Building a new home can be a daunting task, with costs adding up quickly. However, there are many ways to reduce costs without cutting corners. There are a few simple ways to save money without compromising on quality.

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Keep It Simple

Don’t be tempted by the state-of-the-art Kitchen complete with breakfast nook and bar or overdo the height of your ceiling. Keep it simple and use a basic rectangular shape to create a smart, elegant and functional home without excess. The simpler the building line, the cheaper the build. Many of today’s best-looking homes are constructed in simple, space shapes with fine proportion. You can save money by keeping your plans as simple as possible, which will also appeal to the widest range of buyers down the road. Think about the placement of your wet areas. When all your wet areas are strategically placed together, fewer pipes are required, which will save you money.

Keeping It Low Maintenance

Investing more money now on high quality materials can help you save money as a home owner down the road. Don’t cut corners with cheap roofing material, windows and external finishes. All this will mean is you will probably have to replace them sooner than later.

Keep It Sustainable

As with choosing high quality material to reduce maintenance costs, choosing sustainable material will help you save on your energy bills. Installing plenty of insulation and facing your home in a way that lets it take advantage of surrounding light and shade will help you create a tight, energy efficient home that can save you bundles.


Keep It Professional

Another issue is that you might be tempted to cut corners by hiring a contractor who charges less. It doesn’t always pay off going for the cheapest contractor in some cases it may work out a lot more expensive in the long run. Builders who have experience and a network of subcontractors, may charge a bit more, but they more than make up it with efficiency and service. By planning ahead with a strict budget and choosing a reputable contractor to work with you can keep costs in line.

On a finishing note if you are on a tight budget, leave a few jobs until later on, such as fencing and landscaping, they might even turn out to be fun for all the family.

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Building a new house is a daunting experience. Combining all the features and fittings you want into the perfect home and doing it all on a budget, can be far from easy.

Regardless of whether you’re building your own home or an investment property, the key factor determining all your decisions is cost. You want your new home to be as affordable as possible and you don’t want to get ripped off by any dishonest builders or tradies who think they can get away with overcharging.

A “cost per square metre rate” is a method of expressing building costs that should be used with extreme caution by both clients and contractors involved in the cost comparison and cost planning process.

There are a number of design aspects which can unfavourably influence square meter rates, therefore giving a false impression of the cost of a building project and this can lead to serious problem for both clients and contractors. “You would not compare a Porsche to a Volkswagen on their cost per square metre, so why try and do it with buildings?”

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How much does it cost to build a house per square metre?

This is difficult to answer because there are lots of factors that affect how much it costs to build a house. Site costs, such as sloping land, as well as the specifics of your home, such as materials used, quality of inclusions, design and layout, make it impossible to quote a one-size-fits-all figure.

Very few Australian builders are willing to quote based on per square metre. I would strictly forbid consumers making decisions based on price per square metre. It’s the quality of inclusions that matters. The scope for variation in square-metre building costs is huge.

For a much clearer idea of how much it will cost to build your house, you’ll need to have detailed design and construction plans drawn up to get a detailed quote. These will consider all the specifics of your project, from any site requirements through to the size, layout and features of the build.

Just make sure you know exactly what is included in the quote from your builder and what may cost extra. For example, site costs, carpets, driveways, landscaping and fencing are often not included in quotes but can add thousands of dollars to the overall cost.

Volume builder vs custom builder

Although it’s not always the case, volume builders are usually nationally owned companies that have completely systemised their home-building process. The main feature that attracts people to use a volume builder is their extensive range of floor plans that are already priced out, catering to budgets ranging from standard to luxury.

Volume builders work on a standard inclusions and upgrade scale where you can add and subtract according to your budget. It’s a very simple option for people who want someone to take care of the whole process from start to finish.

When you choose a volume builder, every aspect of the build is typically finalised before construction starts. Every single detail is set out right down to the colour of the paint on your walls. “If you are someone who likes to improvise and change things as you go, you might be better suited to a custom build.

Custom builders are usually hands-on local tradesmen who pride themselves on the personal quality and uniqueness that they can bring to your home building experience. Custom builders suit people who like the idea of having some level of involvement in the home-building process, though that is completely optional.

