It’s a nightmare scenario, you are part-way through a stressful build or home reno when you realise that your builder might not be up to the job. Picking a builder is one of the most important parts of starting your dream home journey and Kellie and Kurt Hegetschweiler are on a mission to ensure that building your dream home doesn’t end in nightmares.
Building coach & construction expert Kurt and Business partner Kellie are steadfast on communicating consumers must ‘run from the lowest price’ Just like choosing a bottle of wine in a restaurant, the most expensive may not be the best, and the cheapest is always a risk.
How exactly do you pick a good builder?
1. Are they a specialist? Look at their portfolio, experts will know how to troubleshoot a lot better than someone learning on the job. This will give you peace of mind that you are dealing with an expert on your job. Their portfolio and team (designers and sub-contractors) should demonstrate this. They should also have testimonials backing up any claims they make. Helps if they are award winning.
2. Are they process driven? You’ll notice as soon as they contact you, was it in a timely manner (or at all!) were they professional and asking you the right questions to establish if and how they can help? Do they have systems and processes that they can demonstrate to you and also a dream team of people both on and off site who have a strong track record in their area of speciality? Are they able to consistently follow through on the things they say they’ll do?
3. They have a process to ensure your job is priced accurately. 80% of free quotes are NOT accurate. They should be able to demonstrate this when you meet with them. This includes them helping you your preliminaries eg. getting through council, soil tests, engineering etc.
4. They tell you the truth – full disclosure before the fact. If they can’t help you they will tell you up front and refer you onto someone else. If there are going to be delays, they let you know in advance, not the last second. Too many builders over promise and under deliver. Looks for signs of this early on with the little things. Are they organised, do they arrive on time and return calls etc?
5. They have strong systems for proactive communication. They have one point of contact for you during the job and / or pro-actively contact you about changes and the progress of the job. They should have a process for this and be able to demonstrate this at your first meeting.
6. They have a job delivery system they can show you a job program or schedule in advance of your job, also cost versus actuals on any provisional sums and PC items.
How can you weed out a bad one?
Use the above points as a checklist for choosing a quality ‘best practice’ builder. If they are running their business from the back of their ute, then expect plenty of unforeseen roadblocks.
It helps to know what you want so that you can then look for a builder who best fits the type of project you are looking to build.
IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT A BEST PRACTICE BUILDER WON’T BE THE CHEAPEST BUT OFTEN WORKS OUT THE MOST COST EFFECTIVE BECAUSE THEY DELIVER A HIGHER QUALITY PRODUCT QUICKLY AND WELL.
Builders Coach was formed in 2004 by Kurt Hegetschweiler and created to aid owners and leaders in the construction industry in creating ‘a well-oiled, systematic profitable business machine’. The concept is businesses and/or individuals in the construction industry gaining more control, less stress and higher profitability – allowing owners to focus on the vital areas of the business like growth, strategy and leadership. On the flip side international business coach Kurt, Kellie and his team also wish to change the narrative as well as educate clients around what they need to do to ensure their build does not end up a horror story passed around the table in half finished living rooms.
“My main drive and passion is to help raise industry standards. That’s the legacy I”d like to leave. Pushing builders to be more professional in every area of their business whilst becoming better leaders and people.”