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The best way to make a builder communicate openly

Discussion in 'Development' started by hematite, 4th Jul, 2016.

  1. hematite

    hematite Well-Known Member

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    My builder is quite bad at communication. The site supervisor will not provide their mobile number and I have to email queries to them. Quite often, this doesn't get responded to, so I have to email again.

    What's the best way to try to get the builder to communicate? They said they prefer to communicate via email (but it seems like it's so that they can avoid being put on the spot).

    The building work is okay so far (only minor issues), but it's super hard when they don't communicate properly!

    They are a small Perth based builder. Hopefully someone has had some similar experiences that turned good!
     
    Last edited: 4th Jul, 2016
  2. alexm

    alexm Well-Known Member

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    Tell them how you would like to communicate with each other. Ultimately you're paying their wage so you need to be satisfied with all aspects of their service.
     
  3. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    If everything is mostly going OK, why do you need to communicate with the builder rather than the site superviser?

    Builders (and supervisors) are really busy so I completely understand why they prefer email. It is essential that there is a shared record of any advice or communication so there is no misunderstanding. This works in your favor too.
     
  4. hematite

    hematite Well-Known Member

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    I did outline this earlier, perhaps I need to emphasise this more regularly or just accept it and use the independent inspector to pick the issues down the track as they have more credibility?


    Totally agree regarding written communication, however emails are getting forgotten/ignored. The site supervisor is the builder is the owner etc. It's a small company.

    I'm still dealing with an issue that's been ignored for weeks, so I was hoping that maybe speaking via phone will help, but they want everything via email (but then they ignore/forget emails). Maybe I am expecting too much - I try to catch issues early before it causes more schedule delay (and cost) for the builder.

    Was hoping to see if anyone else had a similar issue and how they approached it.
     
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  5. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Buy a mobile phone and give it to them. And an instruction that min once per week you want to hear from them .
    Also check the contract with regards to communication.

    Btw.they're not taking this option because early in the job you were ringing them every minute of the day were you? If so you'll need to butter them up and get them on side plus promise to ease up :D
     
  6. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    What's the issue?
     
  7. hematite

    hematite Well-Known Member

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    Haha, I've only spoken with the supervisor twice. I check the site enough to see the progress of the build.

    Plumbing and bricks colliding. One of them is in the wrong spot and it looks like the plumbing is.
     
  8. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    My Last development in Perth was also a small, busy builder. I visited the site frequently and text Project Manager if I had issues, I don't think it's unreasonable to be provided with mobile number of project manager. Request a meeting on site if you have specific issues pertaining to build

    With Melb project We had an arrangement that once per week I received an update from builder as I am located in Perth, this worked well


    mtr
     
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  9. Leo2413

    Leo2413 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I probably wouldn't engage a builder for work if they give me any negative vibes during initial meetings (sometimes i know it's hard to tell and ppl can act well). But right from the beginning if their not willing to give me the project managers number or anyone else's number, or if im told all communication is via email and we can't have regular site visits then that would be the end of it for me and I'd be looking at other builders.
     
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  10. thydzik

    thydzik Well-Known Member

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    I'm also building with a small builder in Perth, no issues so far, very easy to deal with.

    For me, I don't expect a status update every week, I can get that myself by visiting the site.
    The builder only calls when there are technical issues or conflicting info he needs my OK on.
    Recently, he has been apologising for the number of calls per week, I let him know I don't mind and happy to discuss every time.
    Email is used when non urgent or technical, needing to attach sketches etc.
     
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  11. mrdobalina

    mrdobalina Well-Known Member

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    If it's the same person, shouldn't you already have his number? Otherwise it should be on the sign against the registered builder at the front of the development.

    Some people prefer emails or SMS as it maintains a written trail, particularly for instructions or decisions.
     
  12. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Are they responding or acknowledging emails? Depending on the contract your working with they have to respond to correspondence.
    I'm a bit rusty with my contracts stuff but if you issue an instruction (or question ) they have to respond within x days etc etc do some contract management googling specifically with the contract you're working with
     
  13. hematite

    hematite Well-Known Member

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    Your builder sounds good! I dont really need status updates, I can see that by visiting the site :)


    That's the reception number. Yes, I can see how some people prefer email, makes it easy to remember and trace what was said.

    Some are responded to, some are not. It's a HIA contract, ill do some googling.
     
  14. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    @mrdobalina points out the mobile number should be on the sign in front of the site. Otherwise on the Development Application, how did you contact them initially, any advertising etc....

    Get resourceful - if you see one of the subbies, call them, spin a story that you'd like to contact the builder etc for their number.
     
  15. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    PCP.... Perth Courier Pigeon
     
  16. Bondi

    Bondi Member

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    From my experience, just tell your builder what your expectations are. Most small builders that I know, try and meet the clients expectations. It sounds like you are being more than reasonable, but some people will take advantage of that.
     
  17. hematite

    hematite Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your posts.

    In the end, the supervisor referred me to the individual tradies, who promptly fixed all the issues and were quite easy to deal with.