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Best of Canberra

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Best Builders In Canberra

20

Whether you’re building a new home, renovating or doing an extension, a skilled and reliable builder – or team of builders – is essential.

If you’re like most people, you’d probably prefer to work with an experienced, value-for-money builder. Ideally, your chosen builder will also take pride in their work, avoid shortcuts and do a thorough clean up when the job is finished.

But where do you find a builder that ticks all of the above boxes? To make your search easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best builders and developers in Canberra according to reader feedback.

What makes a trustworthy builder?

When you engage a builder, you entrust them with one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make – your home. As such, you need to have confidence in their ability to do a great job.

To take the guesswork out of hiring a reliable builder, look for these key traits.

  • Experience. It’s tricky to surprise an experienced builder. They’ve seen it all before and know exactly how to overcome challenging situations while staying on budget.
  • Specialisation. Some builders specialise in small scale renovations and extensions, while others are better suited to new builds. Do your research and make sure the builder you choose has experience in the type of work you need completed.
  • Friendly, respectful, and professional attitude. As with any customer-facing job, the best in the building business treat their customers with respect and get the job done to a professional standard. They respond to queries quickly, send quotes promptly and keep you informed as the project progresses.
  • Prompt. Delays are often inevitable, but if a builder promises you a deadline, they should do their best to stick to it.
  • Fairly priced. Seek quotes from multiple builders to make sure you’re getting a fair price.

The top builders in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 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 maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Mastro 5 Design Building Group

Make the most of the natural environment and embrace sustainable living with the innovative Mastro 5 Design Building Group. Their new homes, extensions, and landscaping are not only built to last a lifetime but feature inspiring contemporary design work.

One of our commenters, Elboy, had this to say: “Really good bunch of guys, easy to deal with, reliable, honest and well priced. They specialise in solar passive heating for new homes which ticks your energy efficient criteria.”

Empire Homes

With a commitment to a personalised and reliable service, Empire Homes is a fantastic builder option in the Canberra region. Whether their friendly team is working on a new home, a renovation, or a rebuild, they deliver a quality product finished to industry standards.

Commenter Namci raved about their experience with Empire Homes. “Empire Homes are amazing! We built with them a couple of years ago and they also did an extension for a friend- cannot be faulted,” they wrote. “I think being a smaller company, the communication is a lot more open, they never seem bothered by our constant questions.”

Your experience with builders and developers 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 of the building and development companies listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.


What’s Your opinion?


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Best Builders In Canberra
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dannydrop 2:29 pm 02 Aug 19

Just thought I’d mention the guys at NDA Projects – they’re brothers working in the Canberra region (I believe they’re building out in Googong at the moment). Each of them specialise in a specific area, they’re really friendly and have been an absolute pleasure! They have a site https://ndaprojects.com.au/ but I’d suggest talking to Alex – his phone number is on that site as well

AlwaysCheckYourBuilder 10:33 am 12 Aug 15

Please everyone, there a few ways to check out a prospective builder before you sign anything.
Always do a free licence check, actually ring their references and ask questions like “did the costs exceed the original quote?” “How much longer than expected before the project was finished?” and always do a background check. Free licence check and background reports can be accessed through http://www.alwayscheckyourbuilder.com.au
The website has some pretty good contract advice for buyers too.
(and yes I am one of the researchers at the site)

cohouse 4:00 pm 03 Aug 15

Hi everyone,
My name is Ryan, I am a young builder and qualified electrician. I have been involved in the canberra building world for quite a while. In canberra we really do lack reliable builders that will produce good qualty workmanship.
I have teamed up with another young local builder to create a company different from the rest. Together we want to produce extremely high quality results. We focus a lot of energy on the secondry dwelling (granny flat) construction and home modification for disabled familys. There is a real need for a more sustainable and energy efficient aproach to building in canberra, CoHouse uses a form of insulated pannel whenever possible as it is extremely good insulation and very strong. Together with energy efficiant electrical products we have been able to produce secondary dwellings with up to a 8 star energy rating.
Because we are such a new company we are trying to keep the cost down for the client as much as possible to show you our quality of work.
please feel free to email us on info@cohouse.com.au
regards, Ryan

Elboy 7:30 pm 20 Jul 15

These guys are really good, http://www.mastro5design.com.au/
Ask for Pietro, 0413 133 362
They do everything and I would highly recommend them. They did some work on our house a while back. Really good bunch of guys, easy to deal with, reliable, honest and well priced.
They specialise in solar passive heating for new homes which ticks your energy efficient criteria.

