So you've got three quotes...
Builder A : $350,000 - preferred builder
Builder B : $367,000 - recommended builder
Builder C : $325,000 - A random from the internet
They all look OK...
They all seem to include the things you asked for...
Builder C is $25,000 cheaper than the others. How can this be? He has a great website, turned up on time in his clean new work truck. He's only just gone out on his own, but has heaps of experience and even worked on some award winning houses.
Then there's Builder A, your preferred builder. He did a renovation for you in the past, while he ran over time and had some surprise variations at the end, we worked it out and he did a pretty good job. There are a few little things he said he was struggling to get the subcontractors back for... but it's been that long we've become used to them anyway.
Then there's Builder B - the one that your friends told you about. He did such a great job on the house around the corner. You had a chat to his clients, they couldn't believe it. He told them to move out for 6 months - to give him free run of the house, so they factored the rent into the build cost - they were back in 4 months - House finished! Variations all were sorted before the final payment, they were dealt with at the time they arose and paid for in the next progress payment. He came back a month after finishing, with his painter and tiler, to do some touch ups on the walls from where we moved in and fix a bit of silicone behind the splash back. He even checked up on the landscaper who he'd recommended to them, to make sure the retaining walls were installed correctly.. he didn't have to do that.
This story is a very familiar one. The debate and the heartache that can go into choosing a builder. Only to regret the decision 6 months down the track.
When choosing a builder there are a couple of main aspects you should take into account with some priority, and also a few more that with lower priority that help decide the final outcome. I'd recommend you read on first but if you need help and want or need to talk to someone NOW who can help with this - email me direct HERE.
Priority items that you should take into account when choosing a builder include checking registration, making sure they (and their contractors) have the capacity to complete your work within schedule, and knowing what is actually included and excluded within your contract.
Some smaller items that can hold just as much weight are clauses - or the lack thereof - of mutually acceptable nature within contracts. Ideally you want a contract that serves as an agreement with the interests of both parties in mind, a contract with all possible outcomes of the project to have a clause. This will give both the builder and the client a tool for referring to if an unclear outcome arises.
Some builders will design their own contracts, which may look great, but the majority will build in a bias towards themselves, protecting them against financial or time issues, but exposing the client.
It is crucial to have a third party look over your contract BEFORE you sign it, or during the cooling off period of which the length should be stated within the contract.
The above story is a good representation of what can happen while you are procuring a builder or contractor. The kicker is, that any one of those three Builders may be able to do the job on budget and on time - and to your satisfaction! The smallest clues and the right line of questioning could give an experienced eye reason for hope or doubt for the success of your project. A small fee to buy some peace of mind will be well afforded, compared to the financial and mental stress of choosing the wrong builder.
Ask the right questions and get the right answers!
Click HERE to get in touch before you make an uninformed decision that could cost you thousands.