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Contractor Due Diligence: What To Look For When Working With A Builder

Last Updated on November 28, 2023 by Admin

Finding the right builder for your home building project can be a daunting task, to say the very least. Selecting the right contractor and crew to handle your project can mean the difference between construction being completed on time and in accordance with your budget, or facing costly delays.


But don’t be discouraged by the gravity of this decision in the slightest. With a little due diligence, you can find the right contractor and construction crew to handle your home building project with expert care and precision.

To support you in your search, we’ll be sharing just a few key qualities you should look for and questions that you should ask when hiring a contractor.

They are adequately insured to carry out construction works

The first question that you should waste no time in asking is “Do you have public liability insurance?”. This type of insurance policy is absolutely vital when working in and around construction sites, as they help protect your construction company (and any individuals that are on or around your worksite) in the event of an injury or an accident that results in damage to your property or other people’s property.


Upon asking your shortlisted contractors this question, they should be able to confidently answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’, alongside providing further information about any insurance policies that they have taken out to protect their company, staff, and clients. Some construction companies may take out more tailored builders insurance policies that offer specialised cover. In these cases, however, you can still expect this tailored cover to provide similar inclusions to general public liability insurance policies.

If you have any questions about your contractor’s insurance cover, do not be afraid to ask. Any experienced contractor will likely be well-versed in client’s conducting due diligence themselves, and will want to offer their support in providing you with peace of mind.

They possess all required safety infrastructure

Construction sites can be dangerous working environments, no matter the size or scope of a building project. So alongside taking out a suitable insurance policy, you want to make sure that your shortlisted contractor is investing in their pre-construction planning.

This involves conducting a risk assessment analysis, as well as developing risk mitigation protocols. Look for safety considerations like providing sheltered breakroom spaces for site workers, or positioning fill materials separately from your building structure to reduce risks of dust inhalation.

This quality control checklist can provide other kinds of safety infrastructure and consideration that you should be looking out for whenever you hire a contractor and construction crew.

They possess all relevant licenses

Of course, knowing a little about how construction companies work can also help you better gauge the legitimacy of any construction contractors or building companies that you approach in your search for the right fit. Some information you should familiarise yourself with include industry regulations as they pertain to both construction site management as well as construction site worker qualifications and licensing requirements.


This brings us to one of our most important questions to ask any contractor prior to signing them onto your building project: “What licensing and qualifications do you need to complete this work?”. Asking this question and inquiring further about their own licensing can help you better determine whether your prospective contractor and their crew are maintaining above board business practices. Alongside this, it’s also just a good rule of thumb to know more about your builder’s professional background prior to signing them onto any work.

They have a strong understanding of your project scope

It goes without saying that construction is a highly specialised industry. Builders are required to maintain a strong industry vocabulary as well as a proficiency with communicating industry terminology to their clients.

Because of this, another great question you can ask any prospective contractors is simply “What stages can I expect from my project timeline?” or any other questions relating to the scope or schedule of completion for your construction project. Asking these questions will prompt your contractor to speak further on the work that they will be carrying out in the process of completing your build.

If they’re able to communicate specific processes like demolition of existing structures, the laying of your foundation, installation (and removal) of scaffolding, and any other key elements of your building project across its project timeline, you can be rest assured that your contractor is competent and possesses all the necessary experience to carry out your project both safely and efficiently.

They have a suitable communication style

Finally, as your contractor is your primary contact throughout the construction process, it’s imperative that you can maintain open lines of communication with whoever takes on that role. So when you’re looking for the right contractor for the job, finding a professional that you can speak to with ease is vital to ensuring that you can stay in the loop all throughout the completion of your building project.

A good way to determine whether prospective contractors will be able to communicate with you is to simply establish the level of comms you’d ideally like them to maintain from the beginning of your personal vetting process. If you feel like communications are already being dropped or are more sparse than you’d like for them to be, then keep enquiring until you find a contractor that feels like a good fit.

Remember that building a home requires a fair amount of trust. After all, you are placing  the quality of one of the largest investments you’ll make in your life in the hands of your builders. With that in mind, you have the right to work with the contractor and crew that best aligns with your own preferences.


And once again, chances are high that the right contractor will be more than willing to answer any and all of your questions and provide any qualifications or licenses immediately upon your request. So be apologetically thorough with your vetting process and don’t be afraid to posit any of the questions or requests outlined above, or any others that may come to mind.

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