Copyright © 2016 Greenstone Building Solutions - Professional Renovation Builders in Brisbane Southside and The Gold Coast

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Plantain Rd

Shailer Park

Brisbane 4128

GREENSTONE BUILDING SOLUTIONS RENOVATON TIPS

 
A PROFESSIONAL BUILDER

When it comes to hiring a builder for your next project it is important to consider presentation,

experience, communication and reputation before you sign that contract.

PRESENTATION

It is important that your builder operates in a professional business-like manner. If they say they will

be there then they should show up and respect your schedule.

They should provide a written contract that clearly describes the work, timelines, price,

responsibilities of both parties and other details as would have been discussed prior.

EXPERIENCE

They know through experience the cost of materials and labour, therefore are in the best position to

offer realistic cost effective construction solutions, to achieve your renovation goals and what will

work for your budget.

They should be able to organise and manage a project, keeping the site clean and safe and

minimising the inconvenience to you, and should be able to deal with any unexpected problems that

may occur.

All professional builders will have reliable suppliers, tradesmen and experts they trust to do the work

needed for your project. They should offer both design and construction services and recommend

only experienced architects or draftsmen.

They should have an idea of the regulations and codes in your council area and know what is

needed for your project.

COMMUNICATION AND REPUTATION

Professional builders listen carefully so they know what you want and they put you first.

They work for you and with you to make sure that you are satisfied and happy with the final results.

You need to make sure that the builder you choose is experienced in the scope of work that you

require done and they shouldn’t be afraid to provide testimonials and references from previous

customers.

 
TEN GOOD REASONS YOU SHOULD HIRE
A PROFESSIONAL BUILDER

1   From start to finish. A professional builder will help you to put it all together – from ideas to

       design, from products to plans, from construction to completion.

2  Experienced advice. A professional builder has the experience and knowledge to help turn

       your ideas into great results. They listen, make suggestions, and look for the best way of doing

       things.

3   Technical know-how. Professional builders understand construction, how to deal with

       challenges and problems, and how to improve the comfort of your home.

4  Expert teamwork. Behind every professional builder, there is a solid network of staff,

       subcontractors and suppliers ready to go to work for you.

5  A proven track record. Their business is an open book. You are invited to talk with past

       customers, look at their previous work and check out their reputation.

6   Accurate pricing. No need to be concerned about low-ball costing, inferior work or escalating

       prices once the job begins. Professional builders know what it takes to do something right and

       how much it costs, and they’ll tell you upfront.

7   A written contract. Trust alone is not enough; professionals back it up with a written contract

       that spells your project out in detail – what, how, who, when and how much.

8  Liability insurance and workers compensation coverage. Better safe than sorry. In the unlikely

       event of an accident or damage to your own or neighbouring properties, a professional builder’s

       cover protects you from liability and cost.

9   Warranty. Like any other consumer purchase, a professional renovation comes with a warranty

       on labour. And with professional installation, there is no risk of voiding the manufacturer’s

       warranties on materials and products.

10 Service, service, service. Professional builders are in business for the long term. They work hard

          to earn your trust and make every renovation a great experience.

QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD BE ASKING
YOUR BUILDER
ASK ABOUT THE BUILDING COMPANY

Make sure they have the experience and positive customer reviews. Find out how and when they

started the business, do they only use quality suppliers & reliable licenced sub contractors.

WHAT SERVICES DO YOU OFFER?

Every contractor will provide a specific range of services. Some will include design services, while

others will work with independent designers. Some may only do bathroom renovations while others

focus on extensions. You need to have a clear understanding of what services the contractor can

provide for your project and if they have the experience you need.

IS IT OK IF WE TALK TO PAST CLIENTS AND VIEW CURRENT PROJECTS?

Ask if you can contact some of there past clients, if they are not happy to do this be careful they

may not have happy clients. If you want to view a current project the builder will need to make sure

it is ok with the current clients (some may be ok and some won’t). Make sure you take note of details

such as how well the site is organised and whether it is clean and tidy.

DO YOU CARRY LIABILITY INSURANCE?

Make sure your builder has the appropriate insurances or it could put you at considerable legal and

financial risk. Professional contractors will provide you with proof of liability insurance.

WILL WE GET A WRITTEN CONTRACT?

All builders should offer a written contact. This is an agreement between you and your builder with

the scope of work to be done in detail, and the price you will pay to the builder. This should also

include a warranty incase any problems were to arise in the future. If a builder is not willing to give

you a written contract, find someone else.

HOW WOULD YOU DEAL WITH OUR PROJECT?

Make sure you are informed and understand the builder’s plans for your project. Will they need

design and working drawings before they are able to give you a firm price? Will it disrupt your

household? Will they clean up daily? How will you pay and when? The more questions you ask the

better. Communication is key in this industry so make sure you have this with your builder. At the

end of the discussion you should feel confident that they understand what you want and can help

you accomplish it.

 
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
FIND A BUILDER YOU CAN TRUST AND ARE COMFORTABLE WITH

This is crucial to a good renovation experience. You need to check out the renovation builder’s history

including their past projects, customer recommendations and necessary registrations and licences.

FIND OUT WHAT SERVICES THE BUILDER OFFERS

Homeowners often don’t realise that many professional builders also provide design and planning services.

