Adding an extension to your Melbourne home is always a good idea because it will add value to your home by giving you more space. However, there have been many horror stories told of building extensions gone wrong during and even after the work is done.

Many homeowners throughout Melbourne have this very common complaint: “My extension looks nothing like what I had envisioned.” Don’t let this be your complaint.

Here are SIX QUESTIONS TO ASK your design consultant so that you can avoid frustration, disappointment and inflated costs:

  1. Experience

It’s not disrespectful to ask your contractor how many years they’ve been in service. Knowing how long they’ve been operating will give you a rough idea of their experience, and most likely how successful they are. If you’re too shy to ask, you can always visit their website and find more information there.

  1. Reference

The same goes for references. Ask them if they have any prior projects they’d like to show you. Their portfolio may consist of many before and afters. Again, if you’re not comfortable asking upfront, their website may have testimonials, or even check out their Google local or Facebook page to read reviews from previous customers. Reading both positive and negative reviews will impact your decision to choose that company.

  1. Contact

Everything will seem calm when you sit down and plan the building extension for your home, but once things start rolling out, it can become a whirlwind of confusion and, sometimes, chaos. For this reason, you should ask the name of the person (most commonly, the foreman) with whom you will communicate directly during the building process, so you have one main point of contact to stay up-to-date with the progress of your extension.

  1. Quotation

Quotes are – or should be – given out to you as an “entire project cost”. However, with building extensions on your property, there are often unforeseeable expenses that crop up here and there. Be clear and open with your contractor, and ask what the quote will entail. They should be able to give you a rough indication of costs that you might encounter along the way.

  1. Challenges

From the time you sit down with your designer or building construction company, ask them what possible challenges they foresee with the design you have in mind. Will there be extensive plumbing needed for the en-suite bathroom you’re keen to put at the back of the extension? Will this cause extra delays and costs? Would it be better to install it closer to the main house? They will know straight away if there will be any challenges and how to overcome them.

  1. Changes

It’s not uncommon in the designing and building business that the original drawn-out plans will change somewhat. The architectural designer will probably call you in for a sit-down to discuss what options you might prefer in lieu of the original plan. Therefore, you ask upfront if there will any potential changes, so you’re prepared should they occur later down the track.

If only one thing can be taken away from these six questions above, it is to ensure there is open and honest communication between you and your extension company. By building a trustworthy relationship, both parties will not hesitate to express problems or issues, which can save you time, frustration and potential costs.

For more information or advice, feel free to contact Duncan Thompson Extensions, one of Melbourne’s most experienced extension building companies. Call (03) 9836 8655 now.