Hiring a Builder: Your Checklist

Hiring a Builder: Your Checklist

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.

TIP: Check if the builder is a registered member of the Building Practioner’s Board or the Building Professional Board, depending on the state.  To be recognised by the board, tradies must go through an accreditation process, including proof of insurance and an assessment of skill and experience. Hiring a tradie approved by the board can be a good indication of a builder’s reliability and knowledge.

2. Communication 

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

Read previous customer testimonials and reviews online by checking the builder’s Oneflare profile or asking the builder to provide examples of his previous projects.

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.

Across all states, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is responsible for implementing the Building Code of Australia (BCA). The BCA addresses issues pertaining to the structural safety and sustainability of building projects across the country. The code provides a minimum standard of safety and can provide a tool to measure your project and the safety of your tradies if you are ever in doubt of the quality of your work.

5. Timeframe 

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.

TIP: Track your progress and stick to your budget by keeping a copy of all relevant documentation, photos of the process and receipts.

Get free quotes from our network of trusted and qualified builders to rest assured that you are hiring a reliable tradesman for your construction site.