If you choose a custom builder, you have the freedom and flexibility to improvise and adjust along the way. Although many custom builders have a range of plans available to inspire you. A custom builder will often work alongside clients during the design phase of their home. Custom home builders generally focus on high standards in design principles and construction of your new home, meaning you will have a quality-built home with a high-quality finish.


If you don’t want a unique, one of a kind homes and you want the cheapest price, while maybe compromising on quality, then a project home builder who works to a square metre rate is best suited for you.

However, if you want a unique design taking in all aspects of your block and you want as much input as possible into the design and don’t want to be limited to choices when it comes to material used and want that high quality finish, a custom builder is exactly what you need.

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If builders are adding tens of thousands of dollars in profit to every contract they sign, why are so many of them failing every year?

In this article you’ll learn the truth behind house prices and who is really making money in the construction industry… You’ll discover the truth behind house prices and why it costs so much to build a new home.

While it may seem like home builders get paid a lot of money and do very little, the truth is a little different.

In fact, the average building company makes little or no net profit, a fact that should alarm you if you are considering building a new home.

It’s for this reason you really don’t want to be choosing the builder with the lowest price unless you are prepared to finish the job yourself when they go out of business!

While most building companies make less than 1% profit on each contract, the government earns a whopping 10% in Australia just from the GST! That means, on a $500k contract $45,454 of your investment will go to the government in tax.

Next is the home warranty insurance. This is a compulsory insurance that has to be paid when building a new home. Your builder will take care of this for you and generally they will include it in the contract price, but it’s probably costing you around 1.5% of the build as a rough guide so there’s another $7,500 that disappears.

Then there is the long service leave levy which is also collected by the government and that will cost you another half of a percent, which is around $2,500.

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So, in reality, out of the $500,000 that you are spending on a new home, only $447k is actually going towards building it.

But that’s not the biggest expense…

The biggest expense is the labour and materials to build the home, so how much should that be?
This is where it gets really interesting because not many people know this!

In fact, a lot of home builders don’t even know this which is why they end up signing cost plus contracts!
A cost plus contract is where the consumer… i.e. you… pay for everything associated with the build including materials, labour and supervision… i.e. the builder’s wages… and then pays the builder an additional margin of around 15% on top.

But the problem with a cost plus contract is that you are effectively giving your builder an open cheque book…

And with standard industry discounts available to home builders of between 20%-40%, how hard do you think they going to negotiate in order to get a better price for you?

So, although paying a builder 15% on top of cost might seem like a good idea at the time, you’ll probably end up spending a lot more in the long run.

But when you deal with a professional builder, one that knows their numbers you don’t have that problem. You agree a fixed price for a fixed outcome on a fixed date.

If prices go up, the builder pays. If there are delays, the builder covers the costs (and may even have to pay you for each day the home is late)

To cover this risk and extract a profit the builder that offers a fixed price contract has to negotiate discounts of around 30% across all labour and materials in order to operate the business at a profit.
Typically, a building company will be offered significant trade discounts by their suppliers in return for ongoing business, sometimes as high as 40-45%.

It’s the same with their subcontractors, in return for continued ongoing business, some trades will discount their labour by over 25% in order to receive regular work.

If you compare that to a cost plus contract where the builder has no incentive to negotiate any discounts at all because the more you pay the more they earn, you could end up paying tens of thousands of dollars more for the same home.

It may seem like a minefield you’re stepping into, but with the right builder building a new home is an exciting experience that you will want to repeat.

The trick is, to make sure you choose the right builder…

And that means you need to ask the right questions because better information leads to better decisions.

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Don’t assume every floor plan will fit your family and lifestyle. Builders put a lot of planning and thought into all of their floor plans however this doesn’t necessarily mean it will be exactly what you need.
Check the room sizes on the floor plan are adequate for you. Consider furniture layout and use. Just as you might find a bedroom is too small for the double bed you need to put it in, sometimes rooms can be larger than you actually need.

When viewing display homes, in your mind, try to strip away all the upgrades and visualize the floor plan without getting distracted by the beautiful benchtops, sleek taps and gleaming bathrooms.
Ask whether the builder will allow changes to the floor plan to suit your requirements and if so, to what degree. Find out exactly what is adaptable, and what is set (like structural changes).

