Starting the building process can be daunting. But it doesn’t need to be. Find a qualified builder you can trust and work with them to achieve your building dreams.
Here are some tips to get you started on the journey:
Do your research and find a builder you like. Word of mouth is an excellent way to find a builder as people will only recommend someone that they had a positive experience dealing with.
Look at builders’ websites and see what work they have successfully completed and then meet them in person to see if you have a good rapport. You are going to be working closely with your builder for a long time – sometimes more than a year – so you want to be on the same page from the get-go.
Have your plans ready to go so your builder can give you a quote. Before you engage a builder, you will already have started your design process with your architect. Builders can be busy so you will want to liaise with your chosen builder in the lead-up to starting the build to ensure they have time in their building schedule, but their real work won’t begin until the plans are finalised and permits have been issued by your local council.
Get together with your builder and architect so all of you are on the same page. The builder might have questions about how the architect visualises a particular design feature or wall join and need to clarify the plans to ensure they have enough detail. The builder might also make suggestions to make things more practical and seamless as they work in the ‘hammer and nails’ world and the designer visualises things and draws them – the fusion of these skills helps to ensure a project’s success.
Be clear about your timeframe and expectations but also be flexible to adapt to changes if they arise. Building is a complex process and builders take into account the punctuality and professionalism of a wide range of trades and services, including plumbers, electricians, materials creation and delivery, tilers, glaziers, water-proofers, and so on. Bad weather can prevent progress and sometimes delays are out of the builder’s control and this should be factored in when discussing timeframes and expectations.
The most important thing is to keep a professional relationship with your builder and keep informed about where your building project is at. Be realistic and communicate clearly and expect they do the same.