How to choose the right building company

Posted on 23 September 2016

Are you currently searching for the right builder to build your new home? Have you narrowed it down to two or three, unsure of how to make that very important final decision? In this article, you will discover what to look for, and the questions you need to ask…

We will tell you the 3 important qualities you should be looking for in a building company in order to avoid the frustration, agony and delays that are associated with this industry and to ensure that your building experience is one of complete satisfaction.

These qualities are simple to look for, easy to spot and yet comprehensive enough to deliver your new home with minimal fuss.

The first important step is to ensure your builder has a schedule…

 A schedule is a detailed plan of the timeline for completing a construction project (your new home) on time. It’s the significant key to a smooth and enjoyable building experience for both the builder and the client. At Highwater Homes we use the most innovative management tool to manage each of our jobs; this ensures that everyone involved is kept informed of what is happening throughout the entire building project. 

Within the building industry, failing to plan has serious consequences that can include… budget blowouts, rushed work that leads to poor quality and timely delays. If a builder is unable to show you their schedule for completing your home, then be concerned that this builder lacks attention to detail.

For a builder to manage a successful business, they need to have accounted for every day during the construction period and budgeted accordingly. If they do not have a clear schedule to follow, they will look to recoup those costs by either passing them onto you the client as a variation, or by cutting corners elsewhere during the build. Either way, you lose. Most of these builders go out of business after 3.6 years which means you could be left with a half finished home that no decent builder is interested in taking over. BEFORE signing a contract always ask first to see the job schedule. This will demonstrate how the builder plans to complete your home on time. If they refuse to provide a schedule or if they tell you they don’t need one, this is a big red flag so be aware!

Reputation is the second area to focus on.

Is your builder willing to provide the contact information for his suppliers BEFORE you sign a contract? If he is not willing to provide this information, then you need to ask yourself why? You would expect any suppliers that are provided as references to speak well of the builder so dig deeper. How long has the builder been a customer and what is the communication like? While supplier references can be useful, to checkout a building company in detail you need to go online. If a building company is ‘invisible’ online then they may have something to hide. Companies with poor customer service tend to avoid online exposure where possible because the reviews expose what is happening inside their businesses. The building companies with a strong presence online are normally the ones with great customer service and are happy for their clients to review and rate their performance. Don’t leave it to chance when selecting your builder, research references from previous clients as well as past history – have they changed business names to hide their past.  Other useful things to look out for are reviews, information on the company owners, contact numbers, recently updated website, Facebook page and even a YouTube channel that demonstrates previous work.

The third thing to consider when deciding on a building company is communication.

Poor communication is a bug bare of many home owners and unfortunately many builders have given the industry a bad name because of their extremely poor communication skills.  There is nothing worse than having to constantly chase a builder in order to obtain an answer to a question, or an update on progress….and it happens all the time. During your enquiry process, consider how long it takes for your builder to respond to a message or question? What communication processes do they have in place to ensure that messages are not missed? At Highwater Homes all of our clients have their own online client portals to manage communication as well as selections, variations, scheduling and job budgeting. Choosing a builder who uses such an innovative tool allows you to monitor the progress of your home, you can also track every communication and avoid mistakes and misunderstandings. No more missed emails or messages as they are all kept in the one place. Typically the building companies that operate online systems to service their clients are amongst the most professional in the industry. When you ask a builder these questions, you’ll quickly establish their level of professionalism, their expertise and their ability to communicate with you throughout the job.

So remember, the more informed you are of the builder that you choose, the more likely that your building experience will be one of enjoyment and the envy of your friends. To discover more questions to ask a builder before signing a building contract, download our free guide by clicking on the link below. It’s the essential guide for consumers who want to avoid becoming another building industry victim…

Download your free guide here

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