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Choosing a builder who is right for your project can be the difference between a massive headache and an enjoyable, hassle-free project. It’s important to know what to ask your builder. The following checklist will provide a good starting point. Don’t be scared to ask these questions.

Firstly visit the websites of the Housing Industry Association (HIA) or the Master Builders Association for builders in your area, then make a list of potential builders. Check each builder’s website for images and photos of recent work and look for testimonies of other people who have recently used their services.

Ask these questions of each builder so you can compare quality and experience, allowing you to see how easy it is going to be working with them.

• How many years have you been in the industry?
• What are your professional membership and registrations? (MBA,HIA)?
• Are you currently insured?
• Can we speak with some of your recent clients?
• Are there any hidden or extra costs that may be charged?
• What are your standard features?
• What is the process if we change our mind along the way?
• What warranties and guaranties will you offer me?
• What experience do you have with renovations/new builds?
• Do you provide a written itemised quotation clearly outlining what is included or excluded in the price?
• How often will I be able to access and view the home during the building process?
• Who do I contact if I have any questions during the building process?
• If we select you as a builder, when will you be able to commence work?
• What is the process and consequences if we change our mind along the way?
• What warranties and guarantees will you or your manufacturers offer to me?
• Does any work conducted by sub-contractors void any warranties or guarantees?
• What is your expected time for construction?
• Are you currently working on other projects and when will they be completed?
• What other work do you have to start and how will that affect my project?
• Will you be onsite at all times or are you the project manager?
• How often will you be inspecting their work?
• Do you conduct site meetings? When do these take place?
• What responsibility do you take if something is found not to be compliant?
• What is the ‘defect liability period’?
• How long does it last and what is covered?

Lastly, be cautious of unusually low-priced quotes. If the builder is unable to pay for the materials and labour as the project proceeds, this may indicate a potential problem. Keep in mind that less expensive does not necessarily mean better!

For an honest and unbiased opinion or to discuss your requirements with an industry expert, talk to Think and Grow Finance today on 03 8390 5855 or email