The best builders & renovators in Canberra

Luke van der Linden, owner of Fresh Renovation & Construction, one of Canberra’s most recommended builders.

Luke van der Linden, owner of Fresh Renovation & Construction, one of Canberra’s most recommended builders. Photo: Region Media.

Building a new home, or renovating or extending your existing home, is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so using a skilled and reliable builder is essential. They create the place you’ll live in for a long time. They bring your vision to life.

To protect your investment, and keep your stress levels in check, you want to work an experienced, value-for-money builder who takes pride in their work and has evidence of completing successful projects.

Experienced builders have a wealth of knowledge to draw on and are well positioned to provide suggestions, recommendations and advice in line with your goals, budget and deadline. This includes whether to extend and renovate or knock-down build.

In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a builder, and share where to find the best in Canberra.

Extend and renovate or knock-down build?

The first major decision an experienced builder can assist with is whether to knock-down build or extend and renovate. More homeowners are seizing the advantages of staying put, in the location they have come to know so well, by increasing the size of their home to suit their lifestyle.

Choosing a builder with a proven track record in extending and renovating is key. They’ll transform your existing structure by increasing living space, improving functionality, maintaining your home’s character and introducing modern elements to enhance its liveability. A renovation specialist will explore opportunities with you and present ideas you might not have thought of.

What makes a great builder?

When you engage a builder, you entrust them with one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make – your home. Having confidence in their ability to do a great job is key to making your project enjoyable, including building new or extending and renovating.

It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a builder.

  • Experience with your chosen building needs. Not all builders will be experienced in what your renovation project demands, so assess their skills and previous work against your priorities. Some specialise in small-scale renovations and extensions, others in major projects. Do your research and ensure your builder can prove they have the right experience. Check out their portfolio of finished projects online.
  • Find a good fit. Extending or renovating your home is a major project so you’ll want to work with a builder you feel comfortable and confident with. Interview each builder and if you’re not 100 per cent comfortable with ‘the fit’ or level of trust, move on.
  • References. Ask for references, remembering that a quality builder confident with their experience record will be more than happy to pass on former client details. Take this a step further by asking the builder to provide names for a couple of suppliers and key trades they’ve worked with to test the strength of their relationships. Research reviews online.
  • Strong communications. You want a builder who is friendly, treats you with respect and is a strong communicator. Your renovation specialist should respond to queries quickly, send quotes promptly and keep you informed as your project progresses. Delays can be inevitable with renovations, including those caused by unexpected circumstances like weather, but a great builder will keep you informed on changes in deadlines.
  • Comprehensive quote. Seek comprehensive quotes from multiple builders who specialise in renovations to ensure you’re getting a fair price and avoid scope creep. The more detailed and accurate your quote, the more confident you’ll be. Also ask if the builder’s renovation work is backed by warranties.
  • Credentials. Ask builders to confirm they’re properly licensed and insured (including with public liability). Don’t hesitate to ask about their formal qualifications and if they belong to professional associations or industry bodies. Verify that they’ve completed work similar to what you need done.

The best builders and renovators in Canberra

Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Fresh Renovation and Construction

Fresh Renovation and Construction

FRESH Renovation and Construction is a trusted renovation specialist. Owned and operated by local builder, Luke van der Linden, the FRESH Renovation team specialises in extensions and large-scale renovations across the capital.

With incredible attention to detail and nearly 20 years’ experience in the industry, FRESH has earned a reputation for crafting quality, flawless renovations that retain the character of a home while creating harmonious additions and extensions. Each project undertaken transforms a house into a beautiful and unique place to live.

Based in Curtin, FRESH Renovation and Construction works with each client from project conception to completion, providing advice and recommendations on the most efficient, economical and practical ways to achieve their ultimate vision. They deliver renovation and extension projects on time and within budget, going to great lengths to keep clients informed at every step.

With so many years in the industry, FRESH has established an extensive network of trusted contractors, trades, draftspeople and architects to ensure each project is seamless. FRESH Renovation only works with partners who match the quality and style of their services. There are no unknown or untested parties on any FRESH project.

FRESH Renovations believes renovating or extending is a practical alternative to a knock-down rebuild. Maximising existing structures can reduce time and save upwards of $200,000. It’s also a more sustainable choice, with less wasted involved when compared to demolition.

The FRESH team is passionate about restoration work for its value in keeping the unique characters of a home and crafting exceptional and tailor-made spaces, enabling clients to remain in the area they love.

On RiotACT, satisfied customer Heather Mann says, “Luke and his team from Fresh Renovation and Construction recently completed some work for us at our property. We very highly recommend them, they were very professional, polite and completed the work to a very high standard.”

Homes by Howe

Homes by Howe

Homes by Howe is an award-winning custom home builder. With over 15 years of experience, Homes by Howe has been building brand new homes, performing knock-down-rebuilds, and working on extensions for families all across Canberra.

