Choose the right builder to renovate or extend your Melbourne home
When considering a home extension, it’s important to find a construction team or building firm that you can put a lot of faith in.
After all, building or renovating your home is a major project with significant costs involved, and you want to be sure you’ll get the results you’re after in the time frame you desire.
If you want to avoid common construction headaches when adding a home extension, such as unexpected delays, unsatisfactory work, and budget blowouts, here are six things to look for in a construction firm.
Looking to renovate or extend your home and feeling overwhelmed? Contact our expert team at Supa Group Constructions to arrange a free design consultation.
You wouldn’t hire a plumber without checking first if they had the right tools and training to fix your pipes, and choosing a builder to assist you with the planning, design and construction of your home extension is no different. Your builder needs to hold a licence through the VBA, and the builder has the responsibility of ensuring that all trades used on site are also properly registered and qualified.
Check to make sure they are licensed, registered and insured in your relevant state or territory. Ask to see proof that they are legally permitted to be involved in building and construction works – don’t be shy, a reputable builder will offer you all this information upfront, and won’t tiptoe around the question of their qualifications and abilities.
Leading on from accreditation, you will want to make sure that the builder or tradesperson you employ has plenty of experience in renovations and extensions and a good grasp of the complexities involved in adding onto an existing home.
Ask to see examples of their work and, if possible, have a physical walk-through a home they’ve worked on so you can see it from both inside and outside. Browse their portfolio for home extensions that are very similar to what you’re looking for—ideally, there will be more than one example.
If they happen to offer planning, design and construction services as a package, they should be highly confident in talking you through the entire process from start to finish and provide a free design consultation.
Word-of-mouth is a great way to find a high-quality builder or construction firm, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always come to pass. The next best thing to a direct referral is client testimonials or online reviews.
Most top-notch builders have a dedicated testimonials section on their websites and will happily provide you with contact details for both past and current clients. Again, don’t be shy about contacting these references if they are provided.
Former clients will be able to give you firsthand, honest feedback about the quality of the build, how long it took and any issues that arose – as well as the overall experience of communicating with the builder or construction firm in question (including in the months post-build).
Home extensions are renowned for taking a little longer than expected. However, you can ensure you get the work you need done in the quickest possible time frame by choosing a builder or construction firm that has a reputation for reliability as well as building excellence.
Look for a builder that uses contracts specifying fixed prices and fixed completion times. There will be penalties payable under the contract if the time frames are not met in order to compensate you for the inconvenience. Many will offer a reduced contract price if they go over this period, saving you money and sparing you inconvenience.
While some delays caused by poor weather or low supplies cannot be avoided, a good contractor or constructor will ultimately feel comfortable giving you a set time frame for construction and sticking to it.
One of the quickest ways to assess the professional capabilities of a builder or construction firm is to look at how prepared they are in meetings and throughout your dealings with them.
Communication should be clear and prompt from the get-go, whether that be face-to-face, via email, phone call or text, or all of the above.
A good contractor or construction firm will provide you with a detailed cost estimate before asking you to sign anything and tell you how they will handle every step of the project from start to finish, including:
- Preparing your design
- Carrying out preliminary works (i.e. soil reports and energy assessments)
- Obtaining a council and building permit
- Carrying out all aspects of the construction
- Obtaining all relevant approvals including a certificate of final inspection.
At the end of the day, you need a builder or construction firm on board with whom you can comfortably discuss what you would like to achieve with your home extension or renovation.
You will be spending a lot of time in meetings and consultations with the person or group you choose, so make sure you like their approach to communication and feel confident that they will go the extra mile for you.
At Supa Group, we do our best to demystify the building process and explain the specific planning requirements and constraints that are unique to your property. We are steadfastly committed to our clients from start to finish and proud to be both an award-winning Master Builder and long-term HIA member.
We’re passionate about what we do, we stand by our work, and we have the testimonials to prove it.