So, you’ve finally saved enough for that home extension you’ve always wanted. Whether you need more space for a growing family or simply need more room for entertaining, working from home and everyday living, a home extension project is bound to improve your overall quality of life.
A home extension is a big investment and requires an experienced team to complete the build. With this in mind, choosing the right builder is crucial — it could be the difference between your dream home and a dud extension!
We want to ensure your extension goes off without a hitch. Here, we offer recommendations and advice on how to choose a builder for your home extension project — read on.
Compare your quotes — the cheapest option isn’t always the best!
Naturally, you’re going to be enticed by the cheapest option when comparing quotes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the cheapest builder might have low costs because they need the work and/or don’t have a good reputation. Choosing an inexperienced or “cheap” builder might end up costing you more in the long run — the job might not get finished or the result might be of poor quality.
When comparing quotes, be sure to check each builder’s experience, specialities, finished projects and reviews — we’ll cover this off below. We want to make sure you get value for money!
Have a chat with the builder and ask lots of questions
If it’s your first time renovating or extending your home, you no doubt have a few questions about the process and how to choose a builder who will get the job done right. To lift the veil of confusion around choosing a builder, we recommend going straight to the source — have a chat with a few different builders and ask questions!
You might choose to talk to a few different businesses, or you might hit the jackpot and find someone credible straight away. Either way, here are a few questions to ask a builder:
How long have you been in business?
Are you fully insured and licensed?
Can I see some previous examples of your work?
Do you use contractors? If so, who are they?
Are your contractors local?
How much is the deposit for a project?
When will we know the final costs?
Will there be any unexpected costs?
Do you offer warranties?
Do we need to organise insurance?
When will work start/end?
Do we need to find alternative accommodation?
Who will be in charge each day?
How will you communicate with me?
Are there any limitations between our design ideas and the actual work?
Look at their portfolio of finished projects
Before signing a contract with a new builder, we recommend checking out their portfolio of completed projects — maybe even their “in progress” collection, too. You want to make sure their building and renovation style matches up with your design aspirations — plus, their portfolio will show you what their work looks like once it's finished.
Most home builders and renovation specialists will have photos of their work plastered across their website and social media accounts. Find them online and get a vibe for their work to determine if they’re a good match.
Check out their reviews online
Reading reviews from the builder’s previous clients is always time well spent. Other people’s feedback reveals a lot about the builder’s skill and professionalism — after all, they have already worked with the builder you’re thinking about hiring.
Look for reviews on platforms like Facebook, Google My Business, Houzz and even Product Review. Here, you can see what people really think of the builder’s work. You’ll find other people’s reviews are genuine and unfiltered!
Do some digging — is the company financially stable?
Having a company go “belly up” midway through a home renovation or extension can be devastating. Ask the customers of Privium — the Brisbane-based construction company went into voluntary administration in November 2021, leaving hundreds of customers’ contracts and home building aspirations in limbo.
Some were lucky — Privium has made it a priority to complete all homes that are currently under construction, but others were left disappointed and have to go through the process of finding a builder all over again.
Before signing on for a renovation or extension, be sure to scope out the financial stability of the business and ensure there are safeguards in place to ensure the project is completed without issue.
Read through the contract and clear up any grey areas
If things are looking good with your chosen builder, ask to see a copy of the contract before signing. You might find that the contract has lots of jargon like “prime cost” and “provisional sum” — the difference between some of the wording can make a big difference to the final cost of your extension.
You should also check and make sure that there’s nothing missing from the contract that could impact the final result or design of your extension. For example, you don’t want to end up with laminate flooring when you asked for hardwood — if something is missing from the contract, talk to your builder and ask them to amend it.
We’re the experts when it comes to home extensions — get in touch with our team for guaranteed success
Here at Cubitt’s, we’ve completed more than 300 home extensions across Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Australian Capital Territory.
We’re committed to making that dream home happen — with us, you’ll have a dedicated site supervisor on-board to keep you informed and involved throughout the building and design process, as well as a team of experienced tradies to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Get in touch with our team on 1300 721 150 and tell us more about your extension ideas. We’ll provide an obligation-free consultation to ensure you achieve the home you’ve always wanted.
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