Homes by Howe recognises that your home is not only your largest asset, but also the place where your memories are made, where you must feel safe and happy. That’s why they strive to ensure that every build is a smooth and stress-free experience. With an up-to-date construction program and direct access to the construction team, Homes by Howe promises reliability and quality every step of the way.

What’s more, their process is all-inclusive. From demolition, pools and landscaping, asbestos removal, contour surveys, to site works, engineering consultations and government fees, Homes by Howe promises to handle everything throughout the construction. Along with transparent pricing and air-tight timelines, you can trust that your home will be built on time and budget.

On Google, ‘Local Guide’ Sam Brunno writes, It was such an amazing and great experience building with what I think is the best builders in Canberra! We absolutely love our custom home, it was done ahead of schedule and the quality is top notch!”

3 Tudawalli Place
Chapman ACT 2611

Empire Homes

Empire Homes, family owned and operated, has serviced the Canberra region since 2012. Services include new home constructions, home renovations and extensions. No matter the size, complexity or location, Empire Homes provides personal and reliable service, and quality construction, involving clients at every stage. Empire Homes belongs to the Housing Industry Association.

On Google, Phil Choi wrote, “Undertaking a large extension in Canberra was a pretty daunting proposition until we met Ian. From day one, we knew Empire Homes was the right building company for us …”

Natura Homes

Natura Homes is a custom luxury home builder in Canberra. Its team is up-to-date with the latest eco-friendly home solutions, including hybrid solar systems, swimming pools, airtight/low energy, home automation systems and more.

The team of experts at Natura Homes, which includes interior designers, architects, building biologists and engineers, is big on sustainability and the use of healthy materials, ensuring they build luxury homes that are efficient and comfortable.

Natura Homes provides personalised service every step of the way and guarantees superior quality and high levels of client satisfaction. This starts with the first appointment (free of charge), to handover and through the company’s unique 24-week maintenance period.

Satisfied customer Anthony Pesec said on Google, “Natura Homes renovated my residential rental property. Their advice was invaluable, and they were very patient with my slow decision making! All work was done in a professional manner with care to cause as little disturbance to the occupying tenant (who is delighted with the results). All in all, I’m extremely happy with the finished product and will confidently recommend Natura to my friends and family.”

Renaissance Homes

A local, family owned and operated, multi-award winning building company, Renaissance Homes has been operating in Canberra for more than 25 years. The company champions liveable, accessible and adaptable home designs. Renaissance Homes has picked up more than 50 Master Builders Association and Housing Industry Association awards. The company offers value-for-money and quality of workmanship, design, inclusions and energy efficiency.

On RiotACT, Drewfus wrote, “Built a new home with them recently, they were very good. They’ve been around for 24 years.”

NJR Homes

NJR Homes focuses on custom new homes, renovations, extensions and knock-down rebuilds. Quality service is guaranteed from initial quotes to post-completion. NJR Homes belongs to the Master Builders Association and holds relevant licenses and insurances.

As Chin-Lee Yu wrote on Google, “I highly recommend Nick from NJR Homes. He did a fantastic job through the entire build process, from the initial quote to post completion touch ups … The house was built on time, on budget and to a high standard with custom fittings.”

Achieve Homes

Achieve Homes designs and builds homes suited to the way people live.

Whether you’re after a house and land package, want to do a knockdown rebuild or need a custom design suitable for your own land, Achieve Homes can create a home that suits your family’s lifestyle.

Here’s what Sam and Jade had to say about working with Achieve Homes to build their Googong home, “We thoroughly enjoyed working with the Achieve team and cannot recommend them enough. They went above and beyond, exceeding our expectations. In addition, we were also very impressed with the build quality and the quality of the finishing in the property.”

Mastro 5 Design Building Group

Make the most of the natural environment and embrace sustainable living with Mastro 5 Design Building Group – new homes, extensions, and landscaping. All spaces are innovative, functional and sustainable.

Mastro 5 Design Building Group, one of Canberra’s leading builders, has been working across the capital since 2001.

The company’s motto is “Designed to last, built for life.” The team provide quality control and project management services from start to finish, depending on client needs. The team strives to make each project an exciting and hassle-free journey for clients.

Mastro 5 Design Building Group’s specialist crew include members of the Master Builders Association

Praful Sharma said on Google, “Good workmanship and higher degree of skilled labour meeting client expectations.”

Take a look at our articles on the best bathroom renovation companies, best kitchen renovation companies and best architects in Canberra for more information on how you can maximise your building project.

If you’re interested in organising your building project yourself, check out our articles on the best bricklayers, best flooring specialists, best house painters, best landscapers and best fencing contractors in Canberra.

To explore smart home options check out our article on the best home automation system installers in the region. And, to make your new house a home check out our article on the best furniture stores that Canberra has to offer.

