4 elements to look out for when choosing a new patio builder
22nd October 2018
Patio covers are a smart investment, turning simple outdoor areas into all-year-round home retreats.
At HV Aluminium, we understand the patio building process can be daunting. There are several factors to consider - expenses, materials, regulations, plus finding time to build the patio. A lot can go wrong without the right knowledge and expertise.
We want to relieve some of the stress by guiding you to find a patio builder who will get the job done properly, allowing you to enjoy your new patio faster.
There are four elements you should consider when choosing a patio builder:
If the builder you’re considering ticks these boxes, you’ve found yourself a tradie you can trust. In this blog, we’re going to take a deeper dive into each of these components so you feel more confident searching for the perfect builder.
#1. Experienced patio builders
We’ve all have to start somewhere - but is an experienced builder better than a newbie?
Professional builders pride themselves on their brand and reputation. If their work is good and their service is reliable, builders will be sharing testimonials and projects on their website, selling themselves as high-quality.
Check out their website - does it contain any of the following attributes?
Unique selling points — does the business focus on customer satisfaction? Do they offer a free measure and quote? Does the builder specialise in patio covers?
Project gallery — professional builders love showing off their work. Adding images and videos of projects is chance to show off their skills and expertise.
Testimonials — reviews are an effective way to validate a person’s work. It’s human nature for us to want to know if others have had a good experience with an company in the past.
Easily contactable — does the website contain a, ‘contact us’ form or a number to call?
Warranty — many patio builders provide warranty and product guarantee.
Home building compensation fund (HBCF) — Builders needs to have a HBCF applied for any project over $20,000. This needs to also be noted in the contract as a dollar value. Ensure your builder is eligible to provide you with a HBCF if needed. This shows you are dealing with a reputable builder. If a website ticks all five boxes then it’s a strong indicator the builder cares about their brand and providing a high-quality service. Experienced builders may have more years and projects under their belt but that doesn’t mean less experienced builders can’t do the same job. Looking at a builders website is the best place to start investigating whether a builder is right for you.
#2. Licensed patio builders
Patio builders fall into a grey area when it comes to licensing.
Generally, they need to carry a trade licence, but there are some exceptions. Licensing experts, Licensed Trades, break down the licenses needed in each state.
Here’s a summary of the required licences for New South Wales:
- A structural landscaping licence — to construct patios, pergolas and other non-habitable outdoor structures.
- Erection of prefabricated metal framed home additions and structures licence — This licence is only needed under certain circumstances.
At HV, we have fully licensed builders and our own builders licence, licence number 322844C. This means we can build all aspects of construction, unlike restricted builders licence holders.
#3. Patio builders insurance
What happens if the builder is working on-site and an accident happens?
If the builder doesn’t carry their own insurance, then you could be in a lot of financial strife — think hefty compensation costs and legal fees.
Before signing any contracts, ask your builder to provide you with a copy of their compensation and liability insurance. Be sure to check the expiry dates to verify the certification is still current and if it will expire anytime soon.
#4. Testimonials on websites
Testimonials are great for snooping around and seeing how a builders’ previous clients felt about their services.
Being able to read about other clients’ experiences can be beneficial, especially when the service can add a few thousand dollars to the value of your home. Professional builders seek reviews to show future clients the high-quality nature of their work.
Here’s an example of a testimonial on about our patio cover installation services:
“I would like to thank all those involved in the restoration of my patio/ceiling, particularly in the way it was very well coordinated by your office. It was a pleasure to deal with your staff at all times. I would particularly like to mention the installer for the way he handled the job and his willingness to go the second mile. Not forgetting the workers who took the rubbish away and cleaned everything up, which is very important on a job. All in all thank you for a great job!”
We’re proud of our work and the reliable services we offer - of course we’re going to shout it from the rooftops! We want all our potential clients to know that we’re a respected patio building business.
However, it’s important to remember that reviews can sometimes be biased. Look for more reviews online through social media, friends and family, and through Google My Business. Checking out various sources could reveal a different story than the one on the website.
Choose a patio builder that will meet your needs
Once you’ve found a few potential candidates, spend some time narrowing them down. Follow the simple checklist we created below:
Criteria #1: Experience
Look at the builder’s website for:
Criteria #2: A valid licence
Does the contractor have a valid patio building licence?
Criteria #3: Insurance
Is the contractor covered by insurance if anything goes wrong?
Criteria #4: Testimonials
Need help on finding a patio builder? Contact our HV Aluminium team today. We can help sort out everything from choosing materials to building your patio cover. You dream outdoor retreat awaits.
Book a free measure and quote for your new patio cover at HV Aluminium in Newcastle, Central Coast, Hunter Valley