To ensure the best possible outcome, and a minimum of stress during construction, you’ll need to appoint more than just a builder.

We all want our project to be delivered on time and on budget. The best way to ensure this happens is to appoint a team of independent professionals, to advise and support you, both during and after the construction.

Firstly, be clear about exactly what it is you want and how much money you have at your disposal. Once you've ticked those boxes these are the main players you’ll need at your disposal:

1. Financier

If the cost of the project exceeds available funds a lender will need to be consulted and an application made for finance. In recent years Australian lending laws have become more stringent - allow ample time to have your application processed. You should also shop around for the best deal; there are many brokers, banks and lending institutions willing to negotiate to secure A-grade clients. Also, before you commit to finance obtain the advice of your accountant as to its suitability.

2. Legal AdvisorAbout to build you need a team

We strongly recommend an independent legal advisor reviews all contracts and variations before they’re signed. Expert legal representation can clearly explain the detail of the contract and identify potential pitfalls. Note also, the appointment of a lawyer may impact your ‘cooling off period’. Here's where you can find a qualified construction lawyer:

Law Institute of Victoria    Law Society of NSW    Queensland Law Society 

Law Society of South Australia    Law Society of Tasmania    Law Society of WA

3. Architect / Building Designer / Draftsperson

Now that the cash and legals are taken care of - time to get creative! An architect or designer will turn your vision into reality, and hopefully expand upon your thoughts to provide enhanced amenity and value. Many consumers elect to engage an architect to articulate their ideas, some also appoint the designer to administer / project manage the construction. When a designer acts as the project manager they'll typically: answer builder’s queries, issue directions on your behalf (according to the plans), and ensure you get the building that they've designed (this service of course comes at a cost, usually around 3-5% of the total build). For more on this topic, see Architect, Designer & Draftsperson - Who Does What?

4. Builder

The builder is the most obvious player in the team. The appointment of that builder will be the single most important decision you make. To ensure the best possible outcome it’s important you follow a thorough process to appoint an experienced practitioner. For initial advice on this topic see HERE.

5. Building Surveyor / Inspector

The role of the building surveyor (called inspector in some States) is to verify that the work meets the minimum standards within the regulations. A surveyor is the qualified individual appointed to: issue a permit, explain the regulations and inspect the construction at mandated stages (to ensure regulations are adhered to). We strongly recommend you appoint an independent surveyor or inspector, not a referral of the builder. Google 'building surveyor peak body and your State name' to search a database of qualified surveyors.

by Brendan Watkins


We've helped hundreds of Australians complete their due diligence with our unique range of credit rating, defaulting, company & court records. We also search hard-to-find regulatory, insurance, social & government records to ensure our clients avoid repeat-offending builders. If you're about to build, or extend credit to builders, we'll do your homework for you.

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