As a builder, one of the consistent questions I get is ‘where do I start?’ The process of building or renovating your home can seem like more of a mountain than a molehill when first starting, and figuring how just where to take the first steps can be difficult.

The very first step is to establish that you have the budget to complete this journey. The second is to meet a builder.

It’s worth taking the time to find a builder you are comfortable with and who you can trust. Construction is all about communication and starts with a good relationship between the client and the builder. Most reputable builders are happy to discuss your requirements and give advice on budgets, construction methods, cost implications on different land characteristics and are usually happy to supply a ballpark estimate. This ballpark estimate would only be very approximate and usually based on a combination of past experience, square metre rate and previous projects. Established builders have probably built something similar to use as a reference.

The issue with starting with a designer, architect or drafter is that the budget can often be disregarded, or left too late in the process. This can be overcome by starting with a builder and including them from the very beginning. A builder can work with your designer or alternatively offer suggestions as to designers you could work with, based on their experience. The builder may even have a portfolio of plans that may be suitable or require minimal alterations. The builder’s involvement will help to eliminate any costly construction issues that can occur during the designing process and ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to the actual construction.

The important thing to remember is to choose a builder you are comfortable with. Ask any potential builder to provide testimonials from past and current clients. Good builders will also have a great team of employees behind them and a proven process that complements their quality assurance system.  Choose a builder whose work is based on quality, not price, and you will have fewer issues during your build and will enjoy your new home for many years to come.