What to look for in a Builder

Often the building work being arranged for your property has been dreamt about for years, whether it is that dream kitchen or a custom build of a home you’ve pictured in your mind for a long time, chances are you’ve had a long time to think it over. However there are many processes, steps to be taken and regulations to be taken into consideration, often more than initially anticipated. These can be anything from correct paperwork and consents from the council, to what colour tiles you want to choose, but the amount of choices and decisions can often be more overwhelming than necessary.

Taking on a builder which has relevant experience of the industry is the most essential step of any building project. However choosing the right builder that is dedicated to your end result and delivering quality to the standard and budget you have set is often a difficult choice. We believe that ensuring an honest and transparent professional relationship with a builder can have an outstanding effect on the end result and on your budget. This building project is an investment of your time, money and commonly the result of years of dreaming, choose someone who recognises this and is passionate about bringing your dreams to life.

Here are a few tips to consider when choosing your builder:


With so many options and decisions to make, often the things most important to you get forgotten or left behind in the process. Write a clear and realistic list of your non-negotiable must have items, and another list which you are prepared to compromise on. This is a great habit to pick up throughout the entire process, each room should be carefully considered with this approach.


In the ever evolving world of technology there have been some impressive advances in software which encourages clear communication and updates between you, your builder and sub contractors. Find yourself a builder who is forward thinking and focused on putting your mind at ease. An impressive example of this is software called BuilderTrend, this allows the builder to clearly communicate with the clients and subcontractors, over paperwork, consents, photo updates and general conversation. This way you’re never left in the dark and can be confident with progress and stay in the loop for the whole process. Aswell as providing a valuable communication and organisation tool, this software also maintains the budget in a clear and concise way, so you can be sure that your builder has your budget in mind the whole time, eliminating any risk of hidden costs.

Another great example of how your builder can utilise the sophisticated software out there is through CostX, a quantity surveyor system software. So they can keep your project at their fingertips through design and changes, making your custom build accurately easier and quicker. By taking advantage of these valuable technological opportunities, your builder can ensure your needs and wants are taken care of in an organised and sophisticated way so that your project can be accurately maintained through to completion.


Creating a scrapbook or board of images you have collected is a great way to help your builder envision your ideas. Collect photos which clearly represent the structural and design elements you are aiming for so that you are both on the same page.


Your reputable builder must be able to offer you an appropriate guarantee of cover on the building or renovations to protect yourself and your family incase of any unexpected events or deterioration. Halo Building Guarantees offer a 10 year cover of a building or renovation, however they only offer this cover to an NZCB approved builder. If your builder can offer a Halo Guarantee you can rest assured that they are a recognised and reputable builder. The Halo Guarantee offers cover of; a loss of deposit, any necessary costs involved to complete a dwelling, structural defects for 10 years (including weather tightness), non-structural defects for 10 years and alternative accommodation if needed.


Choose a builder who is committed to using qualified and experienced sub contractors. The experience and workmanship of a great builder is irrelevant if the subcontractors don’t provide the same service. Make sure your builder uses subcontractors and architects which are as dedicated to providing exceptional workmanship and have relevant experience. A good builder and subcontractor means so much more than being qualified, it involves the quality of work, respect for your property and working in a clean and safe environment, and working according the schedule to the best of their abilities.


When considering any builder, referring to their past work is a valuable insight into their work. Testimonials and photos are great references when considering the standard of work and the experience of their past clients. Ensure that your builder is fully qualified and holds relevant insurance and experience.


Hidden, or unexpected costs are the most common cause for budget blowouts. Causing build delays, financial stress, and compromisation on design, fittings or fixtures. This can be avoided by working closely with an experienced builder and smart design. An experienced builder can anticipate the small details which are often overlooked during the quoting stage of the process, resulting in unexpected costs. Ask your builder to explain the design and quoting process with your clearly so that you fully understand the costs involved.


Having your builder included in the design process is a great way to avoid any delays or hidden costs down the road. An architect can create an amazing drawing and plan, but your builder can identify any logistical or financial problems that may arise. A builder and architect working together can create an exceptional design which is suitable for your property and budget, so you don’t waste time or money on the design process.


A reputable architect or designer will be aware able to accurately design a detailed building, but will also be aware of any council requirements and how to propose your design to the council for approval with minimal delay. This another step which if handled incorrectly, can often arise unexpected costs. If you choose an experienced and reputable builder it is likely that they already have contacts of good quality architects which they have worked with before and trust.

Contact Tailored Building Solutions about your next project to find out if we are the right builders for your job.