You might have heard people say things to the effect of:
- “Buy a red brick house from the 60s.”
- “Anything new will cost probably fall down five minutes after handover”
- “Builders… Can’t trust ‘em”
This might shock you, but we actually agree with some of this (not all). As a company that both designs and constructs, we are looking to create new buildings that will last for hundreds of years. But not everyone in the construction game has such lofty goals. NSW is in the grips of an epidemic of bad construction companies; they pop up, complete a huge project, and vanish when the render starts to crack or the foundations are found to be compromised. John’s Construction suddenly becomes Jim’s Construction and, lo and behold, it’s the same people in the same place. It’s called phoenixing; the newly founded company goes bankrupt, and a new one pops up in its place, and the people who should be paying the cost are instead counting their windfall. You might remember the case of Mascot Towers? The poor owners paid the price while the founder of the construction company bought a $20m property in Vaucluse. It should make you see red.
This is why your choice of builder matters. A lot. It can be a choice which can dramatically affect the trajectory of your life. And as a construction company, we need to be the first to point out corruption and hypocrisy in our industry before people lose faith in builders altogether. So, in that vein, here are some things you need to look out for when contracting a construction company.
These companies exist to make a quick buck, so the fewer invoices they can pay before they vanish, the better. If you are aware of any disputes between your construction company and a supplier or contractor, this should be a serious red flag.
Unrealistically low quotes
If it seems too good to be true, it often is. They will win the job, and cut every possible corner to maximise their profits. It all looks quite nice, and it might not be for a few months or years that you begin to notice issues in your build. By that time, they might have undergone more than one change, and it all gets very complicated.
A new name
Sometimes you might be in negotiation for a long time. If during this period, they do a complete rebrand overnight, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are dodgy, but it definitely warrants a second look.
What can you do if you’re worried?
- Look up their ABN
- Check the ASIC registers
- Ask for references, both old and new
- Do a credit check
- Google the name of the company and the individuals for any negative media coverage.
We invite you to do this for LPC. We pride ourselves on being a Northern Beaches Construction Company. We grew up here. We want to grow old here. And you can’t live somewhere if you have cheated or scammed your neighbour. We fully intend for LPC Projects to be a thriving business with a great reputation when we are old and grey. Our director Lachlan Pavett has put his initials on this company, and that is no small thing. I’ll leave you with a quote from the great 20th Century playwright Arthur Miller which sums up his thoughts on the matter:
“it is my name! I cannot have another in my life.”