Picking a builder
You can use these common methods to choose the best builder:
- Please select a preferred builder like Australian Construction and request them to prepare a tender or quotation. Look for different quotations to get competitive costing.
- Get tenders from various builders and select depending on cost.
You can obtain a builder and quotation from these two methods; however, one highlights the ideal price and the other, the preferred builder. In both cases, write in your tender documents that you are not obligated to choose the lowest tender.
A designer helps you pick builders and tender for a job, depending on past experience and recommendation. Open tenders that are advertised present different results and smaller specialist builders do not take part since they lack time to tender for many projects. The builder you pick is as important as your selection of designer.
The builder’s work
A builder like Australian Construction has the role of coordinating the construction project as the project manager. This role involves supervising and organising every trade, sourcing, quantifying and managing the delivery of materials. And they also quality-assure the whole procedure which is paramount.
Australian Construction goes the extra mile to source licensed, environmentally sustainable preferred materials. We give you competitive prices and supervise tradespeople to make sure that materials are installed correctly. Pick a trained builder like us who is dedicated to delivering sustainable results and has the awareness of environmental certification systems to guide you in making a decision or reaching an agreement.
Qualities of committed Builders
Qualities of committed builders:
- They carefully establish the sustainability features as stipulated in the design.
- They source reused or recycled materials for use.
- The builders access environmentally licensed materials and make sure they place orders on time.
- They separate waste streams on the site.
- The builders give subcontractors instructions and even back-charge the ones who do not adhere to environmentally preferred activities.
- Make sure that resins, paints, finishes and glues are friendly to the indoor air.
- The builders maintain on-site biodiversity.
- They establish sediment control barriers and maintain them.
Allowances or contingency sums are used to accommodate regions of unspecified risk to cover unforeseen costs. They are mainly used to cater for sudden costs connected to subsoil and foundation. They facilitate flexibility in selecting unique, sustainable practices and technologies.
Prime Cost schedules
To avoid risk aversion on the builder’s part, the builder picks subcontractors to supply and install unique technologies. They give the builder an allowance schedule or prime cost schedule; it is included in the tender.
Most designers pick and specify the particular model and make of crucial, expensive products like doors and windows, solar hot water schemes, energy control systems, smart metering and generation of on-site renewable energy. You or your designer can request your preferred supplier to quote for these items. The supplier should be chosen in the contract, to prevent duplication of substandard or unsuitable items by rival builders.
If you are familiar with a local painter, green plumber, or electrician who is professional and reliable, you can pick preferred subcontractors.
Comparing lump sum and cost-plus
Choose between cost-plus, lump sum or fixed price. Usually, these decisions are made before tenders are called. However, corrections can be discussed with the selected builder before the signing of contracts. Lump-sum contracts and tenders are mainly effective at budget control. However, cutting costs can compromise sustainable results.
Where cost-plus is concerned, the builder marks up via percentage increase for sourcing materials and for scheduling and ordering. Then hourly rates for trades and the builder is factored in. For those contracts, the owner and builder need high trust levels.
The owner has more control over spending decisions; however, they decrease the builder’s responsibility for price overruns. It can lead to forced cutting of cost and loss of vital sustainable features like photovoltaic arrays since the budget is drained. Use fixed-price contracts for tight budgets. If you use cost-plus, isolate budget stipends for maintainable features.
Industry peak bodies and lending authorities present typical home building contracts. They make up the foundation of your lawfully binding agreement with your builder. Pick a contract that strikes a good balance between your requirements and your builder’s needs.
It is essential to have straightforward dispute resolution provisions and chosen independent arbitrators. Include the builder’s tender, plans and specifications approved by the council, licensed engineering details, nominated contractors or suppliers and any schedules. Before signing, request your designer and solicitor to analyse your contract. Show maintenance requirements on specifications and add fines for substituting poor quality materials and items.
Tendering tips for facilitating environmentally preferred results
The contract document includes drawings and specifications. Please make sure they clearly show sustainability requirements to avoid inferior products and materials.
Give clear descriptions of sustainable materials or methods that have not yet been set as standard building practice and include suggestions of how to source or establish them.
Give definite instructions that avoid alterations or swapping without you or your designer’s approval. Request that ‘tendering builders’ go through tender documents beforehand to assess risks connected to sustainability compliance and make note or attempt to mitigate any likelihoods of conflict within their tender.
Request builders to suggest other suitable solutions for their supply and trades chains while offering the same or enhanced environmental results.
Consider using contracts that link payment to attain particular environmental results, for instance, details of environmentally licensed materials, glazing and window specifications, and recycling or reusing specifications.
Create a reusable materials schedule (if you are demolishing an existing home or renovating) and negotiate with your builder about reusing them.
Some clients opt to manage their projects as owner builders. Unless you have experience in home construction and have vast knowledge about local building activities, supply chains and have a plethora of locally connected trade networks then it’s a probably a wiser and safer option to leave the project in the hands of professionals like Australian Construction.
Sustainable building mostly needs tradespeople to embrace new materials and practices. An inexperienced owner builder will still find it very challenging to negotiate.
More often than not, sustainable building practices and further sustainable building opportunities get lost as soon as the project commences. It is mainly caused by lack of knowledge in environmentally sound values, and practices by tradespeople, builders or ineffective certification.
Choose a qualified and certified builder like Australian Construction to avoid disappointment!