You’re on the road to extending or renovating your home, whether it be for profit or to add to your forever home, either way it’s exciting stuff.

Before you go in guns blazing, you will need to do your own due diligence, after all, you want to know you are dealing with a reputable builder.

There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on the right company and being confident they are the right person for the job.

Firstly, they say not to judge a book by its cover, but in this scenario, you want to be sure your builder and their trades present themselves in a professional manner. This includes the quality and condition of their tools, vehicles and equipment. Safety is a huge factor and should be considered throughout the entirety of the project.

Processes are highly important with projects of this scale; you are going to want to be sure that the builder you’re engaging has a clean-cut step-by-step process to follow. 

Understanding the way the builder navigates their whole process, from running the budget, attendance, logistics, on-site facilities and regard for neighbours, will give you a great insight into what you’re working with. Be sure to ask questions!

A builder’s quoting and proposal process will also give you a great indication to their reliability within the industry. A professional and experienced builder who takes your time and project seriously will charge for a proposal. With this, you can expect more than a few pages outlining the brand values, scope of works and a build cost estimate. Prepare yourself for 10-30 pages, maybe more, of in-depth detail outlining specific details, schedules, trade involvement and more, all with your design, goals and aspirations in mind. When you invest in a proposal, you can expect complete transparency, this means no hidden costs down the track and all details and costs are agreed upfront.

Be cautious to compare apples with apples. We all want to get the best deal and it’s only natural to get multiple quotes. Do keep in mind big differences in prices may not necessarily mean more bang for your buck or you’re scoring a bargain.

Some builders providing two page quotes may not factor in ALL the costs associated with the build as a 30 page proposal would outline, you want to be sure the contents are covering off on the exact same things. This could cost you thousands in hidden costs down the road, so complete clarity at the proposal stage is paramount to ensuring no nasty surprises.

Finally, working with a builder means they will need to know a fair bit of detail around exactly what you are trying to achieve. Be sure they have taken the time to understand both your goals and concerns for the project, that everything has been discussed in detail before getting on the tools.

To understand the difference between free quotes and paid proposals, check out this article