Measure a space from the floor plan in real life. This can help you feel the proportions of the space compared to your furniture etc. It’s handy to measure it in reference to your actual current spaces so that you have a reference point. For Example. Stand in your current bedroom and measure your new bedroom. Is it smaller or larger than what you currently have? From this point you can imagine how you will fill the space in the new floor plan.

Builders design a floor plan in a certain way for good reasons – energy efficiency, orientation, privacy, best use of space, usability etc…So if you want to change it, discuss with the builder to understand the pro’s & cons of any changes you want to make.

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YOUR CHECKLIST – [Before you sign off on your plans & specifications]


Ceiling heights: Check what ceiling height is included in the base house price (usually 2400mm). Consider increasing your ceiling height to at least 2550mm, you will be surprised at the instant feeling of space.

Cornices: There are different types of profiles available but also consider ‘square set’ which is where there is no cornice. This is cleaner and more modern looking but will often cost additional.

Internal doors: By increasing the height of your internal doors, you can dramatically change the feeling of space. It is a visual trick that makes you feel like the ceilings are higher than they actually are.

Windows: Check the window type on the plan (awning, sliding, casement, double hung). There are pros and cons to each window type – for example, awning windows protect from the rain, but they offer less ventilation. Windows should be placed to take advantage of prevailing winds and to maximise cross ventilation with another window or doorway. Are they single or double glazed? Do they have weather seals to increase thermal efficiency?

Insulation: What is standard? Depending on where in Australia you live you may want to increase insulation within the house.

Paint: How many paint colours are included? Often it is only one… How much is it to have multiple colours?

Storage: Is there enough? Consider using spaces such as under stairs, under floor, under bench seats for example. Can you take a bit of floor space from the entryway for more storage? Could you, clever pull out shelving increase utilization of space in the kitchen?


Joinery: What shelves are included? Is a bank of draws included? Pot draws? Overhead kitchen cupboards? Built in space for microwave? Do you want soft-close drawers? Will the fridge space fit your fridge?

Layout: Do you have adequate space to prepare food? Where would your chopping board go? Where would your appliances sit? Can you carry hot pots to the sink easily? Have you considered the kitchen work triangle? Imagine entertaining and having a few people over. Can you prepare food and speak to guests easily?

Plumbing: Do you need a water tap in the fridge space (if you are having a fridge with water/ice dispenser)? Consider a pull-down tap (especially if you have a small sink, it provides better flexibility).

Bathrooms / Wet Areas

Tiles: Are wall tiles in the bathroom included? If so, to what height? Often, they will only quote for half height. What pattern are the tiles laid?

Bath/Shower layout: When designing your bath/shower layout, consider: how do you get in and out of the bath? Can you turn on the taps without getting wet? Are the taps in a safe position for children? Can you lean up against both ends of the bath without taps in the way? Is the shower head/rail high enough?

Accessories: Check placements of toilet roll holders and towel rails to make sure they are accessible and don’t get in the way

Toilets: Is there a toilet easily accessible from living areas? Does it offer noise privacy?


Robes: How many shelves and rails are included? Sliding mirror doors can be more expensive than wooden opening doors, however if you have a small space, they will be more practical.

Bedrooms: Check the sizes of the rooms. Is it large enough to fit the size bed you require? Some small bedrooms are not configured for more than a single bed. Plan where the windows are situated to suit your furniture layout.

Bedroom placement within the house: Depending on what stage of life you are in, you might want to consider alternate placements. If you have a baby (or are likely to have one in the near future), you might want a small bedroom near the master (rather than at the opposite end of the house). If you have toddlers, is it easier having their bedrooms downstairs?

Electrical (watch for budget blow-out!)

Get an electrical plan done at quoting stage. You will always need some level of customization, and it is a common area for budget blow out, so plan for this early on in the process.

Power points: How many power points are included? Often you will need to add in additional points, so factor this in. Don’t forget power points in hallways (for vacuuming), near the bathroom vanity, beside the couch for lamps, beside the bed for lamps, outside alfresco areas, multiple locations in the kitchen (including on an island bench), charging stations for laptops/phones and in the garage.

