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How to Choose the Right Builder for You
Building a home is a wonderful journey, provided you find the right builder to work with. If not, it can be a time full of stress and frustration. Quality building companies should work with you extensively to ensure your needs are met. That means being clear and transparent right from the start, and providing clear costs and timelines. Aside from wanting the most technically skilled builders, you also need a whole package. So, if you’re about to start looking for new home builders, these tips could save you time, money and sanity.
Understand your budget
One of the most important parts of choosing a builder is understanding your budget. This is because many builders specialise in a certain type of home. For example, some builders focus more on high-end, luxury dwellings, so if you’re a first home buyer, they may not be the best fit. Alternatively, there are plenty of building companies who specialise in first home and smaller properties. If you’re looking to build your dream home, these builders may not suit your needs.
Once you have a clear idea of what you can afford, choosing a builder becomes a little easier. You’ll get a good idea just by looking at their websites to find out what type of homes they usually build. In contrast, many professional building companies work on a range of home designs from budget through to luxury. If you can find one who does it all, that’s even better!
Know what style you want, and find a specialist
Much like the cost of a home, the style is also important when choosing a builder. Does your builder offer a wide range of designs to choose from? Are they able to meet your needs if you want a custom design? These are all questions you need to ask. Similar to the way some builders operate in a certain price range, many also prefer to work with particular styles.
For example, does your builder’s website feature images of mostly sprawling, luxurious larger homes? If so, and you’re looking to build a smaller villa or unit, they may not be the builder for you. Whether it’s custom homes, smaller homes or something else, try to find a specialist builder in your preferred category.
It might sound a little strange to even mention this, because you’re not likely to go to the other end of your region to find a builder. However, you should try, where possible, to look for builders in your local area. It’s not a deal-breaker if they’re not local, but it can be a lot easier if they are.
When there’s more travel involved for the building crew and associated tradespeople, there can often be delays and even additional costs. Many builders like to stick to one area, so if you can find a local expert that suits your needs, it can make a big difference.
Ensure your builder’s quote is comprehensive
When getting quotes from builders, you need to check everything thoroughly. It’s not so much about the prices themselves, because you would already have addressed this issue in your budget. However, it’s sometimes more about what isn’t in your quote. Here are some things to look for in a building quote:
· Are earthworks and excavations included?
· Does the quote include soil tests?
· Are some essential items missing, such as fencing, driveways, drainage etc?
· Has the builder explained the quote, and discussed what isn’t included?
In addition, you should always check if they’re giving you a fixed price quote. Without it, you could end up with nasty surprises upon completion.
Seek clear expectations of the build process
Time is another important factor when building a home. Now, it’s not about finding the builder who promises to build your home fastest. Super-quick build times may be fraught with mistakes and cut corners. However, what you should be able to get is a clear overview of the building process so you know what to expect. Your builder should be able to clearly explain their process, and how long it should take.
This gives you a clear understanding of what will be occurring, and when. It also makes it easy for you to see where you need to take action, such as signing building agreements and organising finance.
Will your builder organise additional services?
Building a home takes many people across different trades and services. Many of these additional services are often seen as ‘add-ons’, such as professional colour consultations, fencing or landscaping. You need to know if your builders can recommend or even organise these services on your behalf. That can even extend to recommending lenders, valuers and engineers.
Again, this comes down to understanding what’s included in your quote, and what’s not included. Even if these services aren’t provided, you may still choose that builder, but it’s important that everything is transparent.
Look for online proof and references
Finally, you should always take the time to research potential builders thoroughly. The internet is a great place to start, because you can read reviews and testimonials from other customers. It’s worth looking beyond a builder’s own website though, because testimonials there are always going to be flattering. Google and social media are a great place to start, and you can even ask for recommendations from friends in your social network.
Also, find out if builders are happy to show you some homes under construction, display homes, or even completed projects. This gives you an idea of their workmanship and also their style of home building.
There are plenty of builders out there, but if they don’t tick all of the boxes for you, then keep shopping. Cheap prices and quick build times may look great on the surface, but if all of your needs aren’t being met it really isn’t worth it. The extra few thousand dollars and couple weeks build time is worth it for peace of mind that you’re getting true quality. Great customer service goes a long way, especially in the home building trade, so don’t compromise your needs.