Builders are integrated in the planning and oversight of an entire project. Hiring a qualified builder is a necessary precondition to completing your project design successfully and to make your decision easier, here is our 5-point guide and checklist to finding and hiring a reliable tradesman.
1. Qualifications and Memberships
Before hiring a builder, it is the customer’s responsibility to verify the tradie’s certificates and licenses. Valid certificates can reassure you that your builder is qualified, reliable and legitimate.
The type of license required can differ depending on the state’s regulation and issuing body so checking the specific licenses in your state can be an effective way to verify a business.
Communication is an important factor in hiring a reliable tradesman. Establishing good rapport in the early stages of your working relationship will be an indication of the remainder of your professional experience.
Builders take ownership of your project so hiring a tradesman that can understand and effectively communicate your goals and designs will make the construction process smoother and easier.
Also take into consideration whether the builder is presentable and organised as this will show you how he will conduct himself during the building process.
Communication not only important before and during your project, but knowing where and how to reach your builders and subcontractors is also important after the construction process.
TIP: Assign a point of contact with the builder and his team. The point person will should be contactable after hours, in cases of emergency and should provide you with progress reports at weekly meetings.
3. Insurance and Legality
Check if the builder you are looking to hire has the relevant insurance policy in place. Public Liability Insurance will protect your property from any damage resulting from the construction process.
Start by asking the builder how your property will be protected. This conversation needs to happen before you start your project so you have a clear indication of how your property and belongings will be managed and protected.
TIP: Always insist on holding onto a copy of your builder’s license to ensure you are well and truly covered. Ask for not only your builder’s insurance policy, but also check the validity of your subcontractor’s insurance.
4. Recent Work and Experience
A builder that is responsive and transparent about their previous work- both successes and failures can be trusted before, during and after the building process.
Before finalising your contract and hiring a builder, ensure that you are aware of any other projects the builder is engaged in. For larger building projects, ask the builder for a projected time frame and estimated time of completion. This will give you a good indication of what to expect and will help with accountability during the construction process.