Lighting: How many lights are included in each room? What type of lights are included? Do you need dimmers (for living spaces is common) or two-way switches (for long hallways for example)? Imagine yourself in each room – where would you turn on and off your light switches? Can you see into your robes/cupboards? Imagine lying in bed, standing in front of the mirror etc… Think about the use – practical light (brighter), ambient light (not direct), task light (direct). Consider the orientation of windows in each room to understand how naturally light or dark they will be.

Data points: Are data points and TV antennas in the right place?

Heating & cooling: Is anything included? It is easier to heat/cool smaller spaces, so consider hallway doors to section off parts of the house for heating/cooling purposes.


Most homes don’t include flooring as the standard. Get this priced up early in the process.

Consider stairs if you have small children. Can you put a gate across them if you need to?

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Outdoor (watch for budget blow out)

Outdoor: Are garden taps included? What degree of landscaping, retaining walls, fencing, decking or ground cover is included or what is the additional cost?

Driveways: Is it included? If so, what style of driveway is it? Is there a path to your front door?

Garage: What kind of door is included? Is insulation included in the garage (if you are using this as a workshop, it might be handy). What are you going to use your garage for? Do you really need a double garage, or could you move the garage forward and put a storage room behind instead?

Alfresco: Does the outdoor living seamlessly connect with the indoor living?

Storage: Where do you store things like bikes, lawn movers?

Choosing the floor plan is an important decision, however, take into consideration the location and orientation of your house on the block. A floor plan could look good on paper, but did you consider the outlook from your windows for example. The perfect floor configuration might not be as desirable if the outlook isn’t what you’re expecting. Make sure the plan fits with your block.

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Building a home can be a very demanding exercise; at the least because you don’t want to forget anything that you will later regret and you don’t want to burden yourself with an excessively high mortgage you can’t afford.

Unfortunately, many home owners who design their new home or select a house and land package from a builder, wish that they had spent much more time researching home designs, appliances and floor plans before signing on the dotted line.

This is because changes during construction can become very expensive, often forcing you to choose between having the home you want, at a higher cost, or putting up with a home that isn’t your ideal, just to stay within budget.

We can all agree that the best way to build your dream home and have no regrets is to plan ahead early and stay within your budget. To help you build your perfect family home, here are five areas that you need to consider thoroughly, before construction starts.

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The biggest regret of most home owners is that they didn’t spend enough time researching what they wanted vs. what they could afford. Building a home on a tight budget is achievable however you need to focus on key areas, so that you can fit everything comfortably within your budget.

For example, would you be happy with a smaller home that has top of the line fittings or a larger home that has more moderate fittings? These are the things you need to consider, before settling on a builder and committing yourself to building a new home.

Remember, if you suddenly change your mind during the construction process, you will lengthen the completion process and need to find more money from your lender to cover these design changes.


Floor Plans:

Another major regret of homeowners is that they didn’t spend enough time thinking about the floor plan and how they would actually live in the house. Many homeowners thought that they had considered their future circumstances and needs well enough however in hindsight they realized that they hadn’t spent enough time in this area.

For people with a growing family, it can be hard to decide on a floor plan; often settling for a large open floor plan. You might think that this is the best design for your home but when you have three or four children in your family, having separate spaces and living areas can make a huge difference to everyone’s home comfort.

Don’t forget that the homes we build today are much bigger than in our parent’s time, when the open plan concept gained ground. This means that you should have enough floor space to consider an open plan kitchen and dining area for example, with separate living spaces as well.

Storage Space:

Yet another element often overlooked by many homeowners is a lack of storage. This can be a difficult feature to anticipate however a good rule of thumb is to think about storage in every room of your home, including the garage.

New Appliances:

If you want top of the line appliances and fittings, you might have to either increase your budget or make allowances somewhere else in your home’s design. For example, some homeowners prefer a smaller home and/or block of land, because they can then afford a home that is built to their specifications and filled with the best appliances and fittings. Others prefer to exchange the top of the line appliances and fittings for a bigger home and land parcel.

Electrical Outlets:

Wiring your home for every eventuality might seem a bit over the top but the best time to do this is when you don’t have any walls. Adding extra power outlets in rooms always comes in handy, particularly in hallways and bedrooms.

Therefore, think about your multi-media needs of the future, as well as in-wall speakers, computer stations, wall lamps, and lots more. Forgetting to locate an outlet in the hallway, so that you have to keep unplugging the vacuum cleaner because the cord isn’t long enough, might become very irritating in a year or so.

