So, you’ve got your property, have the plans ready but where do you go from here?
One of the most important things when it comes to building is organization. Yes, things will come up and you will have to pivot from time to time, but if you are organized, things will run a lot smoother. This also applies when meeting with builders to tender for a job. The more you have ready for them the better! Here are our top 6 things to have prepared.
Builders are looking for clients that are easy to work with and good at communicating. They aren’t all going to fall over themselves for your project. Remember, it’s a competitive market out there so you need to win them over. The first step is to have a conversation with them to see if they are prepared to do a job like yours. Some builders are only looking for larger projects, where as some are happy to take on a small bathroom so it’s about finding the right fit for both builder and client. Remember, they are only going to take on a few projects a year and generally go on referrals. You will need to show your project in the best light to get it looked at and quoted.
You need to be really clear about what your intentions are for your build so that the builder will be able to have a good understanding of what you are wanting to achieve. They’ll need to know if you plan to live in the front half of the house while you’re renovating the back. That might be a deal breaker for some builders. Other factors that may affect your builder’s decision would be if this is your ‘forever home’ or perhaps you are planning to flip the property. If you plan to project manage the role be upfront so the builder knows from the get-go what is required of their team.
3. Status of the project
Where are you at with your project? Builders can’t quote unless they have a full suite of information, but in the early stages, it’s more about having a conversation. Make sure you share any specifications you have at this point. Be wary of sending a blind email with a bunch of attachments, talking to a builder makes it more likely they’ll respond.
Timeline is key when engaging a builder. remember, they only tend to take on a few projects a year–particularly larger scale ones. Flexibility is also very important, if you have a firm end date in mind, it may make it difficult to pin down a builder. Timelines do blow out and they may take longer on a current project pushing the next start date out.
A great way to communicate the look and feel you are wanting to achieve is visually. Get crafty with mood boards, flat lays and3Drenders. If this isn’t your forte, don’t worry. A good builder can read plans and understand what the project will look like from the materials specified.
There’s this misconception that builders are out to get you when it comes to budget. This is just not the case. Conversations around budget are really helpful to have upfront, so no one’s wasting anyone’s time. A budget project might be somewhere around$2000/sqm, but a high-end build could be more like $5000/sqm. It’s important to figure out where your project sits on the scale before asking for a quote. And as always, no matter your budget, allow 10-20% contingency.
Meet a builder checklist
What to have ready before you pick up the phone
- Build your ‘client’ resume
- Mood board and style assets
- How you plan to live in the home
- Sketches and plans
- Approvals and permits
- Confirmed budget