Planning a reno? Here are 4 big reasons to engage a builder first



Here you are, reno ready. You’ve got big ideas but also a budget you need to stick to. Time to call the architect or designer. Right?

Whether to call the architect or builder first is a common question for most people but did you know, there are several significant advantages in calling a builder first? Input from an experienced builder upfront will enhance your plans and maximise your budget. Here’s why:


1.Builders will know whether your design ideas match your budget

Submitting design plans for development approval that haven’t been reviewed and costed by an experienced builder can result in beautiful design being abandoned and architect’s fees wasted – nightmare!

Through an on-site consultation, an experienced builder will be able to review your extension ideas and advise on any issues with the land as well as potential red flags that the design may produce. While an architect is aware of the money, it’s the builder who will know whether your dream design can be built for the budget you have.

Hot tip: It’s important to do your research thoroughly and only engage with builders that have proven experience in your type of reno. It’s worth speaking to past clients.


2.Builders can provide valuable input upfront that could save you thousands

Hot tip: Be careful of over-engineering in your design stage. An experienced builder will be able to advise on effective structural materials that don’t cost the earth.

A builder always keeps timings and budgets top of mind and will look carefully at not only building the best second storey addition for the budget you have but will be able to advise on costs upfront that you may not be aware of such as preliminary fees, site works, essential upgrades and repair to existing structures. The builder can also advise on whether there are any complexities to the build that the architect should ‘nut out’ further.


3.Builders can deliver an accurate quote for your extension at the beginning

A quote is essential in ensuring you have an exact figure to work with and stick to, but the reality is, unless an architect/ designer has a strong relationship with a builder, it’s difficult to get an accurate building quote for the design. This could mean lots of nasty cost surprises later. And no one likes that.

It’s always worth investing in a ‘concept design’ and in-depth ‘cost analysis’ at the beginning. The builders who charge for quoting take the time that is needed to prepare an accurate estimate. They usually have a streamlined process they follow based on years of experience that will give you a clear picture of what you can expect to pay for materials and labour.

Hot tip: A staggering statistic is that if a builder does a ‘free quote’ you have less than a 20% chance that the quote will be accurate. Yikes.


4.Builders can recommend the perfect architect/ designer for the job

As they say, great minds think alike. An experienced builder will be able to recommend an architect or designer that they like and trust with a successful track record in builds just like yours. This synergy means great things for you. Apart from taking the hassle out of searching for the right team, it will ensure a smooth-running project with open communication, timings adhered to and a budget that is kept sweetly on track.

Calling in a builder first to have a chat is a good decision but calling an experienced design and build team could be the best decision you make in the whole journey. At the Perfect Space, we build every renovation we design, and that is why we can provide you with an accurate quote up-front – with no hidden extras. Give us a call today – 02 9907 4568

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