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Ask your potential builder these key questions

There are many decisions to make when building or renovating your home, knowing the right questions to ask your potential builder can help you find the right fit faster.

We asked Nick Craggs, the owner of Kingswood Homes, Papamoa, what you should ask your potential local builder when meeting them for the first time.


1. Are you Licensed?

"It is hard when you meet a new client that has lost trust in the building process due to inexperienced and under-qualified builders. Using a licensed builder is key to success, like myself, they have been assessed and are capable of carrying out your work. It doesn't matter that I have been building for 15 years; every year, I learn and develop my skills and document the process to remain registered. You can check if your builder is licensed on the licensed building practitioners register on their website."

Check to see if you builder is licensed here

2. Do you have any references I can call?

"Your home will be one of your most significant investments, the more time you spend getting to know your builder before you choose will pay off. If a builder cannot deliver past clients that are happy to recommend him - say goodbye now. 

My goal is to have my clients like me at our first meeting, like me, throughout the build and still like me at the end! It's all right to talk the talk, but you need to walk the walk. I stand by what I say and therefore have many people that can vouch for my work and Kingswood Homes, Papamoa."

3. My Budget is ....Can you build for this?

"Once you have plans, this is when a builder can determine building costs more accurately. I expect potential clients to get more than one company to quote their project. If they don't, I will tell them too. 
In doing so, it will give them a better understanding of our price and our value. When comparing pricing, it is vital to compare apples with apples. Look at the detail - is there anything missing. If you are unsure about something, ask. Picking the lowest price is usually not the best option. You want to choose the realistic price with the most value."

4. How do you manage changes?

"Things don't always go to plan. It's the nature of the building process. Clients, building inspectors or engineers, and the house's overall unforeseen condition can enable changes to be needed. As a builder being flexible and having good relationships with your sub-trades enables less to impact the overall schedule. Documenting and approving changes allows for transparency, and everyone knows what part they need to play. 

If a client is informed and realistic regarding timeframes and changes it will allow for a more enjoyable process for all involved."

5. How will you communicate with me?

"Regular communication is the core of a successful build. Documented communication is essential for all formalities, but nothing beats a regular phone call. It allows me to share our progress and answer any questions; keeping the client engaged in the building process is very important.

Building or renovating your home although initially overwhelming is a rewarding experience. By asking these types of questions initially gives your builder accountability and helps the job run smoothly. If issues do arise you know how the will be addressed to and that they will be openly communicated to you. 

Good luck with your project and of course give us a call if you are looking for good builder in Papamoa or Mount Maunganui.