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What Builders Do – Role Of A Builder.

The profession of builder is vast and all encompassing when it comes to knowledge of all trades. Choosing a builder for your new home, renovation or addition project should be done after careful consideration. The right builder can be the difference between a successful project and a complete disaster.

It is crucial that your builder is licensed, registered and insured. They should be experienced and understand the outcomes you desire for your project.

Building Services

  • General Building Works

    Builders can oversee general building work and construction, including for renovation, extension, or demolition. They may also carry out this work themselves depending on their qualifications.

  • New Homes

    Many people engage a builder for construction of their new home. A builder can help you from start to finish with everything from floor plan design to overseeing construction works. They may undertake some of the work themselves and/or contract and supervise other trades people including concreters, electricians, carpenters and more. Some builders also offer house and land packages.

  • Project Manager

    A builder may project manage construction either of a new home or of a commercial property. Many new home builders employ project managers to oversee construction and manage other trades. They will coordinate the works and ensure tradespeople carry out the work at the right time and to a high standard.

  • Renovations

    Reality television has seen the rise of the DIY home renovator, but engaging a builder for your renovation can provide better value for money and avoid costly and stressful mistakes.

  • Home Extensions & Additions

    As with new homes, a builder can manage your extension project from start to finish.

  • Commercial Construction

    A commercial building is one used for commercial (income producing), rather than residential, purposes, such as shops, office buildings, factories, and shopping malls. Apartment buildings can sometimes be considered a commercial building. A residential builder may also be a commercial builder. Commercial projects are often larger, more expensive and require that a builder have greater logistics and supervision skills.

  • Permits

    Most projects, ranging from new homes to extensions or demolitions, require a building permit from your local council or shire. A builder can help you to obtain the necessary permits. You should confirm who will be obtaining them and at what cost. Usually a permit will specify the time in which the work must be completed and this must be known by your builder and adhered to. A good builder will ensure the requirements of a building permit are met.

Hiring a Builder

Factors you should consider when hiring a builder for your project include:

  1. Ensuring your builder is licensed and registered with the relevant state authority. Builders are responsible for the management of a project and must have a good general knowledge of all trades. They estimate costs and the amount of material needed for projects, supervise contractors and check their work, manage compliance with laws and permits and deal with clients. Registration with state building associations helps protect you against poor workmanship.

  2. Whether the builder holds insurance. It is vital that your builder is insured and you should ask to see their insurance certificates. In some instances, insurance policies have been relied upon to have a project completed because a builder has gone into receivership during construction. Types of policies that your builder should have include Home Warranties Builder’s All Risk, Public Liability and Worker’s Compensation.

  3. The price. You should obtain more than one quote for your project before settling on a builder. However, once you have your quotes, it is important to compare apples with apples. In other words, you need to check what each builder has included, the type of products being used and consider time frames and experience. You should not only check what is included in your quotes but what is not included. Do not assume you are getting particular items and clarify whether ‘allowances’ have been made for work, which could result in extra costs if that work cannot be done for the amount allowed.

  4. Experience and quality of workmanship. Ask your builder if they have any display homes you can visit to check the standard of their work. If not, ask to see examples by way of photographs, drive-by completed projects if possible, and ask for testimonials from past customers.

  5. Contract terms. A building contract provides confidence for the builder and the consumer. There are several types of building and construction contracts. Contracts can be for a fixed price or they can be for the cost of the work plus a fixed percentage of the cost or several other combinations. You should know what type of contract you are entering into and fully understand the terms and conditions of any contract. Ideally your builder will use a Plain English contract and it will include all details of the job and be as accurate as possible.

  6. Other considerations: there are many other questions you might ask of your builder including when can they start, how long will construction take, what deposit is required, when will progress payments be required, are there any additional works you should be considering to make your home complete such as landscaping, etc.

Generally, a builder will charge on a square metre basis. However, the amount per square metre is highly variable and could range from $600 to several thousand dollars. A high turnover project home builder is likely to charge less than a bespoke or custom-designed builder. The quality of materials will also impact the cost, as will standard inclusions for different builders, site access, complexity of the project, location, and more.

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