Questions To Ask A Builder Before Hiring

Looking to hire a builder for your next construction project? Here’s a list of the must-ask questions before signing the dotted line.

Building your dream home can become a nightmare if you choose the wrong builder. It would be best to choose the right builder for your home.

That’s why we have created this list of 10 questions to ask a builder before hiring them.

Not all new home builders are equal, and only the best can deliver on all the promises made before signing a contract. The trouble is before the construction begins, you can’t tell whether the builder you’ve hired is right.

Hiring a builder requires a significant investment on your side. This is why you’ll want to assess their capabilities before committing. To help you do that, here’s a list of the top 10 questions you must ask a builder before signing the contract.

Let’s take a look at “What questions to ask a builder?

Questions You Should Ask A Builder

1. Are You Registered And Insured?

This is the first and perhaps one of the most critical questions you should ask any builder before proceeding. A registered builder complies with all the required construction norms—regulations laid down by the civic authorities that builders need to follow.

Ensure the builder is licensed in the state and local region you are looking to hire them for. Each Australian state has its regulations and requirements for builders. You can find them here:

Further, registered builders are usually insured. This means the insurance covers the costs in case of any untoward incident during construction.

An insured and registered builder can provide your project with legal and financial security.

2. What Level Of Customisation Do You Offer?

Meanwhile, brochures for builders always display the best. Most builders will try to keep costs lower by offering run-of-the-mill floor plans. Their customisations will only be cosmetic; anything substantial can add to your expenses.

This can significantly depend on getting an architectural home or a project home. Personalising your home is vital to ensuring the end product is the home you love from the beginning.

That’s why, before hiring the builder, ask the right questions—things like the level of customisation included in the budget. A builder will always offer extensive customisations at reasonable price points.

Customisations range from adding a raked ceiling to adding a new bedroom to completely changing the floor plan to each room’s handles and colour palettes.

3. What’s Your Reporting Process?

As the homeowner, you’ll want to be kept in the know during construction.

The best-quality builders will always provide weekly reports to inform you of real-time on-site changes. Knowing the building process can make all the difference in the outcome of your new home.

So, asking your builder about their reporting process would be best. What’s the reporting frequency? Are they going to have a dedicated contact person? Don’t hesitate to get all these details cleared at the very outset.

The process of handing down a report can significantly impact the build time, progression, and quality of the finished product.

4. What’s Your Quality Control System?

You’ll need to be aware of the quality control measures that the builder has in place.

Quality control is one aspect you can’t compromise on during construction. Quality must be the determining factor, whether the finishing or durability.

So, ask your builder about the nitty-gritty of their quality control measures.

Where do they source their materials? Do the staff have the proper credentials and experience? An upfront builder will not hesitate to tell you about their entire quality control process.

Most builders hire contractors to complete work, such as plumbers, electricians, renders, pools, and roofing. Other businesses handle all. The builder’s contractor can impact the entire home’s quality control.

Knowing the builder has picked their contractors based on quality and not picking on price can make all the difference.

5. Can I Visit Some Projects You’ve Handled Previously?

While every builder will claim to be the best, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. When assessing a builder’s competency, the only foolproof method is to have a walk-through of some past projects.

Going through some homes your builder of choice has worked on before will give you a sense of the final quality. Plus, if the property you’re visiting is old, you can also get a clear idea of how the home will age.

All this will undoubtedly help you in your decision-making.

Be sure to inspect homes within your budget, though. It’s all too easy to show you multi-million dollar homes with high-end finishes. You mustn’t inspect display homes or homes outside your budget to compare apples to apples.

6. Can You Give Me A Few Recent References?

While visiting past properties can give you a good idea of the builder’s quality, talking to a couple of their clients is even better.

Ask the builder for some recent references. Talk with these homeowners to get an idea of how your builder operates.

If your builder is unwilling to give references, this probably means their clients weren’t happy. It’s essential that their clients are satisfied with their work or not as experienced as they claimed.

Most builders will happily provide references. Be sure these references are for work you’re looking to have done. A home renovation is very different from a custom-built home.

7. What’s The Warranty Period You Provide?

The warranty that a builder is willing to provide is a clear sign of their confidence in their work.

A long-term warranty proves that the builder is willing to stand by their finished product. It indicates quality construction that lasts a long time.

Ask the builder about the type and duration of the warranty they provide. Leading builders generally deliver reasonable warranty periods covering cosmetic and structural damages.

Although a standard warranty only lasts 13 weeks in New South Wales, a builder can have their own from a structural guarantee. Appliances and fittings installed in your home will also have warranties, which can range from 12 months to 10 years.

Ask your builder about their warranties and what they cover, more importantly.

8. When Can You Complete The Project?

A good builder always knows the time it’ll take to complete a particular project. Indeed, construction is not an accurately measurable process. Several factors range from trouble sourcing materials to weather problems. These can delay even the best routines.

If your builder knows what they’re doing, they should be able to give you a ballpark figure. Builders will learn about the general timeline of your project.

Ask for specific milestone points, such as how long it would take to lay the foundation for a better assessment.

Just as crucial to the completion date is how delays are handled. When a catastrophic weather event hits, how the builder takes the situation can be as important.

9. What’ll Be The Cost?

This, of course, is the most critical factor for most people.

Getting an accurate estimate of the construction costs is essential for sourcing funds. Most banks are not interested until a quote is given. A good builder will always be transparent with the prices and give you a watertight budget with room for change.

Be sure you check what extras may arise, the finishes, and whether this is a set final price or an estimate. Building companies are too quick to under-quote and charge for minor details. A quality builder will include adjustments within their initial cost.

10. What’s Your Cancellation Policy?

No one knows what tomorrow holds, and due to unforeseen circumstances, you may have to stop, postpone, or even cancel the contract.

Ensure there’s a provision to do so in the builder’s contract.

Comfortable cancellation policies can save you many headaches in the long run. In the unfortunate cancellation event, you and the builder must be covered.

Finding the right builder for you

Getting your own home built can be a dream come true. But before choosing a reputable builder, you need to ask these questions to ensure they are suitable for the job. Otherwise, you might end up working with the wrong one, which can be expensive.

At Buildrite in Sydney, our construction experts can help you get the perfect home. Using quality materials and experienced professionals, we get the job done without you needing to lift a finger. Our team can do everything from custom home designs to knockdown rebuilds. Call us today to speak with our friendly, professional and reliable builders in Sydney.

Just leave it to us and watch your vision come to life!

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