Are you searching for the best duplex builders Melbourne? Whether you’re undertaking a duplex project to live in one, rent the other or sell both for profit, you need a great builder.

Any residential property development is a significant undertaking. It’s not something you should just fly into by the seat of your pants. You need an understanding of all the moving parts.

Without a solid knowledge of the development process, the figures and the sum of all the moving parts you’re flying blind.

In this article, we’re going to approach this topic in two ways. First, we’ll discuss finding the right duplex home builders for your project. Then, we’ll explore getting the right price.

The reason we will look at it from two angles is that even if you find who you think is the best builder; you need to be aware of not getting charged too much.

Builders love making money. They’re not charities after all. We’ll assist you in making sure that they don’t take you for a ride.

Undertaking a duplex in Melbourne has a lot of upsides if you get it right.

Ready? Let’s get into it!

7 Ways to Find the Right Duplex Builder for Your Project

There are a few different ways you can find the right duplex builder for your project. Here are a couple of obvious ones and a couple that are less obvious, but we can guarantee they will work.

duplex builders

1. A Simple Google Search

Google is your friend, for all things in life, not just finding a builder.

Put in a basic search term and include the area, suburb or general area of Melbourne. For example, you could search “duplex builder + northern suburbs” or “duplex builder + west Melbourne”.

You’ll always get a few Google ads at the very top of the page. This means these duplex builders Melbourne have paid for their ads to appear right up the top.

Of course, you can click these, but it’s worth going a few steps below to the organic listings.

If a builder appears at the top of an organic search list, it means they have invested some time, effort and money into their digital marketing strategy.

But it doesn’t mean they’re the best builders. So, be sure to apply the other hints listed below.

2. Leverage Your Networks

Be sure to reach out to your friends, family and colleagues. Chances are someone you know has engaged a builder for renovations or a new build.

You can do this in person, over the phone, or you could even post on your social media accounts.

You never know until you ask, so put those feelers out.

subdivision builders in melbourne

3. Peruse the Streets

One hint we’ve found super useful over the years is to take a drive around your chosen area. Look for construction sites and read the signage.

Reach out to these builders and get to know them. You may find the perfect builder for you this way.

4. Online Portals and Comparison Sites

Some other options to find your duplex builders Melbourne is to check out some online sites and portals like iBuildNew. This site has a curated list of builders for you to peruse. Another option is Homeshelf.

homeshelf duplex

Home Shelf plays the middleman here. They work to understand your projects’ requirements and provide recommendations in line with it.

5. There is No Guaranteed Right Way

None of these tips alone will guarantee you an ace builder. As the adage goes, the more you put in, the more you get back. So you need to explore different avenues and options.

Talk to different builders as you can practically manage. Get an idea of how they operate.

Read reviews and testimonials online. Pay more attention to Google and Facebook reviews than testimonials on their websites.

duplex builders reviews

These can sometimes be made up out of thin air, particularly if they are text with no images or videos.

6. Volume or Independent?

One of the decisions you’ll have to make is if you use one of the big boys, or volume builders, or an independent.

The volume builders are players like Metricon or Mimosa, while independents are your small to mid-sized businesses.

You can check out this excellent article that will help get you heading in the right direction. Both have pros and cons.

If this is already all too much to absorb – Little Fish can help. We do precisely this day in and out. It’s our bread and butter.

7. Consider Engaging A Professional Project Manager

Here at Little Fish, we have long-standing relationships with the very best duplex builders Melbourne – not only that; we pay wholesale for all of our builds.

project management company

This essentially means we can manage the entire process for you end to end, including the build, subdivision, service connections and everything in-between.

We do this for the same price if not cheaper than if you go directly to a builder. Believe it or not, you could save money by engaging us to assist with your duplex project.

That said, we understand some people have a passion for learning and doing it themselves, in which case read on. We love sharing everything we know.

We don’t care about which direction you decide to go; the team here only cares that you make an educated decision for yourself and your duplex project. Truly, we want the best for everyone, not just our clients.

10 Tips on How to Secure the Right Price for Your Duplex Builder

Once you’ve picked the best duplex builders Melbourne for your project, you need to lock in a reasonable price. At the end of the day, you’re developing property to make some money, even if you end up living in one of the homes.

A build can become expensive, mainly if things don’t go according to plan. So, let’s check out how to secure the best price for your needs.

1. Roll Your Sleeves Up

Finding the right builder is all about rolling your sleeves up and doing the hard yards. If you take a recommendation from a friend or family member, you don’t want to stop there.

roll sleeves up

You simply don’t know if they are the right one for your project. You need to reach out to as many builders as you can.

