According to The Sydney Morning Herald, unlicensed builders have been revealed as the worst offenders in a NSW Fair Trading crackdown on unfair business practices. So how do you avoid these dodgy operators?
“Ask your friends, family and anyone you know for recommendations – word of mouth is the best way to get honest feedback,” says Simon Croft, director of building at the Housing Industry Association (HIA). “You could also look around your neighbourhood at renovation projects and ask the homeowners who they’ve used, or visit home shows.”
The Tender Management service offered by The Site Foreman alleviates much time and stress that can accompany finding the right builder for your project. Considering using the builders that are trusted contractors who will do justice to the architectural designs is usually a great place to start. Your tender documents are presented to a panel of licensed builders, consisting of trusted and quality builders. A scheduled ‘Open Day’ walk through, conducted by your project manager is offered to the tendering builders which will further minimise any guess work on the builder’s behalf. This window allows the builder the opportunity to view the subject site and any existing structures, discuss an element of the design or documents with the project manager as well as meet with you, the client.
You can check a current contractor licence at NSW Fair Trading using the home building online licence check. Is the name and number on the contractor licence the same as on the contract and the individual’s ID documents? Also, it’s important to check the the licence covers the type of work represented by the contractor.
It’s also important to make sure the builder is insured and registered. As a minimum, they should have Public Liability Insurance and Home Building Compensation (HBC). Check to see if your builder is registered by asking the Housing Industry of Australia (HIA).
Ask the question – does the builder have the relevant experience for the project deliverables? If you are building a new home, but he builder only has experience in renovations and extensions, then they might not be the right builder for you.
With the help from your project manager, putting together a ‘tender package’ will ensure the builder knows exactly what the job entails and what you expect to see in the finished project. This package will include the Scope of Work, your building plan and schedule for the project, as well as other consultants that may affect you firming up a fixed price building quote.
Get at least five quotes from different builders, and remember that if prices do vary, it’s not always wise to go with the cheapest option. Working with The Site Foreman through the tender management stage will ensure no stone is left unturned. Our team will guide you through this paramount stage, so your project is built to specification, completed on time and within budget.