Choosing a builder is one of the biggest decisions you will make, particularly if you are planning a new build or major renovation project in Auckland. How do you ensure you make the right decision? How do you choose the best builder/construction company for your project?
The starting point is to make sure you get more than one builder to quote for the work as having more than one quote will allow you to compare what is on offer. In addition, ask friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations to find builders to get quotes from.
What happens once you have quotes? How do you ensure you make the right choice?
There are several things you need to consider and research when deciding on a builder for your project. This checklist will help with the process.
Essential Checklist When Choosing a Renovation or New Home Builder in Auckland
- Make sure the company is certified – while being a registered Master Builder or a Licensed Building Practitioner isn’t in itself an indicator of quality, it does demonstrate a commitment to industry standards.
- Read reviews – again, reviews are not everything, and they don’t always tell the whole story, but they should be part of your research.
- Review the builder’s past projects – this is about making sure the builder has experience of the type of work you are planning. You’ll also be able to look at the quality of workmanship the builder delivers by reviewing their previous jobs.
- Contact previous customers – ask the builder to put you in touch with a few of their previous clients. When you speak to these clients, find out about the experience they had working with the builder as well as their opinion on the quality of the work. In particular, ask about any negative experiences. After all, they happen on construction projects. It’s important you find out how the builder responds when things don’t go according to plan.
- Visit current building sites – visiting one or two of the builder’s ongoing projects will also give you a valuable insight. You can see how they operate, the quality of workmanship they deliver, the standard of subcontractors, and more.
- Check exactly what the builder is offering – is the builder offering and quoting for everything you need? In particular, if there are differences in what is being offered between the builders who have quoted for the work, make sure you get clarification.
- Check that everything is in order with the quote – this is a big one as you need to know what is and what isn’t included. Things to look for include the builder’s policy on variations, additional fees and charges, and more. Remember, some builders quote low initially, but you then end up paying a lot more once you factor in all the additional fees.
- Make sure you’re happy with the payment schedule–find out when the builder expects payment instalments.
- Check the contract – check the builder will supply you with a contract as this is a must. Then, carefully read through the contract when you get it. If you are unhappy with anything or are unsure about certain elements, ask for clarification before signing.
- Find out about guarantees –remember, all builders must fix problems that occur in the 12 months after the building work is completed. Check what additional guarantees and warranties the builder offers.
- How will they manage the project – find out how the builder will manage their part of the work, particularly if they are responsible for project managing the build. Do they use software, how meticulous is the planning, who is responsible for the planning, etc?
There is a lot in the above checklist, but it is the best way to make sure you make the right choice when selecting a builder in Auckland.