Don’t assume the first one you find is the best; you need to keep digging and keep talking to as many as you can. By default, this will help educate you, and it will start to give you some perspective as far as options.

Just remember to follow our tips given above and research and research until you’re blue in the face.

2. Bulletproof Construction Documentation – A Must

Before you go to your builder, you need to make sure you have watertight construction documentation.

Every last detail needs to be considered and documented so that when you reach out to the builders, they are pricing apples against apples.

Builders are experts at charging variations. They love them because it means more money.

You need to ensure every aspect of the construction has been considered carefully and priced accordingly – you don’t want a quote littered with what they call “assumptions”.

Here is a useful list of all the relevant construction documentation you will need. It’s not a definitive list as every project will be different, it will get you heading in the right direction though:

  • Engineering plan set
  • Landscaping plan set
  • Energy report
  • Civil plans set
  • Proposed plan of subdivision
  • Energy plan set
  • Working plan set
  • Fixtures fittings and finishes specifications
  • Computations
  • Soil test

So take your time and make sure your building documentation is bulletproof. Even if you end up pulling your hair out by the end of it, you don’t want to rush this.

3. Don’t Rush

All too often, beginner developers are in a hurry to get the project out to tender, and they move forward with sub-par documents. This paperwork comes riddled with holes through them that end up costing the projects’ bottom line big time.

dont rush

The thing is, once you sign a contract, you are committed to a builder, and you have no way to turn back. At least not without hefty legal costs.

So spend the time required and get this paperwork right.

4. Get it Right

Make no mistake; it’s on you to get this right – a builder will price whatever you send them. And if it’s not evident in the documentation for them to cost accurately, it will get missed. B

By the time you realise you’ve made a mistake, the builder has all the power, and you’ll end up paying significantly over what you thought.

Remember, every day has a dollar value attached in this game. Mistakes can cost you tens of thousands of dollars and can even sink a project.

5. Cheapest Doesn’t Mean Best

Here’s a pro tip – don’t look for the cheapest builder. This is a hazardous move – you shouldn’t be looking for the cheapest builder.

good work aint cheap

You should be looking to figure out the market value of your project and then find the best duplex builders Melbourne you can get around that figure.

The way to determine the market value is to talk to multiple builders. It’s the only way. If you don’t, it’s guaranteed to cost you.

Knowledge is not only power; it’s money as well. You need to do the heavy lifting and cast your net far and wide. You need to do this firstly to determine the market price.

Then you need to pick a builder who can make it happen, with a solid background and reputation.

6. Do Your Research

You want to research their work history, experience and client feedback – and you want to check out their previous completed projects. These are all musts.

7. Put Your Project Out to Tender

Once you have your airtight documentation, you can tender the project out to your list of builders made via the tips given above. They will hit you with their costings.

Now you’ll have confidence that their prices are accurate if you’ve followed the hints to the letter. This will then give you an idea of the market cost of your build.

From there, narrow down your list to two or three and negotiate with them for a reasonable price.

You can even play them off one another but be careful doing this as you don’t want to burn your bridges.

8. Know Your Budget

It is possible to overspend on your build. You need to have a firm grasp on your final budget and not waiver from this. Every dollar you spend over your budget is a dollar that gets removed from your bottom line.

build budget

Remember that a bank will only finance a percentage of the build and won’t finance costs like your designs and planning approvals. So you need to have a clear idea of your figures.

Check them, and then double and even triple-check them.

Also, check out this article on the different sources of development finance available in the market.

9. A Word About Timelines

Make sure to consider your timelines. How long will the build take? What sort of schedule is your builder willing to commit to?

And we don’t mean verbally, we mean in writing in a signed contract. There’s a big difference between the two.

10. Include a Liquidated Damages Clause in Your Contract

This is a non-negotiable. Every project we do has a liquidated damages clause.

builder liquidated damages

Put simply, this means you get the builder to commit via a clause in the contract that should the project not be completed on time they will pay you damages. If you’re selling off the plan and there’s a delay you’re missing out on your settlement money.

This is a surefire way to give the builder some incentive to finish the work on time, so they don’t lose money.

If any builder on your shortlist won’t commit to this and sign a contract with this clause, strike them off your list and move onto the next one.

Want to Know More?

Keen to know more about choosing your duplex builders Melbourne? Or even the building process itself?

Our expert team of consultants can help. We know the space, inside and out. Feel free to give us a call on 1300 799 277.

little fish

And don’t forget, if this is all too overwhelming, we can step in and do the hard work for you.