How to choose the right builder for your home
Building your own home is a big investment, probably the biggest one in your life. Part of the home building process is choosing the right partner to build your beautiful home. But where do you start? How do you find a quality builder to build your new home?
Here are some tips to get you started:
Define what you want
Outline what you need in terms of size and type of home, for example family home with a large kitchen and play areas for the kids.
Some builders only work with predefined home designs and you may not be able to customise the design to suit your needs. Other builders start with a blank piece of paper and work with you on a home design to suit you. Generally builders also specialise in a specific type of home and price range, e.g. starter home for first time buyers or luxury homes for affluent custom homebuyers. Look for a fit here to get what you want from your builder.
Look for experience
How long has the business been around? Are past homebuyers satisfied? If you cannot find client testimonials on the website, don’t be afraid to ask for customer references. Ask previous customers questions like ‘Would you buy another home from the builder?’ or ‘Would you recommend them to family and friends?’ If the answers are negative, dig a bit deeper and ask why the experience was not great.
Every homebuilder started out new at some point but experience counts. If you are looking to build with a new company, look for a seasoned team, which has had experience perhaps building with another company.
Is the builder licensed and insured?
Generally builders across Australia need to be licensed and carry mandatory insurances, but these can alter depending on your state, the cost of the works and the contract particulars, so do your homework here and make sure as the home owner you’re covered. Ask about the insurance that the builder and his or her trade contractors carry, and check this against the applicable Government Department, or an Industry Association such as the HIA( Housing Industry Association), or the MBA (Master Builders Association).
Look for a design fit
Builders usually have experience in a variety of design styles and architectural details however look for a builder whose work includes at least a couple of examples of the style of home you want.
Warranty and Service
The beauty of having a brand new home is that your home itself and most of the systems and components are under warranty. The peace of mind that comes with knowing that major repairs or a new roof are likely years away is important. In addition, look for a structural warranty of ten years or longer on the home itself, ideally transferable to a new owner should you sell. Also look for a builder who provides prompt and courteous service under warranty and who takes time to explain the proper maintenance and care that any home needs.
Have homes by this builder gone up or down in sales (bearing in minds some market fluctuations and other economic impacts on house prices). Look for good reputation among real estate agents and find out whose homes tend to hold their value. Try to find house sale advertisements, which specifically mention the builder’s name.
Not every good builder chooses to join a local homebuilder association, so don’t be discouraged if your builder is one of them. However, such membership does tend to show that a builder is committed for the long-term to the area. It’s also a sign of commitment to new home community developers, building product suppliers and trade contractors that work in your city or town.
Visit the display homes
Once you have narrowed down your list of potential builders, go visit their display home to see some of their work. See what the house looks and feels like.
Look for signs of quality
Consider the quality of the building materials but also of the interior products, e.g. is the bathroom outfitted with brands that you know and trust? Look for quality craftsmanship, attention for detail and immaculate finishes.
When you spoke to the builder’s employees on the phone, via email or in person were they genuinely interested in you and your needs? Did they listen? Were you happy with the answers to your questions? Were the employees properly trained to help you with your queries?
We hope that our tips help you find a builder who is a good fit for you and if you have any further questions, we are here to help.
Posted: 4th October 2014