What does a builder do, anyway?

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What do builders actually do?

The specific skills and duties of a builder will depend on the size, type and expectations of the building company. We’ve decided to give you all a really good run-down of what a builder does in their everyday work, and during the life of a project.

Your builder does more than just build.

To put it simply, a builder is an individual or team who prepares the paperwork and requirements for the project; supervise and coordinate each trade; source, calculate and organise delivery of materials; all whilst ensuring quality of the entire process; in the construction of your new home or renovation.

There are many things the builder does before, during and after a project. Here, we will explain to you what the builder actually does, and why it will save you time and money on your project.

Before the project starts

Before your project starts, the builder is busy arranging home warranty insurance, providing all required documentation to a building certifier, submitting plans and paperwork for government approval; sending the plans to an engineer for advice on structural requirements and arranging a safe work site for your project. Also, as every home is custom built, materials such as windows and trusses often have to be ordered weeks in advance.

You can see, there’s a lot that has to happen before work even starts on site. After all, your builder has to provide a 6 year structural warranty of your renovation or new home.

Manage and coordinate tradespeople and suppliers

How many people have you managed in you work? 5? 10? 30? Builders manage upwards of 30 separate trades and companies for just a single project. They can have more than 10 people on their project site on any given day. Without excellent time, people and building process knowledge and experience – this has the potential to turn into a logistical nightmare.

The builder is responsible for the health and safety of every person that sets foot on the site. This includes identifying potential risks, having emergency plans, ensuring safety compliance and the adequate certification of tradespeople.

The builder must keep track and brief every trade of their specific tasks and arranging their timing and availability accordingly. It is unlikely this project is the only project a trade has on – there’s a lot of scheduling work that goes into having the right trades come in at the right times. Often trades specific tasks can’t occur until the previous trade has completed their task. Also, sometimes unforeseeable delays happen – which may not just affect the schedule of your project, it affects the schedules of every supplier and trade involved. Luckily, builders have risk management plans in place and these can be easily rectified without resulting in costly delays.

And if that’s not enough to make your head spin, the builder also ensures the tradespeople work is kept to the highest standard and overseeing their work in conjunction with the entire project. Phew.

Communicate with you

Effective and regular communication with the client is key to the success project. Clients have invested greatly in their project and they not only need but deserve to be regularly updated on the progress of their project. Builders provide regular updates on the schedule and the happenings of that week by phone, email or face-to-face. Most builders will offer a regularly walk-through of the site with the client.

The builder also consult with and provide advice to clients on the really fun stuff like design choices.

Good builders understand that every client is different. We’re human! No client is the same, and neither are their needs, preferences or values. Builders understand that this is not something you do every day. It can be easy to be swept up in possibilities and choices and forget the original vision. That’s where a great builder will help– they have the ability to refer clients back to their original visions, but also having the flexibility to appreciate your evolving visions.

Ongoing administration

And then there’s the everyday administration work that happens behind the scenes. Ensure accounts, and payment of tradespeople, suppliers are paid on time and regularly. Consult the progress payment schedule and ensure all payments are released at the appropriate stage and the right amounts. Consult the budget. Builders know how to manage the build without blowing the budget.

Building Code of Australia

Builders must be able to easily refer to and interpret the most up to date Building Code of Australia (BCA). There are rules for absolutely every structure you can think of – and builders must meet these at the same time as ensuring productivity.

All building work must comply with the requirements of the BCA and is given legal effect through the Building Act 1975. Builders have a great understanding of compliance with the BCA and its regularly updated standards.

On time…..

We are contracted to complete the work within a given time period. Skilled builders calculate the amount of time each individual project which take and respect that each trade needs adequate time on the site to complete their work to the best standard.

… and on budget

Checking and checking the budget again is what we do. We have the experience and first-hand knowledge of what most things will and should cost, and if they come over or under, we are able to manage the costs effectively. accordingly

But they’re not done yet….

It’s almost complete, and whilst you’re dreaming about the layout of your exciting new space – the builder is still busy finalising the project.

This includes arranging for the building certifier to conduct a final inspection and provide the relevant documents to apply for the Certificate of Occupancy and Use. Maintenance checks are required and done in close consultation with the client. But it shouldn’t stop there. A great builder will regularly check-in with you and respond to any questions you have.


We hope you enjoyed reading this. We wanted to provide you with some extra information to help you in understanding what it is we actually do. We strive to make our building process and our business as transparent to our clients as possible.

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