When Rachel Massey, owner of Upper Hutt, was looking for a builder to help with her kitchen remodel, she “treated it a bit like a job interview.”
It was the first time that she had hired a tradie for such an important job, and anxious to find the perfect person to archive her vision of her house, she chose the right building as an opportunity to learn.
“I had my criteria for what I was looking for,” Massey says.
“It wasn’t at all about finding the cheapest builder. It was more about understanding how they came to cost and what kind of failure they would give you.”
Choosing the right business for your renovation can be intimidating, but Builderscrack.co.nz spokesperson Jeremy Gray says it doesn’t have to be difficult if you take your time, know exactly what you want and what you want. need, and follow a few key tips.
These days, there are few key ways to find tradespeople: word of mouth – referrals from friends and family, online research, or platforms like Builderscrack.
“Filter using locale and notices until you have a selection,” says Gray. “Call and see who’s available and whose skills match the vision you’ve communicated. “
When planning a visit, pay attention to whether they come when they say they will and how well they communicate.
During the meeting ask yourself: what is their general behavior when they arrive? How comfortable do you feel with them and how good do you feel that they are listening and understanding your vision? What are their ideas and contributions on how this could be achieved?
DO YOU LOVE THEM? YOU “GET”?
“Rate how well you feel able to work with them. Projects involving visions and many choices depend on a good relationship to be successful, ”says Gray.
You can narrow your list further by asking more technical questions, such as whether they are certified or licensed to do this work, and whether building permits are required.
It’s also helpful to know if they’ve done jobs like this before and if they like this kind of job.
Check out what the risks are and what insurance or guarantee they offer.
Will this work require sub-trades? Can the manufacturer supply and manage them? What additional costs, such as scaffolding, rental of specialized tools, or dump fees, can there be? What will the builder require of you?
Their answers will help you decide if they are the right builder for you.
You should have a shortlist of about three builders to request quotes.
“Remember tradespeople don’t charge you for their time unless they state it up front – so be respectful and don’t take more of their time than necessary to make your decision. “
CITE ME ABOUT THIS
Quotes are a legally binding contract with a builder, which can be for the entire job, an hourly rate if there are unknown factors, or a combination of both depending on the job. Ask them to include as much detail as they need to be comfortable.
“If you receive a quote for an hourly rate, you can ask the tradesperson to estimate the hours required. The final price shouldn’t deviate too much from an estimate, but it will depend on the circumstances of the job, ”says Gray.
“Things like a start date, what will happen if the weather doesn’t allow work to continue, and a detailed breakdown of the scope of work, all add clarity. “
Any remodeling job costing over $ 30,000 requires a full contract, but not small jobs – it’s up to you to decide how comfortable you are with this. The quote is “the simplest form of contract” with your builder.
Gray says getting the lowest price isn’t always important, especially if you’re doing detailed creative work with your builder (like Massey was with his kitchen remodel).
In these cases, the work you do to find a company that understands and respects your vision is worth its weight in gold.
For more on Massey and Gray, check out First Rung: Reno 101, a Stuff Homed podcast on planning your first home.
Neighborhood: a place to ask for recommendations from builders.
Builderscrack.co.nz: A hub for Kiwi builders and owners who want to work.
Register of Licensed Building Practitioners: A list of builders in New Zealand who have been accredited.
The NZ Certified Builders Association: a membership organization that promotes good building practices.
Master Builders: “The voice of the building and construction industry”.
Building Performance: building monitoring portal of the Ministry of Enterprise, Innovation and Employment.