Mess 12:48 pm 03 Jul 15

Future Building Company. Have done a number of things around our place and also for our parents in law. Well priced, reliable and quality projects.

Turbo25 9:40 pm 02 Jul 15

Check out http://www.beforeyoubuild.net.au . They can conduct due diligence on your intended builder before you sign a contract with them.

Kazzzzzzz 8:29 pm 05 Jun 15

And he’s done energy efficient homes before… He knows what’s involved!

Kazzzzzzz 8:28 pm 05 Jun 15

Look in to Exceptional Constructions. They did a fantastic job for us. V friendly. V honest. Pleasure to have around and trustworthy. We had an unexpectedly very positive experience!

zllauh 4:58 pm 29 Apr 15

Hi Mate,

If you are looking for sustainable, energy efficient? new home that does not look like the third house on the street I would reckon that you look into Mud Bricks as well – http://www.yourhome.gov.au/materials/mud-brick? . The houses made of mud bricks have a character of its own and have other benefits like Sound insulation?, ?Fire and vermin resistance? etc. Had visited one of my dads friends house in Nowra which was built using Mud Bricks , they had the personalised hand prints of the little kids. Apparently they are called Personalised mud bricks. The mob who did was http://www.mogomudbricks.com.au/? . When the money is saved up for the next house, I will surely be using Mud Bricks.

My 2 cents.

Maya123 2:01 pm 23 Mar 15

McGreggor said :

I would like to encourage you to touch base with Laros Technoligies if efficiency is a high priority

The most efficient building is one that is designed like an Esky, airtight and insulated. Thermal mass isn’t so much of a concern if you meet those first two requirements. Then include heat recovery ventilation and heat pumps and you have a world class home in terms of efficiency

If you havent heard of the concern of Passive House I strongly encourage you to learn of it so you have a full picture (it is much more than solar passive design!).

It is a voluntary building standard that far exceeds what section J of the building code merits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_house

Disclaimer – I have just started working at Laros Technoligies, we provide Passive House certified products and can assist on the design work as consultants.

ps thank you for the comment 66rainhailorshine99

Good suggestion that a person building a house learns about energy efficient building first.

The advantage of thermal mass (with insulation) is that you don’t need heat recovery ventilation and heat pumps. I live in a house that doesn’t need that. I have no air-conditioning and rarely heat. The mass keeps the temperature comfortably stable year round. The mass, as a side effect, also makes for a quieter house. The major disadvantage is that it can be hard to get a mobile phone signal.

McGreggor 1:20 pm 23 Mar 15

I would like to encourage you to touch base with Laros Technoligies if efficiency is a high priority

The most efficient building is one that is designed like an Esky, airtight and insulated. Thermal mass isn’t so much of a concern if you meet those first two requirements. Then include heat recovery ventilation and heat pumps and you have a world class home in terms of efficiency

If you havent heard of the concern of Passive House I strongly encourage you to learn of it so you have a full picture (it is much more than solar passive design!). It is a voluntary building standard that far exceeds what section J of the building code merits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_house

Disclaimer – I have just started working at Laros Technoligies, we provide Passive House certified products and can assist on the design work as consultants.

ps thank you for the comment 66rainhailorshine99

vintage123 12:58 pm 26 Feb 15

oh no, recommend you dont buy a block before investigating and quoting builders. we did and it was a disaster. lowest quote in canberra was 600k for a 12 square solar passive house, this was build cost only the land was 400k total required was 1million. needless to say we sold the block as quickly as we could and purchased existing for half the price for the twice the size one double the size land. new builds are waaayyy over priced in canberra.

Pete123 12:20 pm 26 Feb 15

You can’t go past Classic Constructions. I know they’re working on a home at the moment using Laros technologies, triple glazed windows, double wrapping system and more. They design homes from scratch and can deliver the best energy efficient options to suit any budget.

    trehan 3:34 pm 14 Jul 19

    Classic Constructions recently completed (June 2019) my new home at Denman Prospect. If you would like to know about my experience with this builder then feel free to email me at trehan28@outlook.com

Maya123 9:58 am 26 Feb 15

MrPC said :

You mentioned Jigsaw Constructions. They’re pretty much the gold standard for energy efficiency in Canberra, but that’s not saying much.

