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Everything You Need To Know About Finding A Builder

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If you are building a new home or renovating, there is a high likelihood that you will require a licensed builder for the project. Most building projects require licensed builders by law. Their expertise will ensure your home is structurally sound, adheres to Australian Standards and is professionally built. Read on to find out what you need to know about finding and hiring a builder.

What Builders Do

Builders do far more than just work on site. In fact, some licensed builders oversee their building projects and do little manual work at all. Some of the jobs a builder does include:

General building work : In any sort of project, builders carry several responsibilities for construction and/or overseeing general building work including that of construction, renovation, extension or demolition of a structure. If the builder is carrying out the work themselves, they may undertake structural work on your property such as adding rooms, removing walls, and other smaller jobs.

New homes : Your selected building specialist will be able to advise you on many important issues to consider when building a new home, including logistics, costs, site selection, and other technical issues

Project management : Often, builders will not do the general building work themselves. Instead, they manage and coordinate projects, including the buying and delivery of the materials needed for the project and management of tradies such as plumbers and electricians .

Renovations : A building professional may be able to manage the whole renovation process for you and enable you to get the best value for money from your renovation.

Home extensions : Many builders specialise in home extensions. They can help you through the councial approval process and build a home extension that seamlessly integrates with your existing home.

House & land packages : Developers hire licensed builders to ensure their house and land packages are built to specifications.

Commercial building : Commercial builders specialize in the construction of shops, office buildings, factories, retail buildings (such as shopping malls) and other buildings. Because of the demands of commercial building, commercial builders usually need a special licence class.

Before work can begin on most building projects, plans have to be submitted to council and a building permit issued. Licensed builders can help you through the approval process and help ensure that your application is not turned down by council.

Choosing a Builder

There are many types of building projects and many styles of homes. When choosing a builder, look for the one who has the most experience with the type of building work you need and the style of structure you want. A period-style home or extension, for example, is very different from a modern home. A building specialist will know what to do and have related trades to call on who are also experienced at building or restoring period houses.

Before you choose a builder:

Check that they have a current licence and the licence permits them to undertake the type of building work you need. For more information about licence regulations in your state or territory, visit licensedtrades.com.au . Make sure they are fully insured. Ask for references and see examples of the builder's previous work. Carefully inspect your building contract. It should be itemized and detailed. If you're in doubt, get a solicitor to read the contract for you. Your contract should include details about the deposit required and progress payments. Progress payments should only be expected after the materials have been purchased and the work completed. The contract should also include a start and approximate completion date.

How Much Does a Builder Cost?

A builder may charge by the hour for a small project, but will charge by the square meter or for the complete job if it's a larger project. Their hourly rate will only be a factor if you just need them to do a small job. For larger jobs, the hourly rate is not important. When you compare quotes, be sure you are getting ""apples for apples"" quotes. The quality of the materials used and the details of the construction work can make a big difference to the overall cost. If all builders are reputable and offer the same level of quality, you can choose the lowest quote.

As a rough guide, new buildings and additions should cost around:

$1500m2 for a timber framed house $1700m2 for full brick $1350-$1500m2 for ground floor extensions $2100m2 for first floor additions

These are average costs for standard finishes. A higher standard finish may cost as much as or more than $500m2 more than a standard finish. Your builder can work with you to bring your project within your budget without sacrificing quality of construction.

Cost and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces. This article was updated 13 August 2015 to reflect current market pricing.

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