The 7 Big Questions you can Expect Your Builder To Ask
At the core of a successful building project is aligning your vision with an integral member of this process; the builder. This should occur early in the construction process in a stage we like to call ‘the prep-work.’
When entering into a contract with a builder, there will be a host of questions from both parties in order to ensure the project schedule is as accurate and timely as possible.
The builder has an overarching level of responsibility in terms of obtaining building permits, organising tradespeople and supervising works throughout the process. However, there will be things required from you, the client, throughout the process.
If you're not a building professional, it’s worth doing a little research on the building process so that you're in a better position to answer routine builder questions.
To get you started, we've explored 7 of the big questions that are set to come up from your builder, and how to prepare for them.
1. What is your budget?
Budget is a determining factor of every new build or renovation project and your builder will need to know yours. An honest policy will go a long way. Unexpected costs and delays can also occur; so perhaps allocate a proportion of your budget for these speed bumps.
To avoid budget blowouts, be well researched in any foreseen challenges where possible (council rules/structural changes) and watch the progress of the project closely. Be transparent with your builder and let them know if you're not happy with a material or application so your builder can source an alternative as quickly as possible.
Paul and Jenna, owners of this stunning Hamptons style home in Mt Kembla, worked closely with Kye Furlong from Lime Building Group to bring their Hamptons dream to life.
2. Do you know of any current regulations on the home?
All builders will help obtain local council permits, but may ask for your knowledge on any current regulations that need to be adhered to.
For example, is your property located on an easement, is it subject to any body corporation or heritage conditions?
Advising your builder of these circumstances during the initial planning stages particularly may help prevent delays and challenges further down the track.
Find out how Valdal projects and BDP reconstructed the front façade of a classic heritage listed Arthur Street worker’s cottage, and reimagined the entire house as an elegant contemporary two-storey home.
3. Will you be living in the house during building works?
During a renovation, some people will choose to live in the home during the building process.
In this instance, your builder will need to know to organise the building schedule around your family and to advise you of which rooms/areas will be safe and available to you at what time.
Lloyd and Anna Sharpe decided to purchase thir dream home after renting the space for three years. The are currently renovating the entire nineties’ style brick-veneer home, starting with the kitchen. Read their story here.
4. Do you have any material requirements for the location?
A builder will generally source all materials and tradespeople but will require direction on any specific requirements.
Or perhaps you're in a dense, urban area where you might be seeking materials and applications that help with acoustics and reducing external noise pollution.
5. Would you like to incorporate "green" products?
During your project, you might prefer a reduced environmental footprint and ask for sustainable materials and practices where possible.
Many builders recycle products, waste and can use sustainably sourced materials and finishes on your project.
And beyond meeting the standard energy and water regulations, your builder may ask if you want additional energy saving features such as efficient heating and cooling or solar/photovoltaic panels.
6. How will payment be made?
At some stage, financial agreements will be raised and it is important to find a balance between progress and payment. Whilst you will be expecting a quality, finished project, your builder will want to feel assured of being remunerated for their work on a regular basis.
Plan a schedule with your builder and agree to a budget cap for each stage of the project paid regularly.
On your end, it's also advisable to ask for detailed invoices which outline materials and services.
7. What is your deadline?
Your builder will ask you if you have a firm deadline for your new build or renovation project. This may relate to a lease running out, a holiday or any other schedules that may affect the timing of the works being completed.
Remember that all project agreements will have a clause for delays (for instance; external, unavoidable conditions such as weather stopping the project) so always be prepared for them.