What to ask your builder before you buy a house and land package

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on November 25th, 2021       

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Purchasing a house and land package is a considerable commitment and responsibility. If something gets in the way, and things don’t go according to plan, you end up being disappointed and might ask – what could I have done to avoid such an unfortunate outcome?

Luckily, you should find out that the vast majority of building issues that can emerge can be prevented by opting for a professional, reputable builder.

If you don’t know how to hire the right person to do an excellent job for you, here is a handful of questions you should ask to settle that down!

Do you have insurance?

A reputable builder should, by all means, have adequate insurance coverage. That is something you must depend on in the case of an unexpected event of bankruptcy, injury, or any other accident the builder may have. Steer clear of hiring a builder that doesn’t have insurance.

Can you offer me a list of references?

Secondly, the next thing on the list is to ask for a list of references, from previously completed jobs. The truth is that a professional builder will always have a list of happy customers. If you can get in touch with past clients, you can determine whether the job delivered by the builder was, indeed, as expected. This way, based on actual evidence, you can rest assured when making your decision.

Do you have a licence?

That is, by all means, a question that you shouldn’t forget to ask. If you hire a builder that doesn’t have a permit, you are prone to encounter a range of difficulties and you should avoid at all costs. Hence, make sure that your builder has credentials and can complete your project with professionalism.

When will the project be completed?

To avoid being frustrated and hopeless that the project takes longer than you expected, you should set your expectations according to the information the builder gives you about the deadline for the project. Ask for an approximate time span – that’s a golden rule.

Is the land appropriate for my home?

Constructing a property on a piece of land that isn’t suitable for this is a big mistake. If the ground is sloppy, or its shape is irregular, these aspects may lead to the apparition of various future problems. Hence, the builder should attentively check the land before commencing the construction work, and inform you regarding possible problems.

What are the costs included?

Certainly, you shouldn’t forget asking for an approximate price range before making a decision. A professional builder will provide you with a detailed rough cost, and this information should be stipulated in a contract. Such an aspect is beneficial for both parties. Additionally, be wary of further contract stipulations that may involve some hidden costs that weren’t specified. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them, and, if needed, apply any required changes.

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