Even if you want to work with a designer or architect of your own choosing,

a builder can add a lot of value to the process

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A DETAILED WRITTEN CONTRACT

HIA building contracts are in plain language and set out the building process in a clear and concise manner.

BE INFORMED BEFORE THE WORK BEGINS

What does the work entail? How will it be done and by whom? How will it affect your day-to-day living

arrangements? Should you consider moving out? What if you have questions or want to make changes? The

more you know upfront about the whole process, the less anxious you’ll feel.

BE INVOLVED THROUGHOUT THE PROJECT

The best results come from good communication and a good working relationship between you and

your builder. You should be prepared to spend time going over drawings, monitoring the progress of

your project, and discussing decisions with your builder.

PLAN FOR SPEED BUMPS AND ROUND-A-BOUTS

The bigger the project, the more likely you will run into the unexpected, such as existing deficiencies hidden

in the walls, delays in special orders or bad weather. Be flexible and understand that some things are beyond

the builder’s or your control. If there is good rapport and trust between you and your builder, it is usually easy

to find a solution and to quickly move beyond the problem.

DECIDE ON YOUR FINISHES AT THE START

Typically, homeowners are responsible for choosing cabinets, flooring, tiles, fixtures and the many other

finishes that will complete the job. This can be time-consuming. Set aside plenty of time and begin early.

In some markets, there may be a significant delay for special orders. Take full advantage of your builder’s

experience to help you find the best options.

KEEP MONEY IN RESERVE FOR EXTRA

Once the work begins, it is not uncommon for homeowners to want to go an extra step like a better quality tile,

brand new appliances, and so on. Make sure you leave room in your budget for these expenses.

Finally, a caution – there is no way of completely avoiding the dust, the dirt and the inconvenience that

comes from a home renovation. But remember when it’s all said and done, the pleasure of living in your

newly renovated home will be worth it, if you take time to think first and make it what you really want.

 
 
TIPS FOR A “FUSS FREE” RENOVATION
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

What do you need? How do you want your ‘new’ renovation project to look, feel and work for you

and your family? Do you have a plan? Have you explored all of your design options?

Fill in our “Your Renovation Goals” & “Wish List & Needs” checklist you can find them at

www.greenstonebuildingsolutions.com.au/

STICK TO YOUR BUDGET

Decide as early as possible how much money you want to spend. Let your builder know so he can

give you options within your budget. Remember that your budget should cover everything that may

arise from the renovation, including such items as new drapery, blinds and appliances if needed.

Chat to your lender about what you can afford if you need to finance the project.

FUTURE PLANS

Professional builders can conduct a thorough inspection of your home and offer suggestions for the

most effective sequencing of work over a period of time. Make sure you let your builder know what

your short and long term goals are for your family and renovation.

Fill out our “Future Needs” checklist you can find it at www.greenstonebuildingsolutions.com.au/

INVEST IN QUALITY NOT ALWAYS PRICE

Be careful not to jeopardise the quality of your renovation project by compromising on the quality

of materials or craftsmanship. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. I know we all want value for

money and it is always tempting to go for the lowest price, but you need to consider the implications

if you choose a cheaper price. Professional and experienced builders will help you choose the best

products within your budget. Is your quote from different builders offering the same products and

services?

ARE YOU PROTECTED?

A written HIA contract spells out the arrangements between you and your builder and describes

your renovation in detail.

IS YOUR BUILDER LICENCED?

Check with your state licensing body QBCC (QLD) to ensure the company has the necessary

licenses or registrations and whether anyone has lodged a complaint against the company.

LIVING WITH YOUR RENOVATION

The builder needs a good working environment and communication so the job can progress without

problems or delays with minimum disruption to you as a family. Good communication is key to a

good renovation experience and a satisfying result.

BEFORE THE WORK BEGINS

  • Discuss the builder’s requirements for the work, including access to electricity and water

  • on a regular basis

  • Set clear rules of the house for the all the tradesmen that will be on site.

  • Make sure, if needed, that council permits and approvals have been obtained.

BUILDER RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Greenstone will make every effort to avoid disruptions and minimise the impact

     on your household.

  • Your builder will let you know who the contact person is for your project, usually the site

     supervisor or the builder personally and they will keep you informed of what is happening.

  • The contract should clearly outline the project schedule and deadlines to which your builder

     will work.

  • Daily clean-up is part of the service and should be done by all tradesmen to keep a

     clean & safe site daily.

HOMEOWNER RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You need to protect your valuables cover or move anything that may be damaged by dust.

  • Move furniture, curtains, artwork and or any important items that may be in the way of the

     tradesmen. Also try to keep pets and children away from the work area.

  • If you are choosing and or providing your own products make sure you have done that prior to

     the builder needing them such as flooring, lighting equipment, tiles and kitchen cabinets.

  • Keep changes to a minimum. Variation documents are amendments to the contract and must

     be signed by both parties.

  • You will be asked to make a number of smaller decisions as the work progresses.

  • Make sure that your builder can reach you on short notice.

  • Discuss your concerns as they arise, not when it’s too late!

  • Provide payment as agreed upon in the payment schedule set out in the contract.

  • Accept the unpredictable. Foul weather, unavailable products, unforeseen complications are all

     part of the renovation experience and will be dealt with by your builder in a professional manner.