Tips and Advice

5 expert tips that will help you find a builder you can trust

Article by Homes to Love

Finding a builder you can trust is key for a successful project. Here are a few tips from Master Builders that will help you find the right builder for you

We know building a new home or doing a major renovation is a big deal – you need a builder you can trust. Here are a few tips from Master Builders, New Zealand’s leading building association.

Choosing a builder is like starting a new relationship. You both need to be honest and open from the beginning for the relationship to work.

Spending some time finding the right builder for you will set you and your builder up for a successful relationship for this project, and maybe even for others.

1. Get referrals and ask around

Word of mouth is a great way to find an experienced builder. Ask family, friends, work mates and don’t forget your architect (if you have one) and other tradies. We recommend you talk to and meet at least three builders and get quotes from them that you can compare.

Ask them if you can speak to some of their other clients. When you talk to their clients don’t just ask them about the end result, ask what it was like working with the builder throughout the build, for example how was their communication? What happened when something went wrong (which is bound to happen) or when they didn’t agree with their builder?

2. Ask lots of questions

Don’t be afraid to ask the builder a lot of questions. This is your chance to find out as much about them as you can. After all, this is the start of the relationship, so you want to get to know them and their business to see if they are right for you. You need to know things like, how long have they been in business? Do they do a lot of projects that are the same size and type as your project? Can they share examples? How long will the building consent process take? How will the communication process work? For more information check out the Master Builders website.

The builder should also be asking you lots of questions as they also need to get to know you and your project and understand what your expectations are. It is a good idea to be clear about what is important to you when it comes to your building or renovation project so you can be open about this when meeting potential builders.

3. Trust your gut feelings

Spend some time with a few different builders or building companies. Make sure you feel comfortable with your chosen builder. On any project there will ups and downs – you need to be able to work through these with your builder as smoothly as possible.

4. Get everything in writing

Make sure you get everything in writing, especially cost estimates and quotes. Don’t rely on verbal agreements. There will be a lot of new information to take in and having it in writing means you can take the time to read things again and do more research if you need to. It also gives both you and the builder clarity. When you have chosen your builder, it is vital that you have a written contract in place.

5. Check they are a Master Builder

Master Builders must meet high-quality standards. This includes building experience, trade and professional qualifications, on-site management experience, workmanship and financial stability. Choosing to use a Master Builder means that you are choosing quality. And, only a Master Builder can offer you the Master Build 10 Year Guarantee.

To get more helpful advice, and to find a Master Builder, visit

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