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We consider ourselves a custom home builder. We work with you, we don’t just want client’s, but we want to develop and build relationships to encourage repeat business, referrals and word of mouth advertising.

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Display Homes

Custom Home Builders generally don’t have specific display homes, you can view other’s builder’s display homes, search the internet, visit supply shops also inspect the custom builder’s previous works and put together what you like.

Design and Layout

Custom Builders customize to suit your needs and budget. A benefit of a custom builder is you select exactly what you want and put together in your house. Also, will help you with the design and layout of your home therefore, making sure you get the correct result as they are tailored to each client. Another benefit of getting your own plans drawn is that Custom Home Builders allow you to keep copyright of your own plans.



Custom Home Builders are comparable to other builders. Custom Builders quote each project individually, either based on what you want or based on budget and the builder can show you where to save in certain areas such as; suggest design options, cheaper materials – tiles or carpet options and also fixtures and fitting options.

Cost of Building (in general)

This is another area where Custom Builders are comparable. The cost of building seems expensive whichever way you go, however the cost goes into unseen things, such as foundations, framing, engineering, council fees, plumbing and electrical etc. Custom Builders usually get multiple quotes from various sub-contractors to ensure the cost of the trades is the best possible.

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Am I Getting Ripped Off

Inclusions / Exclusions

Custom Builders are fully flexible and can do what you like, from a fully complete turnkey home, or a lock-up only contract and any stage in between. If you know a tiler, plumber, electrician or painter you want to engage, a custom builder can accommodate this.

Complexity of the Build (sloping block, narrow block)

Custom Builders normally accept such work and factors into the quote the added issues to give a true price indication to the client at the start. The Custom Builder has the flexibility to engage an architect and engineer to come up with a suitable and appropriate home on any land condition ensuring it is compliant with building codes.

Site Meetings

Most Custom Builders arrange to meet with clients on site during the building works. This allows the relationship to remain open and allows the client to track the progress of work.

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Owning a home presents itself with many different responsibilities. Even if you have just purchased a new home, it’s important to make regular home maintenance routines a part of your life. Home maintenance ensures that all of the different elements of your home run smoothly together, saving you time and money in the long run.

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Here are a few tips for maintaining your new home.

Keep Your Gutters Clean

One of the easiest but most common overlooked home tasks is keeping track of the gutters. You want to clean your gutters a few times a year and make sure to check them for clogging or damage if there has been a storm.

It’s important to keep gutters in good condition because they are what keeps water away from your home. If your gutters are clogged, rainwater has nowhere else to go and can leak into your home, causing anything from mould to structural damage.

Avoid Grease Fires

Keep the range hood over your stove clean. If it has filters, make sure to clean them regularly because grease build up over time can lead to a fire. While you’re at it, make sure the smoke detectors all have working batteries.

Maintain Heating and Cooling Systems

Do annual inspections of your heating and cooling systems. The best time is usually at the end of summer. Make sure to change or wash the filters every three months.

Don’t Slack on the Plumbing

Every member of your household should know where to find the water main. If you get a leak in any of your appliances, don’t wait to fix it. Leaks can cause your pipes to deteriorate and can cost you thousands of dollars on your water bills.

Beware of partially clogged drains, as they can cause an overflow. Make sure you use a snake or plunger to unclog drains immediately.

Vacuum in Strange Places

At least once a year, you should turn your vacuum cleaner onto the clothes dryer exhaust duct. While you’re at it, use your vacuum on the refrigerator coils underneath.

Test the Garage

Once a month, you should make sure your garage door is still functioning properly. Place obstructions in the door’s way to ensure that it continues to respond and doesn’t close when it isn’t safe to do so.

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Keep Solar Panels Clean

If your modern home was built with solar panels, the sun doesn’t necessarily do all the work. The build-up of dust, grime and bird droppings prevents your panels from efficiently absorbing the sun. It’s important to regularly check your solar panels and keep them clean.

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Builders can be confusing with their vocabulary and industry talk they use on a daily basis.
Building is like any other business, there is a lot of terminology used and you can feel confused at times.

