We all want our project to be delivered on time and on budget. The best way to ensure this happens is to appoint a team of independent professionals, to advise and support you, both during and after the construction.
Firstly, be clear about exactly what it is you want and how much money you have at your disposal. Once you've ticked those boxes these are the main players you’ll need on your bench:
If the cost of the project exceeds available funds a lender will need to be consulted and an application made for finance. In recent years Australian lending laws have become more stringent - allow ample time to have your application processed. You should also shop around for the best deal; there are many brokers, banks and lending institutions willing to negotiate to secure A-grade clients. Also, before you commit to finance obtain the advice of your accountant as to its suitability.
2. Legal Advisor
We strongly recommend an independent legal advisor reviews all contracts and variations before they’re signed. Expert legal representation can clearly explain the detail of the contract and identify potential pitfalls. Note also, the appointment of a lawyer may impact your ‘cooling off period’. Here's where you can find a qualified construction lawyer:
Law Institute of Victoria Law Society of NSW Queensland Law Society
Law Society of South Australia Law Society of Tasmania Law Society of WA
3. Architect / Building Designer / Draftsperson
Now that the cash and legals are taken care of - time to get creative! An architect or designer will turn your vision into reality, and hopefully expand upon your thoughts to provide enhanced amenity and value. Many consumers elect to engage an architect to articulate their ideas, some also appoint the designer to administer / project manage the construction. When a designer acts as the project manager they'll typically: answer builder’s queries, issue directions on your behalf (according to the plans), and ensure you get the building that they've designed (this service of course comes at a cost, usually around 3-5% of the total build). For more on this topic, see Architect, Designer & Draftsperson - Who Does What?
The builder is the most obvious player in the team. The appointment of that builder will be the single most important decision you make. To ensure the best possible outcome it’s important you follow a thorough process to appoint an experienced practitioner. For further advice on this topic see HERE.
5. Building Surveyor / Inspector
The role of the building surveyor (called inspector in some States) is to verify that the work meets the minimum standards within the regulations. A surveyor is the qualified individual appointed to: issue a permit, explain the regulations and inspect the construction at mandated stages (to ensure regulations are adhered to). We strongly recommend you appoint an independent surveyor or inspector, not a referral of the builder. Google 'building surveyor peak body and your State name' to search a database of qualified surveyors.
The best way to ensure you get a professional builder - before you sign a contract - is to complete your due diligence with a Builder Background Report
Brendan Watkins, Director - Builder Background Checks P/L
Brendan was CEO of the Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Victoria (SPASA) for 12 years and is the inaugural association building industry 'Hall of Fame' inductee. SPASA is the sole industry peak body for registered builders. As well as serving as CEO of the national industry association for a time Brendan sat on several government building, training and regulatory committees. He has advocated to Ministerial offices and is considered highly knowledgeable and well connected within the construction industry. Brendan presents regularly at the HIA Home Show. Builder Background Checks is augmented by access to a number of specialised industry experts including construction industry lawyers, mercantile agencies, building surveyors, architects, engineers and designers.