Are you looking to appoint a Melbourne duplex builder for your next dual occupancy or townhouse project?

Well, stick around because, in this article, I’m going to share 12 tips that will guarantee you secure not only the right builder but at the right price as well.

By the end, you’ll have the confidence that you need to make the right selection.

Appointing a builder is one of the most significant risks you’ll face as a property developer, so it’s not something you can afford to get wrong.

Let’s get into it.

When you’re going through the process of selecting duplex home builders for your project, many things need to be considered. Let’s break down some of the most important.

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1. Cheapest Isn’t Always Best

Your mindset mustn’t be around looking for the cheapest home builder. This is one of the fastest ways to steer your project in the wrong direction.

The goal of your construction tender process is to figure out the market value of your build and then look to appoint the best duplex home builders you can at that level.

Learn the tender negotiation process here.

2. Body of Work or Work History

You need to ensure that any duplex townhouse builders you are considering have a significant body of work and in the type of project you are undertaking.

3. All Builders Aren’t One in the Same

Builders have different skill sets and efficiencies based on their specialisation. Are you building to rent or sell? Because building to rent in Australia can be a good option, as long as you get your builder selection right.

Your goal should be to find a builder who has experience in the type of project you are undertaking so that you can leverage their expertise and benefit from their efficiencies.

You’re not looking to be a normal local home builders guinea pig into townhouse builds.

4. The Benefit of Appointing a Local Builder

In a lot of cases, there will be benefits to appointing established local duplex home builders.

They will have the most efficiencies in that geographical area and a reputable and trusted brand.

Attaching your project to a local builder’s brand will also help with your off the plan sales.

5. Consider the Standard of Builders

You want to appoint duplex builders that suit the standard level of your project. Is your project high-end? Low end? Or in between?

Appointing a higher-end builder to do a lower-spec project will cost you a premium.

Conversely, getting a lower-end builder to do your higher-end project is risky.

It’s unlikely that they will be set up and capable of delivering to the correct standard and expectations.

6. Volume Builders Aren’t Suited to All Types of Projects

Volume builders have their place for specific projects, as all types of builders do.

It’s always going to be horses for courses.

But it’s important to note that their business model is to do volume; they make their money by pumping the projects out.

You need to ensure your expectations are aligned as far as the product you will receive.

Volume builders primary focus is on turnover. The experience and quality you can expect are going to be directly related to that.

They are also experts at variations. They make money by charging you every time you make an alteration no matter how big or small.

It’s not to say a volume builder isn’t suited to your project, but these are real things that you need to be aware of.

7. You Can’t Put a Price on Working with Good People

It will be vital that you partner with a builder that you can trust and someone that you don’t clash with from a personality perspective.

This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many bypass partnering with good people for a price.

8. Don’t Go Too Hard in the Tender Process

The last thing you want to do is screw your duplex home builders down so far that you leave a sour taste in their mouth that they will carry through the duration of the project. The building tender process should help you determine the right level.

Everyone needs to be making money to deliver successful projects, and that includes your builder.

If you screw your builder down too far and they accept the project because they need the work, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

It will cost you both time and headaches later in the project once they realise they aren’t making the money they were hoping to.

It’s the fastest way for your project to come to a grinding halt.

Everyone needs to be paid, and everyone needs to be making money.

9. Make Sure You Have Sufficient Liquidated Damages in Your Build Contract

You need to partner with a builder who is prepared to back up any promise they make on time in the building contract.

It’s not uncommon for duplex townhouse builders to sell you the dream on time when you are talking shop.

But unless they are prepared to back it up in the contract with significant but fair liquidated damages, then it means nothing.

10. Minimise Assumptions in Your Build Contract

Your selected builder needs to provide a fixed-price contract with minimum assumptions.

The onus will be on you to ensure that your tender documentation is watertight and that everything has been considered.

11. Run a Proper Tender Process

You must stay disciplined and run a full tender process.

Even if you have a preferred builder, you need to run the entire tendering process to ensure that your preferred builder is, in fact, the best builder for your project.

As mentioned at the very beginning of the video, appointing the right builder is going to directly impact the outcome of your project so you can’t get it wrong.

Thinking that you know it isn’t the same as knowing. So be patient and discipline and run the full tender process every time and under all circumstances.

When running the process ask your builder considered questions.

12. Make Your Final Decision Without Emotion

The stakes are too high to appoint a family member or friend of a friend to do your project just because they have been recommended.

They must go through the same tender process as all the other builders.

If they still end up being the appointed builder, then great, but they need to win it on their own merits.

Personal relationships need to be put to the side.

Wrapping Up

Do you have a townhouse project you need some help with? Do you need help to understand the building process? Or the costs to build townhouses?

Why not reach out to us here at Little Fish? We offer full-service client-side project management and development management services.

We would love the opportunity to help you if we could 1300 799 277