Planning to build your own home?


choose the right builder in signing building contract

Whether you wanted to build your own home or renovate existing home, hiring a good builder is necessary.

When choosing a builder, getting some advice from family and friends who have hired one to make their home is a good start.

Aside from this, what other things do you need to consider in order to hire a good builder and be ready to sign that building contract? Let’s find out:


Legit or not?

To avoid making wrong decisions, it is important to know that your builder is legit. But how would you know? Here are the things you need to check:


  • Licensed and insured. Choose a builder that is legit, registered and insured.  Hire someone that is legally permitted to be involved in the building industry. He should have Public Liability Insurance and Home Warranty Insurance. To be one step ahead, check the list of licensed and insured builders from your state’s relevant department of fair trading or consumer affairs.


  • Skills and Experience. Always check whether that builder has the skills you need. If he has only limited experience in the building industry such as renovations and extensions, maybe he’s not the perfect one to hire.


  • Portfolio and References. Check out their previous jobs and the homes they’ve built. Consulting an engineer and their most current clients can help you realize how efficient that builder is in the construction process.


How do I make sure I don’t get ripped off?

Building your own home would require you to spend money. Might as well do your homework.

Have some architect or building designer to help you create a tender package that contains the following:

  • The scope of the work. Clearly, state the outline of the work needed by the builder especially if you will be contracting to a third-party tradesman for parts of the construction.
  • The building plan. This includes engineering documents and soil tests. The building plan will help the builder understand what’s involved, what you want to achieve. Also, it will allow them to figure out the total costs of material and labour and the timeframe for completion.
  • The buildings schedule. To avoid a cost blowout, clearly state the materials, fittings, and fixtures you prefer.

Through the tender package, the builder would know what the job requires and what you want to see in the finished project.

When builders give you an itemised quote, try to compare it with other licenced builders to check.


Do you know what they’re talking about?

You may not understand industry jargons and abbreviations that your builder uses.

It is important to ask and clarify what he is talking about or maybe check it yourself. Miscommunication is a big issue when dealing with a builder which is why a detailed tender package and building contract is important.


Never sign the building contract not unless you are ready.

Have some legal advice whenever signing a building contract to make sure that it is in your best interests.  Talk to a solicitor with building contract expertise.

Always consider the following:

  • What warranties can they offer?
  • The contract should contain the itemised list of quotes that you agreed.
  • Make sure that you should be aware of any changes, may it be small or big changes, that may need during the construction.
  • Construction start date, key construction pages and the completion date should be included.


There many things to consider in order to choose the right builder to extend or renovate your existing home. Avoid making the same mistakes when it comes to building your own home.