. A contract sets out in black and white what building work will be provided, cost, payment and provides for recourse and termination if things go wrong.
What happens if things do go wrong?
If the building work isn’t up to your expectation, your first stop should always be the builder. If you aren’t able to resolve issues, seek mediation or dispute resolution through industry bodies like Master Builders. Your contract will provide for worst-case scenario.
How do I check a builder?
Most quality builders will happily offer the contact details of past clients for you to speak with. It’s also worth asking about complaints. You can do this by checking against the builder’s license number.
What are trade and credit checks for?
Trade and credit checks will give you an idea of the building contractor’s financial management and reputation. This is handy if they’ll be ordering supplies for you and indicates any cash flow stress.
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