One of the most important decisions you will make on the road to creating your dream home is choosing the right builder for the project. A top quality, well-built renovation or extension will enhance your lifestyle and give you the home you and your family will love living in for years to come. If and when the time comes to sell, a quality extension will also considerably increase the market value of your home. On the contrary, an incompetent builder could cost you thousands of dollars by ruining your extension and renovation. A quick search will reveal there are hundreds of builders in the Melbourne area so how can you tell which one is right for you? Here are some points to consider when hiring a builder for your home extension and home renovation.

Find out what they specialise in

Not all builders are the same. Different builders have different specialties. Some builders concentrate specifically on new homes, some do general building work and some specialise in commercial building. The ideal builder you should focus on finding must be a domestic builder and specialise in extensions, renovations and double storey additions. A commercial builder will not usually take on a home extension project and a new home builder may not give your project the attention it deserves. Also, there are some special skills that are needed when building extensions and additions or renovating. It can be a bit more difficult than building a new home so it is worthwhile doing your research to find a versatile builder or company who is experienced specifically in in renovations and extensions. This type of builder will be able to adapt their work to the style of your home and seamlessly integrate the extension, literally and stylistically.

Find out if they have done a similar extension to yours

Unlike building new homes, which are often built from off the shelf templates, extensions come in all shapes and sizes, and can be as different as the homes to which they are being added. Whether you’re extending up or out, when looking for a builder for your extension project, it’s a good idea to seek a builder who has performed a similar project to the one you have planned. This is especially important when it comes to period or heritage homes. These types of homes often have extra requirements or skills needed to seamlessly integrate an extension, so if you are looking to extend or renovate a period house look for a builder who is experienced in this style of home. It may even be worth finding a builder who has completed projects in the same suburb or surrounding areas.

How is their communication?

It’s important to find a builder with whom you feel comfortable and with whom you can connect. The ideal builder will ask questions and listen to your goals and vision and they will work hard to understand your lifestyle and recommend the products and design that will fit best. Good builders to work with are fully transparent and are happy to answer every question from the start. They should give you a timeline and a comprehensive estimate in a prompt manner. They should also tell you about their building philosophy, what products they use and have good relationships with all the different contractors who will be helping build your home. Avoid builders who have trouble answering questions clearly, or take long periods of time to respond, this may be an early sign that you will experience frustration with communication throughout the build. You want a builder who responds promptly and makes you feel like their only customer. At Duncan Thompson Extensions, we always aim to be open and honest with our clients and involve them in the entire process, from concept to completion.

Are they registered and licensed?

All reputable Melbourne builders must be registered and licensed. You can always check this through the state authority. If your builder isn’t licensed, steer clear. You can lose valuable protection against substandard work and poor business practices. Are they a member of professional bodies such as the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and Master Builders’? Organisations such as the HIA provide invaluable support and training to builders. Membership with a professional body ensures that the builder is up to date with any changes in the industry and is aware of any new or changed rules and regulations.

Check their references and testimonials

A skilled, reliable and experienced builder who has consistently produced great results is going to have a large following of satisfied customers. Check their website and/or social media accounts, at the very least, they should have testimonials from happy clients. It is also helpful if you are able to see examples of their work, however keep in mind that most builders don’t want to invade the privacy of their satisfied customers. It doesn’t hurt to ask though.

At the end of the day, you want a home that has been designed and crafted to fit your family’s wants and needs. As a leading Melbourne house extension builder, at Duncan Thompson Extensions we are highly regarded within the industry and renowned for the quality of the home extensions we design and build. We have over 30 years of combined experience in the inner, eastern, south-eastern and bayside suburbs of Melbourne and have a legion of happy and satisfied customers to prove it. Contact us today and let Duncan Thompson Extensions create the home of your dreams.