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5 Factors To Consider When Choosing A Commercial Builder

Building & Insolvency in the Construction Industry

When choosing a commercial builder to look after your building project, there are a number of things you need to consider.

1. Experience and Reputation

With a high volume of media attention on builders going broke in Qld, insolvency in the industry seems rife. However, when put into perspective, it is in fact only a very small percentage of the 105,000 licenced contractors in Qld who have experienced financial failure, some of which are subcontractors, with the majority trading normally.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be careful when choosing a builder. Experience and reputation are always a trustworthy form of reference, so do your research. Ask builders for contact details of a number of clients that they have had recent dealings with and gauge their feedback. Contact subcontractors who the builder uses and ask about their experience in working for the builder, and call the Building Certifier and Architects that the builder uses to get their recommendation.

A company that has been around for numerous decades is usually a good indicator that they are run well. Also, a company whose Director/s are actively involved in the day to day running of the Projects is also an advantage – they may have on-site Project Managers, but they have their finger on the pulse and are available to sort out any problems.

2. Strong Industry Associations

Pay attention to links that the builder has with industry associations such as the QBCC, Master Builders Association and Housing Industry Association. This is a good indicator that your builder is up to date with current legislation relating to both building practices and legislation regarding Subcontractor Payments. Ask your builder whether he uses Head Contracts and Subcontract Agreements through one of these associations, or whether he uses other contracts. A standard industry-based contract issued by an Association such as Master Builders Queensland will usually be up to date with current legislation offering both you, the client, and the builder with the best protection.

3. Specific Industry Sector Experience

Whether your project is a new school building, a medical facility, community project, a hospitality facility, industrial building or retail facility – see what experience the builder has in this industry sector. Having had previous experience in the sector your project is in will give you the added advantage that the builder may be able to offer guidance and perhaps some cost-saving ways that the same result could be achieved with fewer dollars spent. Experience in the sector means that the builder may have contacts with specific trades and suppliers that he knows will work well and may offer more competitive pricing if the builder has used them before.

4. Licences and Qualifications

Before you sign any contract with a builder, check their licencing details. A QBCC Licence search can be conducted online at their official website . Ensure the builder is licenced to carry out the work required and check any licensing restrictions or disciplinary records.

Ask your builder what qualifications they have – do they just have a trade background or have they undertaken any additional study? A builder who has a qualification such as a Degree in Construction Management or a Certificate IV in Construction will likely have more business management skills to back up their construction knowledge. As a result, the business will usually have more thorough project management processes in place and provide more in the way of quality control.

5. Services Offered

Some builders will provide more than others when it comes to getting your project off the ground. While some builders will only want to engage with you once you have your plans drawn and are ready to go, others will go one step further and actually help you get to that point. A builder who offers design and construction services is a great place to start – they will spend the time with you to work out what you want to achieve, prioritise your needs, determine a budget and then work with a designer to come up with a plan that will suit. It is also advantageous if the builder and the architect or designer work well together so that technical difficulties can be easily solved. As the client, you will be involved all the way, however, the builder will coordinate the process for you. This way you are getting the best of both worlds – a builder that is involved in the design process so that you get a great design that is practical and hopefully cost effective to build as well!

At Murchie Constructions we believe in open and honest communication with all our clients. Get in touch today on (07) 4132 7777.

About the author

Murchie Constructions

For over forty years, Murchie Constructions has provided quality workmanship and attention to detail. Along with our professionalism and versatility, these attributes are valued by our clients in the industrial, retail, health, education and finance sectors.

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