In a previous blog post I described in detail a common dilemma in the building industry that leads to disappointments and in most cases angry home owners who often blame the builder for cost and time blow-outs.

Whether building your custom designed home or a renovation, it’s still a major exercise and it can become a real headache without careful planning and thorough monitoring of the execution. It requires expertise and attention to detail from everyone involved in the process including the building designer / architect, the builder and any tradesmen involved in the development. Having said that, it also requires clear communication between the owners and everyone else involved. Detailed documentation and a clear Scope of Work are essential to avoid problems later on.

At Jim Demetriou Group we use a simple but efficient process to deliver an accurate set of documents, fully reflecting in detail the expectations of our client for not only their protection, but ours as well. From the initial meeting with our client, our team will work together to ensure that the Scope of Work fits within our client’s budget. Where we are unable to achieve this, we provide options for the client to assist them in making informed decisions as to what they can or can’t afford to include in the work.

Selecting a Builder – Your Initial Checklist

Checklist with red felt pen, and checked boxes.

So in order to provide you with some key points to look out for when you are selecting a builder, we have compiled a brief checklist to assist you:

  • Find an experienced person to design and prepare your documentation – check their credibility before appointing them and ensure they have Professional Indemnity Insurance.
  • Try not to randomly choose a builder if you can avoid it. It’s much better if you are able to get a referral.
  • Ask the builder to show you some recent examples of their work that are similar to what you are proposing?
  • Ask about their approach and policy in regards to building variations – make sure you are happy with their conditions.
  • Ensure that;
    • you spend quality time communicating with your building designer / builder as to what your expectations are in your project including what kind of fittings and fixtures you would like.
    • these expectations are detailed in a comprehensive document known as a Scope of Works (another name for “builder’s instructions”) which will clearly specify what you would like included in the build.
  • Is the designer and/or builder prepared to listen to what your needs are, accommodate your specific situation and work with you to thoroughly create the Scope of Work?

Our very own systems approach which we use for every client, minimises the opportunities for under-quoting and/or misunderstandings. It forms part of our very own quality assurance program and will result in a “win / win / win” situation for not only the designer, but also the builder and the client. Prior to contracts being signed, all parties will have a very clear understanding as to what is to be built and the costs associated with it, right down to the colour of each wall, tile selections, tap selections and so on.

If you are interested in talking to us about your project and how we may be able to assist you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.