We met with the architect today to talk about next steps and deciding on a builder. He stressed that the key difference between builders lies in their processes, and this is what we should centre our questions around. These are the key points/questions we should ask:
1. Don’t underestimate the importance of the general first impression/gut feeling when we walk into their office. He said to be aware of how the office person treats us, as we would often be dealing with them.
2. A key question to ask is what happens when something goes wrong, what is the process for getting an issue resolved.
3. What is the communication process, who will we be communicating with most frequently and what are their roles. Who is the main contact point in the company (I would also want to meet them). Do we have access to the site supervisor – when asking this question be sure to not give the impression that we will be driving them nuts, the purpose is as a direct communication point if something goes wrong.
4. What is the projected construction time?
5. Ask for 3 client references from the last 12 months to speak to. One of these should be a client who has completed the project or is close to completion, and one should be a client who is in the process of building but is not yet completed (beginning or halfway through).
He also gave us a rough timeline for the remainder of the process:
- Decide on builder ~ 1 week (after we decide, we sign some papers to proceed with process)
- Design Development ~ 4-6 weeks (submissions to shire planning start here)
- Review and check costings ~ 4 weeks (should have a mostly accurate costing by this point)
- Final costing adjustments ~ 2 weeks
- Building contract drafted ~ 2 weeks
That’s about 15 weeks of planning before we demolish in roughly late January.
So, this week or next, we will probably meet with the prospective builders and decide on one.
And I think the sooner I start shopping for a spa bath, the better.