Top five questions to ask your builder

How to work out if you are speaking with the right builder.

You can work through a lot of stumbling blocks over a cup of tea and a set of drawings. Sitting down with a good builder – one with the right experience and qualifications who can get on board with your vision – has a way of putting plans into motion.

But not every builder is well suited to your project. Rather than waste time, it’s important size up each other from the outset. It’s all about communication. Having a directed list of questions will sort the bad fits from the good and the good fits from the perfect. Builder Frank Tarulli, of Thomas Archer Homes, takes us through the five essential questions to ask in the search for an ideal partnership. Better put the kettle on.

1. How many homes do you build a year?

A volume builder, who builds 30 or more homes a year offers good value and service. For a more customised service, a smaller-scale builder can be the way to go.

2. Can we view some completed homes?

The best way to get a feel for the quality of workmanship and fittings used is to see the finished product with a real family living inside. “You need to be wary of display homes,” says Frank. “They are fully landscaped and fully furnished and they are always specced up.”

3. What’s included?

Quality is key when it comes to appliances and fittings. It’s important to fill your space with trustworthy brands. Lesser known imports put you at risk of warranty issues down the line.

4. How much will it all cost?

Look at all the proposed inclusions when comparing quotes. The cheapest isn’t always the best. Neither is the most expensive.

5. What’s the process?

The best builders will have a building guide that will detail your obligations and their responsibilities throughout the build. As Frank says, “This will prevent any building disputes happening down the track and keep everyone honest.”

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