How To Choose Your Builder

All newly built homes start as a dream. That dream is then translated into drawings, measurements and a plan by an architect. However, it is ultimately the builder who will lastly realise that dream. But only if you find the right builder.

If you are on the lookout for a builder, regardless where you are around the globe, Lion Ox – a leading bathroom, kitchen, and home renovator in the city of Melbourne, has the following checklist for you to consider before settling on any one particular builder:

There is no shortage of professional and well experienced builders. But on the same token, there are plenty of shady dealers, masked as licenced and pro builders. The checklist below, will steer you clear of those dodgy builders who may empty your wallets and leave you with poor quality finishes that will require a larger investment in the long term to rectify their mistakes.



  • Verify: Rule of thumb: Only work with a licensed builder. Don’t just take your builder’s word for it, do your validation search on their certificate. In Australia, every state makes it possible for anyone to check on the validity of a license. You can begin by searching for the builder’s certificate at Master Builders of Australia and the Housing Industry of Australia websites. Ensure that their license qualifies them for the type of building you want them to build. Additionally, ensure that they are insured. Every builder in Australia is supposed to get an insurance cover, which protects them and their workers in the event of an accident. Then lastly, demand for a Home Indemnity Insurance, which covers you in event the builder fails to complete the contract for any reasons.
  • Look at their portfolio: So their papers check out, do you now proceed to signing a contract with the builder? Not yet. You now start checking on the quality of their previous work, but do so with care. It takes an expert’s eye to correctly judge the workmanship in a given building project. We suggest you seek someone with knowledge in the area, for example a friend who has built or renovated in the past, to look out for the details which you may miss.Here is where we, as Lion OX come in. We are not only a home renovator in Melbourne, but also have worked on so many renovation projects in and around the city. We have come across so many cases where clients called us in to renovate (well, more like rectify) the initial builder’s shoddy work. You can seek our informed opinion about a given builder’s previous work and use it as basis of whether to hire them or not.You can also get a licensed Building Inspector to do a Quality Assurance Inspection on the builder’s previous works. Understandably, some home owners may wish to avoid this stage so as to avoid the expense of paying for the inspection. However, in the long run, you take the risk of paying a whole lot more in repairs, renovations and court litigations when you are dissatisfied with the builder’s workmanship. Remember, prevention is always better than cure! It’s also much cheaper.
  • Speak to Builder’s Previous Clients: Ask the builder to share contacts of their previous clients as referrals and speak to them directly. You will be surprised at just how forthcoming people are with details, especially if they were very satisfied or dissatisfied with the builder’s work. Use such reference as a basis for vetting the prospecting builder before giving them the contract. Though you may not want to put a lot of weight on the referrals given by the builder, as they may only include the few they know will vouch for them. It would be wiser if you also did your own research in the market and if possible seek out clients they might have worked for without the builder knowing. Such clients will most likely give you an honest opinion on the builder’s work.
  • Verify the authenticity of pictures in the builder’s website: It has been known that some Melbourne builders use stock photos on their website. Pictures that are nothing short of perfection, but as a prospecting client don’t be fooled by all the glitters. Ask for actual pictures and footage taken of their previous work. You will quickly know the difference between a picture paid for (or borrowed) from the internet, and one actually taken on site by the builder during construction. The latter will likely not be so ‘air-brushed.’

If the builder passes all of the above mentioned checklist. It would be safer to proceed and hire them. This checklist will steer you clear of any renovation builders who are only interested in making quick money without putting your general satisfaction as a priority. To get a qualified opinion on a prospecting builder’s previous works, reach out to us today via our contact page.

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