Selecting a Good Builder
by Sebastian Muscolino - SPS Group
Why is selecting good builders who are on time, on budget and meet quality standards no
Selecting a good builder is a common request of many developers, however the real issue should
be selecting the RIGHT builder.
At present, a typical selection process starts with a short list of builders that are renowned
for their pricing. Of course price matters - it must unless profit is not a key driver of the project.
The primary focus at the outset should be on 'matching' a raft of other important factors including
- a builder's expertise and specialist competencies - their financial capacity - their current and future
pipeline workload - the ability to anticipate and mitigate problems with win-win solutions - their
systems and processes - and equally if not more important, their temperament.
Rarely considered, temperament can be described as a builder's culture, ability to handle pressure
situations including owning-up to its errors, contractual and moral responsibilities. Understanding this
characteristic requires a detailed knowledge of the builder's integrity, their values, and attitude
If price were the only benchmark, development and project managers could simply implement and impose
stricter contractual processes to deal with cost issues - a more rounded and far better approach when
selecting a building contractor is to understand their character.
The classic industry trio of 'on Time, on Budget, and to Quality expectations' is dated to say the
least - these are now the norm and are expected of all building contractors - big and small. These
are not values or guiding beliefs of a building company, but easily measured deliverables.
Today we need to explore and ask more probing questions and seek real evidence of a builder's
purpose, that is, what is there 'WHY?'
Builders who truly understand business success and, more specifically development success,
would appreciate this simple concept and who are most likely to offer long term, sustainable
value to their clients.
Contractors who respect and understand the increasing complexities of the development process
stand out in the current market - this will only be magnified over the coming years. Adaptable,
approachable, knowledgeable, and solution-focused describes those builders that will become
increasingly sought after.
Builders need to entrench themselves in the early design phase and be at the table early,
to better understand funding requirements and consumer expectations.
Selecting 'good' builders who are on time, on budget and meet quality standards is no