The beginning of any journey is always the most exciting to me. I find myself standing on the starting line, taking a deep breath before the marathon ahead. I’ve decided where I want to go, and maybe even thought about how to get there. My mind immediately jumps to the experiences I want to enjoy, and the memories to be made. That finish line might seem miles away, but I know that every step forward gets me just that much closer.

I also realise that a checklist stretching a mile long can leave one feeling unsure of where to begin. When it comes to your own journey with your home project, you might recognise that feeling all too well. 

As you might have also guessed, I’m a fan of making lists as part of any planning process. To offer a little guidance, below you will find the three key components to help you find a contractor that’s right for you!

1.A Little Research Can Go a Long Way

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell the good from the bad at first glance. I highly recommend starting your search through trusted professional bodies and browsing the list of their members in your area. For example, Olive & Umber are proud members of the Federation of Master Builders. Many of our clients have found us via this resource and had the opportunity to read reviews from previous clients as well as case studies of our projects. FMB conducts independent inspections of their members projects on a regular basis, so you can feel confident in the quality of work you’ll receive. 

Naturally, when you’re looking for any service, you’re more likely to make your selection based on the recommendation of a friend. This is an excellent place to start for a contractor too! Don’t be shy when it comes to starting up conversations with the people in your circle about their home projects and experiences with the contractors they have used. Gaining insights from the people closest to you can provide perspective on many different elements to your upcoming project. 

If you don’t directly know someone who has had any home renovation projects done, don’t despair. Websites such as TrustATrader offer thoroughly vetted contractors in your area along with current feedback on their services. Both positive and negative reviews can help you make the most informed decision. We often say there is no such thing as too much information when it comes to the design and build process. Taking time in the early planning stages to do your homework can save you time and help avoid potential headaches throughout your project.

2.Budget And Price

Making the decision to invest in your home is a rewarding and challenging process. While everyone’s dream home will look vastly different, the end goal is very much the same. Whether your project is major in scope or something a bit more precise, deciding on your budget can be the most crucial step in beginning your journey. Clearly communicating your expectations to your protentional contractor ensures neither party is wasting any time. 

While this can feel counter intuitive, don’t hesitate to have a tough conversation or to ask the right questions. A budget led dialogue will allow you to get a feel for how well a contractor is listening to your needs. It is also worth noting, that price isn’t everything. Finding the cheapest offer doesn’t always ensure you’re getting the best quality for the money you spend.  The right contractor will be able to clearly communicate to you about what can be achieved and offer constructive feedback to keep your budget on target.

3.A Contract Means Commitment

You’re ready to take the plunge! Productive discussions have allowed you and your contractor to iron out specifics. You have had meetings to put names with faces and a site survey of your property has been conducted. The work hours for the duration of your project have been established, and you know who your primary point of contact will be. 

The next important step is getting a contract, which will provide much needed clarity throughout the entire process of your project. Confirming essential details such as the dispute resolution process gives you peace of mind. 

At Olive & Umber, we know a contract is more than just the sum of the words on the page. Placing your trust in us to make your dream home a reality is something we don’t take lightly. Our commitment to our clients is the driving force behind every project we undertake and can be defined in our mantra- “Good projects made great.”  We invite you to reach out to us and experience the difference for yourself.

O&U Design and Build package

Olive & Umber provides a Design and Build package for those of you wanting extensive work done to your property. We can facilitate the design of your project all the way through to handing the keys back when the work is done! If this sounds like something you need then drop us an email to and we would be more than happy to answer any questions.

An exciting new alternative!

We also have an exciting new venture on the horizon. Habattach will provide pre-manufactured cost effective extension solutions for those of you who are looking for a low cost option but still with quality and design that you can trust. Head on over to the website and sign up for new and updates. Launching on the 31.7.20.

‏An exciting new alternative to the traditional home build… Habattach