When should I engage a builder?

A builder is not only there to give you a completed project but is also a valuable asset throughout the construction process. You can engage a builder after you have completed the design phase for tender, however it is beneficial for all parties for the builder to be involved as early as possible. This allows the builder to offer advice with the design in terms of cost, the timeline for the project, and constructability.

Why do I need a licensed builder?

A builder's license from the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (formerly the Building Services Authority) is required for all works valued over $3300. A builder's license is also necessary in order for the works to be insured as well as public liability insurance in case any injuries occur on your property during the construction period. You can perform a simple check on the QBCC website to ensure if a builder or contractor is properly licensed.

What should I look for when choosing a builder?

Undertaking a construction project entails the process of delivering a product as well as the completed product itself. To ease the stressfulness and create a smoother process you should select a builder that is reliable and one you can trust. It is important that a professional and trusting relationship can be formed so there is open communication between builder and client so that the project can be constructed as per your expectation.

You should not always choose a builder based on the lowest quotation. A quotation can be low for a number of reasons including reduced quality of workmanship and materials, major items have not been included in original price and will be added as variation at later date or builder has made mistake during the tender which can risk project completion.

Traditional tender or negotiated tender?

Going to traditional tender does have its advantages as this can ensure you are getting a good price for your project but unless you have detailed tender documents it is hard to compare tenders as each builder could be pricing a different variant of the project. Prior to tender you will need a detailed set of drawings, specification and a clear detailed brief to avoid any confusion and ensure each builder is working towards the same project outcome.

There are disadvantages of traditional tendering including the initial upfront cost of design drawings, duration of design and construction process and reduced design input by the builder. As mentioned, to maximise the benefits of a traditional tender detailed documents must be created for tender. This can be a high initial outlay for a project that may not be financially feasible for you at the time.

Another disadvantage of traditional tender is not having the builder's input in the design. Liona Constructions has valued experience and can offer advice on alternative construction methods and materials to suit your budget and quality requirements at design phase, saving on potential changes during onsite constructions.

Negotiated tender is become more popular over traditional tender for individual home, larger renovations and extensions and commercial projects such as town house and unit complexes. It allows the client to negotiate builder's margins, contract terms and conditions as well as construction duration. A major advantage of this option is having the builder involved in the early design and planning process. This allows the builder to advise on design and construction options to ensure the project stays on track with your budget, quality and time expectations. This also gives the capability of realising if a project is unfeasible before outlaying substantial cost on detail design documentation.


Get your project off to the best start by discussing your needs in detail with a personalised consultation.

We pride ourselves on our personal, client focused approach and this begins with a no-obligation consultation where you can expect the following:


Discuss exactly what you need.

Explore your budget and advise what you can expect from your money.

Get an idea of your timeline expectations and availability.

Discuss any ideas you have and how they fit with your budget.

Formulate a plan to move forward.