Here are some phrases that are often misunderstood however do become very important when they appear in a building contract. Understanding the proper terms puts you on a level playing field with the builder when times comes to consider quotes and signing contacts while also reduces stress and eliminates budget blow-outs.

Below, we will explain what each of the most common terms used in the Building Industry actually mean.

Provisional Sum (PS):

A Provisional Sum, more commonly known as a PS, is an allowance that the builder has made to complete a task. It covers labour only or labour and materials. They are useful when the final selections have not been completed at the time of signing the contract.

Prime Cost Item (PC):

Much like a Provisional Sum, a prime cost item is a dollar figure allowance used in building quotes and contracts. It’s an allowance for materials such as appliances, sinks, taps etc. Note that the allowance for a Prime Cost item only covers the supply of that item. If possible, make your selection choices prior to signing a contract.

Preliminary Building Agreement/Contract (PBA):

A Preliminary Building Agreement or Preliminary Building Contract are also referred to as ‘pre-lims’ by builders. They are a pre-contract document that includes all of the tasks that need to be organised prior to signing a building contract. Engineering, soil tests and working drawings all need to be completed in order to produce a fixed price contract. A Professional builder will always start with a Preliminary Building Agreement before committing to a full building contract.

Extension Of Time (EOT):

An Extension of Time is simply the amount of days that are added to your building contract.


Variations can get introduced for many different reasons. The most popular reason for a variation being added is when you change your mind on something after the contract has been signed.

builder shaking hands with clients

Rock Clause:

Finally, a rock clause is found on most building contracts. It is there to protect your builder from unfortunate unforeseen circumstances like hitting rock during the excavation.

To complete this article, make sure you understand and you are happy with the proposal your builder has put together, for the construction of your new home.

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Selecting the right home builder for your wants & needs and for the type of new home you are after is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your home buying process.

Fortunately, there are some proven ways to speed up the research and selection process and to help ensure that you find a quality builder who’s a good match to construct your new home.

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10 Ways to Choose the Right Home Builder

  1. Know your requirements. What size, type and price range of home do you need?
  2. Experience is the key. While every builder was once a new builder, experience matters.
  3. Are previous clients satisfied? Ask for – and check – references from past home buyers.
  4. Verify the builder certifications (where required) and adequately insured.
  5. Do you have a design in mind? Does this builder have expertise in your style of home?
  6. Warranty and service. How does this builder stack up for each?
  7. Resale value. Have past homes from this builder maintained or increased value?
  8. Association Membership. Is the builder a member of a Home Builder’s Association?
  9. Other Projects. There’s absolutely no substitute for this step.
  10. 10 Quality of Workmanship. In workmanship, materials and practices in previous homes.

Know your requirements:

While some builders construct a broad range of homes, many builders also specialise in a particular type of home, price range or style. For example, not many firms build starter homes for first time buyers and also multi-million-dollar homes for custom home buyers. The building materials, trade contractors and even the building process itself can differ greatly by the type and price of home. You may have to make some sacrifices as it isn’t always easy finding a home that meets all the requirements for it to be your dream home

Experience is the key:

Every home building company (including the most experienced and well-regarded companies today) once built their first home and many new home building firms were started by experienced veterans of other builders. Don’t overly discount a new firm – especially if their team includes seasoned pros– but do look for strong experience overall and in the type of home you seek.

Are previous clients satisfied?

Many builders offer customer references and referrals. If not, ask. And in either case, follow up. A few great questions to ask: Would you buy another home from this builder? Or recommend them to close friends or family? And don’t forget to ask for the key reasons why a past home buyer would or would not recommend a builder.

Verify the Builders Certifications:

Not every state or area requires builders to be licensed, but make sure that you work with a licensed builder in such areas. Ask about the insurance that the builder and his or her trade contractors carry. Make sure that they and you are covered during the building process.

Do you have a design in mind?

A builder whose entire portfolio consists of contemporary homes may not be the best fit for that highly traditional home you seek – and vice-versa. While many builders have expertise in a variety of design styles and architectural details, in general, look for a builder whose work includes at least some examples of the style of home you want.

Warranty and service:

One of the top advantages of new construction is that your home itself and most of the products, systems and components it contains are brand-new and 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 7 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.

