How do I find a Trusted Builder to work on my home?

With an industry full of cowboys with false promises, it’s no wonder people are having a hard time finding builders they trust. Here, we explore what to look for in a builder.
There’s dozens of builders promising the same thing, exceptional building skills for affordable prices, so how do you go about choosing the right one to work on your home? Your new home project is not only going to be expensive, it’s also going to take a long time to fully complete. Just like how you wouldn’t hire an employee without making sure they’re the right person for a business, the same level of thought and consideration should be used in selecting your builder.

Registered in Builder networks

Finding a builder that is registered in professional building networks such as the Master Builders program or Certified Builders program is a good start in determining whether or not they’re cowboys.

These organisations were created to protect homeowners from unqualified builders and unethical practices, as well as promoting excellence in building quality. These organisations offer builders business support, guidance, and other tools which help them with the day to day operations of their businesses. In order to register for either of the organisations you need to be trade qualified, and have a record of your work and successes. It isn’t the only thing you should look for, but it is definitely a good start in finding your trusted builder.

Customer Testimonials and References

Customer testimonials and references are a great way to see how a company works, and how satisfied their previous customers were. It lets you know what level of service to expect, as well as whether or not the company has been meeting the expectations of their clients.

​You can ask for references of previous customers that the builders have worked with, so you can get in contact and ask them how their experience was, ask them to outline any positives, any negatives and overall whether or not they’d recommend working with this particular builder.

​Finding out from somebody who has been in your shoes and followed through is a great way to determine their quality of work without taking any unnecessary risks. Additionally, if a company cannot provide you with references of previous customers, that is instantly a red flag and you should tread carefully. A trusted builder will have an extensive portfolio of previous work done with references backing that up.

Online Presence and Reputation

Online presence and social media is a fairly new way of judging a company. It involves researching a company you’re looking at using, and checking their online presence to see if who they are aligns with what you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, the more you research into the company, the more accurate your results will be.

It is wise to research around and check as many sources as possible as this makes the results less biased, which is a useful thing to do as it is becoming an increasingly common practice for companies to fake reviews, especially when they’re involved in services that require a good reputation, i.e building.

We recommend checking platforms such as their Facebook, Instagram, Company Website, Google Reviews, blogs and pinterest, and to see how they are publicly interacted with. This is important because companies that aren’t shady tend to have decent online presences – at least one major social media channel, a google maps location with reviews on it, and a company website is what every modern day business should have. If they don’t have an online presence at all in 2018, it instantly seems suspicious and may be worth looking elsewhere.

Sitting down and talking with the builders

Another great way to assess a builder’s credibility, is to simply meet with them and have a chat. After you’ve done your online research, you should shortlist the companies who appealed to you the most and then get in contact with them one by one.

Here, you’ll be able to ask all the questions that you’re worried about, as well as find out what guarantees they have for customers that work with them. You’ll also be able to ask about qualifications and certifications them and their staff have. Good builders and project managers are always keeping their clients up to date, and work transparently. Your builders shouldn’t have anything to hide, so asking for a weekly report of jobs completed once they’re signed on can help you keep them accountable.
Cheaper isn’t always better

Cheaper isn’t always better

It’s a good idea to ask for price estimates, but just bare in mind that it’s not unusual for builder’s to underprice to win jobs. Once the customer signs on with them, it’s too late for them to opt-out and the project ends up exceeding the price estimate, or the build takes forever to complete for whatever reason. Don’t get caught out by this, cheaper isn’t always better and if a company says they can do it way cheaper than anyone else, approach this with care, as it could be another case of over promising and under delivering.

Another solution to this problem, is negotiating fixed price agreements in order to achieve a figure that is static, and won’t change – this is how we choose to operate, it eliminates the possibility of shock billing and helps put the customers mind at ease, knowing that they can pay off the amount budgeted for the project. The old saying still applies here, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

To Summarise

In conclusion, trusted builder’s exist but as a consumer you do have to be wary and not be too naive. There will always be sleazy people over promising and under delivering. Your home project is going to be expensive and take a lot of time, so don’t rush when selecting your builder!

​Here at CHE, we’re a member of Certified Builders so you can be sure we’re qualified builders with ethical practices. During our estimate stage, we bring a few selected tradesmen that we think will make a significant contribution to your project, as they can give an accurate description of their proposed works and can spot any previous defects or work components that will need repairing or upgrading through the course of your project. These steps allow us to give you a final fixed price rather than give a ball park figure that will most likely change over the course of the project, leaving you disappointed.

Find us on our website and social media channels and decide for yourself whether we’re a good fit for you! You can also give us a call or flick us an email and we’ll be happy to provide you with information on completed past jobs.

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