10 questions to ask when choosing your building contractor

10 questions to ask when choosing your building contractor

Asking the right questions when choosing you building contractor will probably save you thousands of dollars and months of heartache. Here are ten that will sort out who's right for you.

1. Can they deliver on time?

Can you be confident that they’ve delivered on time in the past and will do the same for you? What’s their track record? How do they ensure timelines are met?

Every week the property is empty costs you money. For example, imagine a property that rents for $550 a week. If you can’t ensure the works will be fully managed and completed ready for tenants to move in within the agreed time, you will need to find $550 from you owns funds for every week it’s vacant.

2. Do they have a robust project delivery system to meet your deadline?

This is a way for the client to ensure they get an outcome that’s in line with the original vision. How do they manage projects? Do they have a methodology? Do they have a proven track record for on time delivery?

Ask them to illustrate the sequence of tasks in a project schedule.

3. Are their past clients happy with their service?

Do they have testimonials or references from past clients that illustrate how they worked with clients to produce creative solutions to the clients’ needs? Fundamentally, it’s proof that they can do what they say.

4. Are they property enthusiasts?

Do they bring more to the table than just building skills? Can they offer informed market insights about what enhancements will add value and appeal to specific market segments?

5. Do they have before and after photos of their work?

Before and after photos are the best way to determine how a person deals with particular spaces and issues. They reveal strengths and weaknesses that can be hard to see on paper – how they reinvigorate and change the purpose of spaces.

6. Are they properly registered and insured to cover you (if something goes wrong)

Most people don’t realise that if you’re having various works done to your property exceeding $5,000, by law the project manager must be a registered building practitioner and have a builder’s contract in place with the client.

Importantly, if the work exceeds $12,000 you are entitled to Home Warranty Insurance that protects you should anything go wrong in the future with the enhancements you had done to your property.

If your supplier/contractor can’t provide these, be wary as you probably won’t be covered if something goes wrong.

7. Are they members of industry bodies?

Most industry bodies require a certain level of experience/education/expertise for membership. They also will most likely have certain compliance requirements. This way you’ll know you’re not dealing with a back yarder.

8. Do they have a solid team of trades people around them to call upon?

The best plans in the world just won’t happen without the right trades. You need to make sure that the supplier offers a truly integrated design and trades service, otherwise you may not get the outcomes you expect.

9. How do they keep your project on budget?

Assuming you’ve specified a budget (and you’d be crazy not to), how will the designer/project manager keep things in check? If they have a blow-out, who’s going to pay for it?

10. How do they ensure quality work is done?

The last thing you want is having call back various trades to rectify faults that only become apparent a little way down the track. The best way to avoid this is to ensure your supplier knows and understands how various tasks need to be completed. How will they govern this?

?