Resale Value:

Good reputations follow good builders, among homeowners and Realtors. Look for builders whose homes tend to hold or maintain their value. Look for Realtor ads that specifically mention the name of a builder for a home for sale that’s now five or seven years old. That Realtor clearly sees the builder’s brand name as a big plus.

Association Membership:

Not every good builder chooses to join their local Home Builder Association, so don’t place too much emphasis on this. 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.

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Other Projects:

Once you’ve narrowed down a list of prospective builders using the criteria above, this is the most important step. Nothing substitutes for touring a home built by a builder on your short list. It can be a furnished and decorated model home that’s open to the public. Or, it can be a home the builder constructed for a past buyer that you visit by appointment. In either case, pay careful attention to the look, feel and quality of the home.

new home with grass

Quality of Workmanship:

Look for signs of quality construction and attention to detail when you visit the homes above. Also consider the building products that a builder uses. Are they brands with well-earned reputations for quality? What about the homes under construction you passed on the way to the completed model home? Were there signs of care and attention there, as well?

Last, look for the quality of people who work for the builder: Did the builder’s employees show sincere interest in you and your needs? Did they listen carefully? Did they provide good answers to your questions? Were they courteous, prompt and professional in your interactions with them in the model home, sales center or builder’s office?

With the ten steps above, you’ll be well on your way to selecting a good builder who’s a good fit for you, your needs, and the new home you’ll build together.

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Why You Should Never Trust A Builder Who Doesn’t Call Back.

Have you made a phone call to a builder, left a message or sent an email and are still waiting for a reply??? There is nothing more frustrating than people not returning your call or messages. Whether you get a call back from a builder says a lot about how they run their business and how you will be treated. Your time is valuable, and you would be more likely to have a smooth home building experience with someone who responds quickly to your enquiry.

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Anyone who communicates promptly is one who efficiently returns phone calls, messages and emails. This is the least you should expect from a builder. Unfortunately, some builders have poor communication skills. Calling someone back is not hard to do and just simply good manners!

You would speculate that if the builder that hasn’t returned your call would also show poor communication skills with potential clients and also with contractors/staff on the building site. This can result in an unorganised job site and make your experience of building a new home not so enjoyable. Poor communication can lead to delays, errors and turn what is meant to be a stress-free and exciting experience into an exhausting stressful nightmare.

One of the substantial reasons why builders do not get back to you is that they are operating blind with no systems or organisational structures in place. Builders who take the time to run a tight business with organisational systems in place are far more likely to do a good job building your home. The days are gone where you were able to run a well organised building company with a diary alone. It’s not that hard to make a note to call someone back or to structure part of the working week devoting time to write quotes and discussing upcoming jobs with potential clients. These are the signs of an organised builder and one that you should look for to build your new home.

How can you ensure that your building experience is not going to be a nightmare? Do your best to look for a builder who has proven communication systems in place. Systems that allow the client to keep well informed at all times. A system that allows you to keep track of every discussion, selection, variation and cost.

What could happen if you choose a builder with is a poor communicator? There are a number of things that may arise if you choose a builder who doesn’t communicate effectively.

An unenjoyable building experience

Building a home is one of the biggest investments that you will make, both financially and emotionally. You deserve to be kept informed right throughout the building process. When you are kept informed of what is happening, then you will feel more comfortable and are able to sit back, relax and enjoy the experience. Pick a builder who is bad at communicator then expect to be kept in the dark with what is happening on your home and be prepared to not hear from your builder for extended periods of time.

Unsatisfactory outcome

During the building process a builder will be aware that there may be changes made by the client along the way. These variation requests and changes need to be communicated to the relevant tradespeople to ensure they are completed as you the client envisaged. A builder who communicates effectively will have systems in place to ensure these changes are recorded, approved and communicated effectively to ensure that misunderstanding is not made. Communication systems ensure that conversations are tracked and recorded to ensure nothing is ever missed and that your home is completed on time.

Blowing your budget

Effective systems of communication enable you to keep track of your budget throughout the entire build. You do not want to see a surprise on the final invoice, something that disorganised builders are renowned for. Engaging with a builder who uses project management systems you are able to view all costs along the way, minimising any surprises or budget blowouts!

house frame

You could end up with this unfinished home, that is why you can never trust a builder that does not call back.

Click here to find out The 7 Things you must ask before signing your building contract