Unfortunately they’re too popular for their own good. Expect to wait a year to even get to the front of their queue.

Whoever you choose, the house will be compromised by Canberra’s tiny and poorly orientated blocks and our byzantine planning regulations. At least in other towns the blocks are big enough that you can tilt the house off-square so that you get a long wall of windows facing as close to solar north (about 12 degrees west of magnetic north) as is possible. Here your postage stamp sized lot forces you to build the house at a suboptimal angle, unless you paid extra for a block that’s well oriented.

“You mentioned Jigsaw Constructions. They’re pretty much the gold standard for energy efficiency in Canberra”

I had a quick look at their site, but I couldn’t find what their internal walls are made from. Do you know? They need to have mass, such as concrete or brick to be really effective. Orientation and good insulation alone are not enough. In fact, they say on their site, “It is standard procedure for Jigsaw houses to use efficient electric appliances for space heating (small radiator panels)” If you need these heating panels your house is not built to high energy efficient levels. A house that is, and there are houses in Canberra that don’t need in built heating, don’t need “small radiator panels”.

Their are building firms and architects that do energy efficient houses in Canberra. See my previous post for examples. Do your research on what a truly energy efficient home is for a Canberra climate. Learn what makes a good double glazed window for example, and what many builders supply as standard might be the cheapest (and worse) that they can call a double glazed window. Check the gap between the glass, whether the frame has thermal breaks, type of glass, etc. Choose your own windows; don’t take the builders word for it (without proof) that they work well enough. A bad aluminium double glazed window without thermal breaks is no better than a single glazed wooden framed window for example. Check what the internal walls are made from, the insulation, etc.
Then after your house is designed correctly and built correctly from the right materials, look forward to needed no cooling, and most winter days no heating.

MrPC 11:39 pm 25 Feb 15

You mentioned Jigsaw Constructions. They’re pretty much the gold standard for energy efficiency in Canberra, but that’s not saying much.

Unfortunately they’re too popular for their own good. Expect to wait a year to even get to the front of their queue.

Whoever you choose, the house will be compromised by Canberra’s tiny and poorly orientated blocks and our byzantine planning regulations. At least in other towns the blocks are big enough that you can tilt the house off-square so that you get a long wall of windows facing as close to solar north (about 12 degrees west of magnetic north) as is possible. Here your postage stamp sized lot forces you to build the house at a suboptimal angle, unless you paid extra for a block that’s well oriented.

Maya123 2:14 pm 25 Feb 15

“We are looking to build a sustainable, energy efficient”

If you are looking to build this, in Canberra the house needs to have plenty of internal mass (Concrete/brick/stone, etc internal walls and floor), large north facing windows to all main rooms (such as lounge, dining and bedrooms). If a builder’s designs don’t have this, they are not building an energy efficient design for Canberra.
Doing a quick internet search, none of the homes mentioned here so far by you or others appear to be of energy efficient design.
Here’s one firm that does solar design. Not cheap though. Note the size of north facing windows. http://strineenvironments.com.au/
Perhaps speak to TT Architecture as well, and there would be others too I imagine. An energy efficient design in Canberra means no air conditioning is needed in summer and almost no heating in winter, if any, is needed. Any house failing this, is not really energy efficient, only maybe less worse than the average house.

Ezy 12:06 pm 25 Feb 15

Nick Rowe at NJR Homes is fantastic. His attention to detail, vision, passion and knowledge is something that is missing with a lot of other builders.

namci 11:38 am 25 Feb 15

Empire Homes are amazing! We built with them a couple of years ago and they also did an extension for a friend- cannot be faulted. Ian is fully qualified carpenter, as well as the builder, so he’s he knows his stuff. He was there every day, overseeing the entire process and kept us informed. We’ve seen friends homes built by the big companies and the quality doesn’t even compare to our home – and Ian never had to come back to fix anything! I think being a smaller company, the communication is a lot more open, they never seem bothered by our contstant questions.

    Jenny Yang 9:59 am 15 Jan 18

    Hi Namci, now I am looking for a builder. how could you know this one is a good one before making your decision.
    when did you build your new house with Empire Homes? How long did the construction take to complete?

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