10 Things Only the Best Builders Will Know

Tips & Tricks Building & Construction

There’s builders, then there’s mediocre builders, and then there’s the really good builders. These are the guys that seem to have it all worked out. But getting there isn't a tea party picnic!

These guys have usually spent years mastering their profession. So what can the rest of us mere mortals learn from the masters?


Never tell the truth

The customer is always right but they’ll never have two good ideas to rub together. Great builders know that when the customer brings you their latest idiotic idea you just smile and nod.


As long as it's not dangerous and they are going to pay then there’s no point arguing the point. If the customer asks for an opinion, share it, then get on with the job and be thankful it's not your house!


The learning is never-ending

It feels pretty damn good to finish an apprenticeship, but all builders know that the on-the-job learning experience never stops. Who knows, you could even learn a thing or two from your apprentice about how to master the latest technologies (cough cough, Tinder!).


On a serious note, experts are predicting there could be big changes on the horizon for the building and construction industry, particularly in the wake of the national election.


For example, which Aussie builders have heard about the new Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria body which will now assess issues prior to a party putting forward a claim or application to VCAT, or a court. Watch this space!


The customer will never make their mind up

They can't get you on site soon enough but then before you’ve even swung a hammer, they want you gone already, then once you’re gone they want you back.


Don’t take it personally, not even your wife or GF likes spending every minute of every day with you and your boys!


The 10 + 10 rule is bollocks.

At some point some numpty decided 10% overhead plus 10% profit makes for a happy builder. Clearly that numpty wasn't trying to run a profitable building business in today's market  where compliance, supplies and labour rates can destroy a profit margin faster than the Aussies change their Prime Ministers.


Builders today know that 10+10 isn't enough to cover the risks associated with most building projects these days.


Using a “value” based pricing model Builders now quote based on the cost of the job, the size of the risk component and the value they bring to the client.

(They also use a great tool like Tradify to help them keep the job costs under control - just sayin)


Cashflow is all important

As a builder, business tends to boom and slump periodically. Every good builder knows that when it comes to staying afloat in the good times and bad, a healthy cashflow is a must.


There are plenty of tools out there know to help with cash flow management and the best Builders have been using them for years already. If you haven't got you head round Xero, Debtor Daddy , Tradify or Workflowmax  then it's time you did.


Being a ‘people person’ is important

Some builders think that spinning tools alone is enough to score them repeat business. But the reality is, the ability to sweet talk clients is another all important factor.  From having a cuppa with a friendly homeowner to sitting down for a beer with a contractor, a little social aptitude can go a long way.


Basically, a good builder knows that small talk, a smile and a sense of humour can bring in big pay checks.


Early mornings are a given

With summer temperatures hitting the 40+ mark, there’s no escaping the fact that mornings are the definitive time to get your ass on-site.


Unless of course, you like working at midnight, which would give H&S managers a heart attack.


Getting up with the sun is just something that goes hand in hand with being a builder. Wives and girlfriends might hate it, but every good builder knows it’s just another part of the job.


It's a hard yakka, but we love it.

While the sparkies think they are the smart ones, everyone knows only the strongest become builders.  Building stuff is hard, every job is hard, has its own challenges and something always goes wrong.


The best builders know the sh*t will hit the fan at some point on every job and they just allow for it, duck dive weave and do whatever it takes to get the job done.


While the plumber would scurry under the house and the sparkie runs off to the suppliers, the best builders crack on! If you cower in the face of catastrophe then maybe don't become a builder.


We're not rich, but we have the best job in the world.

As every customer is incapable from birth of accurately estimating the actual cost of a home reno, they naturally think that given the amount of money they just paid for their new open plan living area, you must be making a killing!!!


The best builders know that while everyone thinks you secretly own a private island in the Caribbean, you can make enough to get buy while still pretty much having the best job in the world.


There’s always treasure under the floorboards, and we never share it.

Well, actually not really, but a good builder always manages to walk away from a job with something worth salvaging.

Sometimes that might be 100 kilos of scrap metal, but other times it's some stunning  hardwood flooring for a feature wall in the man shed or a fireplace surround that’ll make the neighbours jealous (once the apprentice has sanded and stained it).


The best builders always have an eye on the skip bin as one man's trash is another man's treasure.


Did we cover all bases? If you’re a good builder and you know something we don’t, give us a shout!