How to choose a builder for your renovation project

How to choose a builder for your renovation project | Locspec Building
How to choose a builder for your renovation project | Locspec Building

The right builder can be the difference between making your dream home a reality and wasting money on a renovation project that leaves you with regret.

There are many things you should take into account when choosing a builder. Let’s walk you through each one.

1. Referrals and testimonials

Reading reviews and speaking to the builder’s current clients is a great place to start. Look for testimonials that mention the builder’s communication style and abilities, the builder’s work quality, and professionalism. If a builder is hesitant to let you talk with their clients or provide you verified reference – take this as a red flag!


Your architect may also recommend a builder to you. These referrals are generally valid because architects usually work with the same contractors they trust to carry out their designs with the utmost professionalism. However, it’s still a good idea to seek further reviews about the builder before deciding.

2. Get numerous, comprehensive quotes

Don’t just approach the first builder you think might be a good fit. Contact multiple builders and get at least three comprehensive quotes for your renovation project. Part of this process relies on your ability to communicate your project’s features and specifications. So, have your plans handy, prepare a clear scope of work and be as specific as possible about the materials you’d like to use. Give these documents to each builder who is preparing you a quote.


A good builder will be able to take these documents and prepare you a fully itemised proposal that outlines the scope of works, construction costs and PC items. Remember to ask about the factors that might increase the project cost, like material choices and adding to or varying your scope of work.

3. Verify the builder’s credentials

You’ve got to make sure your builder is the real deal. Any legitimate builder in NSW should:


  • Be registered with the Housing Industry of Australia (HIA) or the Master Builders of Australia (MBA).
  • Be a registered builder – they should be licensed and insured according to the policies of your state’s department of fair trading.
  • Have a license to do home warranty work for anything over $20,000.

4. Consider the builder’s skills and experience

We’re not saying to discount any up and coming companies, but it certainly helps to have years of experience behind you. So, it’s something to consider. When choosing your builder think about the particular works you need completed and match these will the areas that each builder specialises in.


For example, if you’re doing small-scale renovations, you’re likely better off going with a custom renovations specialist than a company who specialises in off-the-plan new home builds. So, make sure to ask the potential builders what experience they have with projects that are similar to yours.

5. Finally, think to yourself: is this builder the right fit?

The all-important final step is to consider if the builder is right for you. Have a look at their website and social media profiles as well as their portfolio and references. Is the information they provide about themselves consistent with their client’s testimonials? Do their recent projects blow you away? There’s a lot to consider here. But, essentially, you want to find out if their communication style suits your needs as a client and if their building style matches the type of home you have in mind.

That’s it! We hope you enjoyed this helpful checklist.

Choosing a builder for a custom home renovation can be daunting and time-consuming. However, it’s worth taking the time to make a fully-informed decision because you are making a considerable investment and trusting the builder with your most valued asset – your home.


If you’re looking to renovate and want to work with a trusted and friendly builder – enquire today. We service the Illawarra & South Coast regions.

Check out our most recent projects

South Coast & Illawarra Builders: Locspec Building Services
Modern Russell Vale Home

Our goal for this home renovation was to create an elegant yet relaxed coastal home to be shared with family and friends. The renovation boasts blackbutt timber features throughout an open plan kitchen, living and dining area.

Minimalist Kiama Home

Our goal was to give our clients a functional home that they love, featuring their personal touches. This full house renovation included removing various internal walls to create an open plan living, dining and kitchen area, leading onto a huge outdoor entertainment deck.

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