Red flags when looking for a Bayside builder

Red flags when looking for a Bayside builder

Building or renovating a home is a major investment. That said, it doesn’t have to be a major source of stress if your Bayside builder is up to it!

A good builder doesn’t just build – they also support you through the construction process, keeping you informed and providing advice that helps minimise the stress that comes with building.

If your Bayside builder isn’t up to the job, however, it can turn building into an expensive, drawn-out nightmare!

So, what should you look out for when choosing a builder to look after your building project in Bayside?


Look out for these red flags when choosing a Bayside builder!

The success of your building project depends on your builder’s ability and attitude.

We aren’t just talking about the actual construction itself, either – your builder wears a lot of different hats from initial design and budgeting, all the way to project completion and handover.

The right home builder will ensure that your project goes off without a hitch, and that you’re left with a beautiful and functional space that you and your whole family will enjoy for many years to come.

If your Bayside builder demonstrates the following warning signs however, you could be left with a difficult build!


Red flag #1: Unclear work history

Before hiring a home builder, make sure you run a background check.

In particular, you’ll want to focus on their work history and previous clients, and their experience.

The proof is in the pudding, after all. If they have plenty of successful builds and happy clients to demonstrate, then you’re in good hands!

Don’t know where to start?

Don’t worry – most builders are more than happy to show off their successful jobs, either on their website or in a portfolio they bring out during meetings.

For example, here’s our portfolio showing the results our Bayside builders can achieve.

If your builder can’t show any previous jobs or refuses to do so, you should be wary. Often referred to as ‘cowboy builders’, these guys are hard to contact, and are unwilling to provide references.

While it isn’t immediate cause to disregard them, it’s something to be aware of before you sign on the dotted line.

And speaking of dotted lines…


Red Flag #2: large down payments and deposits

Here’s something you may not have known: according to Victorian law, your building deposit cannot be more than:

  • 10% (if the contract value is less than $20,000)
  • 5% (if the contract value exceeds $20,000)

If the builder tells you they need a larger deposit to shoulder the initial costs on materials and services, you should tread carefully.

Any builder worth their salt has enough cash in the bank to cover these costs without demanding a 30%-40% deposit.

It isn’t just deposits and down payments you need to look out for, either – installments also usually follow a pretty standardised schedule, with set payments for each stage of construction.

Also be extremely wary of those asking for cash-only payments. Get everything in writing!


Red Flag #3: Extremely low price

Everybody loves a bargain. When it comes to your building project, however, we suggest keeping a close eye on your builder if the price seems dirt cheap.

Some home builders submit proposals at an extremely low rate that’s simply too good to be true. In many cases, that’s exactly what it is.

In many cases, builders are only able to achieve these prices by cutting corners. 

Thankfully, in most cases, they won’t cut corners in important areas like the structure, electrical wiring or framing.

However, many builders will try to cut corners in the areas that typically get overlooked when you go through the contract, such as:

  • Wardrobe rails – some builders include these as “optional extras”
  • Lightbulbs – you might not get those powerful, energy-efficient downlights you were hoping for
  • Electrical sockets – to save money, the builder might not provide enough sockets
  • Materials – don’t be surprised if poor-quality substitutes are used for flooring, cabinets and carpets

These are just some of the things you might miss out on when you go for the cheapest bid.

Worse, if you do want these features in your home, many builders will charge you for it, and at a hefty markup too.

Dodgy volume builders are especially fond of this tactic.

custom builder

Red Flag #4: they don’t let you take the contract home 

Contracts are long, complex documents. Our Bayside builder recommends taking your time to go through them to ensure that everything from the financing down to the light switches used pass muster.

Contracts serve as protection for you and them. It serves as a written agreement that both you and your builders have come to before continuing with the building project, and provides you with guarantees.

However, it also comes with certain obligations of you.

What many builders will try to do is omit some details “for the sake of brevity” and leave them as “unspecified”.

While this gives customer-focused builders wriggle room to upgrade parts of your plan, many dodgy builders will use this to cut corners or get out of work because it “wasn’t specified in the contract”.

Worse, instead of giving you time to go through the contract, many builders will insist that you need to sign right now, applying high-pressure tactics to force you to sign without reading through the whole document.

Some builders might even forbid you from taking home a copy of the contract unless it’s signed first, which can lead to you inadvertently accepting unfavourable conditions!

It’s a dirty move – and one that a dodgy builder will resort to.


Red Flag #5: they aren’t a custom builder

Not necessarily a red flag, but an important consideration, nonetheless.

Your home is your palace, as they say. It’s only natural to want said “palace” to perfectly reflect the needs of your family, not only now, but in the future, as it grows or dynamics change.

In many cases, that necessitates going custom with your home.

The problem? Some builders simply aren’t willing to put in the extra work!

Unlike a custom builder who tailors each home to match client requests, some builders build from a catalogue.

The idea is that having a standardised catalogue is good for efficiency, and makes supply chain and logistics easier.

However, many builders get so used to doing things “their way” that they stop offering clean-sheet designs altogether!

While they might be able to customise minor things like carpets and fittings, there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to tailor the bigger things for you.

If you want a truly custom home, you need a custom builder.


Choose the right Bayside builders

Don’t be scared off by these red flags; instead, we hope they help you remain vigilant to any dodgy signs when it comes to choosing the right Bayside builder for your exciting project.

That said, it pays to be careful when choosing a Bayside builder for your building project!

At Blint Design & Construction, our mission isn’t just to build you a home that’s uniquely yours – our experienced team of builders are also committed to ensuring your experience with us is as pleasant as possible.

That was one of our guiding principles when we first opened shop. Even 46 years later, it still informs our approach to your building project!

Whether you’re building in Brighton, Bentleigh or anywhere else in Bayside, Kingston or Glen Eira, our builders are here for you – every step of the way.

We promise to keep you informed and in the loop at all stages of your project. And since you’ll be dealing with us from start to finish, you’ll only ever have to deal with a single point of contact.

We aren’t volume builders either; instead, we’re Built for the Few. What does that mean? Well, it means we only take on a select number of local projects at any one time, ensuring you get the dedicated attention and care you deserve.

Build the house of your dreams with Blint. Contact our Bayside builders today on (03) 9576 8399, or click here to get in touch online. Feel free to send through your plans, too, if you have them!