Your experience with builders and renovators in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you had experience with any Canberra builders? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose the right builder or renovator?
The type of renovator or builder you choose will likely be influenced by the size and complexity of your project. You’ll certainly need one who is fully licensed, insured and experienced. Other factors are experience with your type and scale of project, how long they’ve been in business and testimonials from customers. You’ll also want someone you’re comfortable working with.
Where should I start looking for a builder or renovator?
A great starting point is a professional association like the Master Builders Association (ACT). Check the ‘Find a builder’ section on their website. Also research online for names and ask your architect if you’re using one. Real estate agents you know may have insights and so might friends or colleagues with first-hand experience.
What can I expect from my builder or renovator?
Definitely expect a professional approach and strong communications so you’re clear on project steps and kept up-to-date. You can expect your builder or renovator to meet deadlines, unless there are extenuating circumstances you’re informed about, or unforeseen circumstances that can impact on a project (like crazy weather).
Should I get more than one quote?
It’s wise to get more than one quote, especially if you’re project is big and/or going to cost a lot. When seeking quotes, do so in a consistent way so you can compare apples-with-apples.
How much do builders and renovators charge?
This depends on many factors, including the type, size and timing of your project, as well as its location. Also, different builders and renovators have different skills and levels of experience that can impact on costs. The best approach is to meet a builder or renovator and work through your project. Then ask for detailed and itemised quotes so you can see what they’re charging for.

What's Your Opinion?

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77 Responses to The best builders & renovators in Canberra
Onur Cajina Onur Cajina 6:47 pm 11 Jul 21

Personally knowing the team at Mastro 5 Design, they work hard to deliver quality builds and always put their clients satisfaction as a priority. Great service from start to end.

Kate Hudson Kate Hudson 6:42 pm 10 Jul 21

Hardwood Projects 🙌🏽Luke Fitty Wainman

Andrew Campbell Andrew Campbell 12:38 am 10 Jul 21

Building a house? Renovating? These guys do a fantastic job, and top blokes to boot. Vogue Constructions

Liz Mcauliffe Liz Mcauliffe 9:48 pm 09 Jul 21

May built. just completed our extension and renovation and were amazing! Zac is reliable, excellent attention to detail and really good ideas for take it to the next level, or keep costs down. Price was also competitive.

Liz Graham Liz Graham 10:40 am 09 Jul 21

GTR Homes just did our renovation and extension. Excellent communication, quality workmanship and competitively priced. Would happily recommend them.

Tony Whichelo Tony Whichelo 9:38 am 09 Jul 21

Mastro5 Building Canberra

Pietro Mastrocinque

Georgie Marcantelli Georgie Marcantelli 8:28 am 09 Jul 21

Maverick Design Services

Erin Patterson Erin Patterson 10:54 pm 07 Jul 21

MAS carpentry and construction!!

Claire Maree Frazer Claire Maree Frazer 6:24 pm 07 Jul 21

David Ryan Homes are excellent. We have been in our new home - knock down rebuild - for nearly 12 months and could not be happier.

Steve Anderson Steve Anderson 1:54 pm 07 Jul 21

Unlike one of your commentators we had an appalling experience with Build Professional some time ago. A complete shambles from start to finish, no quality control, poor communication, shoddy work – many things had to be re-done. Couldn’t even build a planter box square – I had to point out to them it was way out of square (they didn’t even notice) and have it knocked down and re-built.

Margaret McGrath Margaret McGrath 7:08 am 07 Jul 21

Prostyle building group - did a renovation for us in Kambah many years ago - fantastic work, great communication and well priced and they are still doing great work 20+ years later 🙂

Xinglong Fan Xinglong Fan 9:55 pm 11 Jun 21

Avoid Prostyle Building Group. Very poor work ethic and unprofessional.

sam davis sam davis 6:45 pm 29 Jan 21

Stay away from Confident Building. Very dishonest builder. He will find ways to add variations to rip off the poor customers. Also very poor quality of work.

dm dm 3:03 pm 10 Nov 20

Fresh Renovation is top notch – skilled, hardworking craftsmen, great communication, organised and professional, great knowledge and commitment to quality. Highly recommend

Heather Mann Heather Mann 9:37 am 05 Jun 20

Luke and his team from Fresh Renovation and Construction recently completed some work for us at our property. We very highly recommend them, they were very professional, polite and completed the work to a very high standard.

Sonia Capezio Strickland Sonia Capezio Strickland 2:41 pm 03 Jun 20

Built 4 Living 👍

Tori Bull Tori Bull 8:49 pm 02 Jun 20

ACT Renovations did our bathroom and we couldn’t be happier 😊

Elizabeth van der Plaat Elizabeth van der Plaat 5:09 pm 02 Jun 20

Schouten Constructions built our new house 3 years ago. Small company and reliable- did an awesome job.

Kat King Kat King 10:07 am 02 Jun 20

We love our bathroom and ensuite renovation by Bathroom Transformations. Vaughn was amazing. His work is meticulous and he truly cares about delivering an excellent result.

Sally Greenaway Sally Greenaway 9:24 pm 01 Jun 20

Shane and Ben at GH Constructions. Architect Windows for double and triple glazing uPVC. Highly recommend!!!

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