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Peter Rogozik Property Consulting

Choosing a Builder

The 10 Golden Rules Apply

  1. If your family or friends have used a builder they’ve been happy with, ask for details about the builder they used;
  2. See if the builder is registered with the Building Practitioners Board (visit www.buildingcommission.com.au). Domestic builders doing work worth more than $5000 must be registered;
  3. Check the builder ’s projects over the last two or three years,especially jobs similar to yours. If possible, ask the builder ’s previous clients for their opinion of the workmanship;
  4. Visit the building site/s of the builder’s current work in progress to see how it is managed;
  5. Find out how long the builder has been in business and whether they have always traded under the same name. Lending institutions will want to run a credit check on the builder before approving a loan;
  6. A call to the Domestic Building List will enable you to check whether a builder you name has been a party to any recent domestic building dispute.Recent decisions of the Domestic Building List are listed on the VCAT Internet website (www.vcat.vic.gov.au). Consumer and Business Affairs Victoria reports major breaches by builders of domestic building laws and regulations in its Annual Report;
  7. If you have employed an architect, building designer or a draftsperson, ensure that the scope of works (what and how you want to build) is clearly defined and properly communicated to the builder;
  8. If the builder is in charge of the design of the project, the scope of the works should be clearly defined in the written quotation showing wherever possible, type, make and model number of items and accurately estimated quantities. The Housing Industry Association of Victoria supplies a project specification document which includes these details;
  9. Analyse quotes thoroughly. The lowest price quoted for your project may not be the best choice. It could be that certain items have been missed which would otherwise be included in a more expensive but properly detailed quote. A cheap quote may result in poor management of the project and absence of customer service;and
  10. If you don ’t feel you can share the same planet with your future homebuilder, let alone pre-breakfast site meetings or fading conversations on the mobile, keep looking. Your ongoing relationship will dictate the success or otherwise of the project.
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