November 02, 2017
Fix Forward’s Guide to Choosing a Builder
CAPE TOWN – Selecting a builder to build or renovate your home is undoubtedly one of the biggest decisions of the whole project. With so much at stake when it comes to choosing your contractor, we sat down with our Operations Coordinator Armien Harris – an expert with years of experience in managing high-end building projects – to chat about selecting the right person for your specific building requirements in our latest post.
1. Building Scope
Firstly, consider the scope of work and aim to get an experienced builder used to working on those type of projects. After years in the industry, contractors often begin to specialise in particular aspects of construction. Outline what the unique or challenging aspects are of your project and then focus your search on specialists in those areas.
2. Only Use Trusted Tradesmen
In the building industry, referrals and references from previous clients or associates are invaluable. Some contractors are excellent salesmen who might sound accomplished, but a quick call to a previous client would soon reveal that their workmanship was poor or their attitude unprofessional. Be sure to obtain references from as many sources as possible and verify previous work quality.
Ask for information on the project that he is currently busy with. Visit the site and speak to the owner. If the builder is in financial difficulty on that project, then chances are that he needs your project to finance the completion of that one. Chat to us about builders you can trust!
Here are a few more handy points to consider:
- Obtain Quotes from at least three builders
- Make sure your builder is registered with the NHBRC and other professional associations. Please note though that NHBRC registered contractors are not always quality builders. If the builder is registered, you can also get a Bank Grading on them.
- Check that your builder has a valid insurance policy in place to adequately cover the project and personal liability
- Check the registration details of the electrical subcontractor and the plumbing subcontractor that your builder will be using with their respective associations. This is very important. Electricians who are not registered with the Electrical Contracting Board of S.A. are not permitted to sign an Electrical Compliance Certificate.
- Be aware of items that have been deliberately excluded by the builder from his quote. You will have to install and pay for those items yourself. Check if that item is excluded from the other quotes as well so that a proper comparison can be made.
- Avoid lump sum quotes. Having a breakdown of the various items gives you better control and a better basis for comparison.
- Apart from the quote that your builder will give you, which you will be expected to sign, make sure that you have a valid building contract signed by your builder and yourself in place.
- Make sure that you have a payment schedule worked out before you sign any contracts. You will be investing a lot of money in your building project. Consider contracting a Quantity Surveyor to cost and run bigger projects.
Skip the hassle – use Fix Forward
With Fix Forward you can rest assured that all of our tradesmen are rigorously screened before acceptance. We contact up to three references, review multiple past projects and conduct a thorough round of interviews and assessments before any applicant is accepted.
Once part of the Fix Forward platform, all of our have full access to our e-learning training and workshop on how to further professionalise their businesses and deliver great service. Furthermore, all of our subcontractors are registered with the regulatory boards as required so all work exceeds SABS standards.
Lastly, in order to ensure customer satisfaction, all of our tradesmen are required to maintain a certain user rating based on our customer review system.
Once building is underway Fix Forward will visit larger projects, both during quoting and when the project is active, to provide clients with advice and ensure that builders keep on track with the work. This is especially valuable for people who haven’t yet had experience in overseeing building projects.
Skip the hassle and use Fix Forward for professional service that’s quality guaranteed!