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How to choose the right builder for your dream home

right builderTrust us when we say over the last two decades, we’ve heard our fair share of building nightmare stories.

Builders creating homes with leaking roofs; builders failing to execute plans correctly; or builders who disappear completely once the project is finished. Unfortunately, building your dream home can sometimes turn into a nightmare.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Whilst nothing will ever always go to plan, taking care to select the right builder at the start of the build can help to mitigate some of the risk involved.

Here are our top tips when choosing a builder for your dream home.


Get comprehensive and detailed quotes

It should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway. Get comprehensive quotes and make sure you understand the jargon contained within. Be wary of any estimates and “TBA” figures and make sure you also know what costs are excluded.

For example – Are surveying fees and soil tests excluded? What fees are involved if you decide to make changes to the plan?


Inspect the builder’s work, get real feedback from their past clients 

Remember that display homes are purposely built to show off a builder’s best work and attract new business. But what’s the quality of their work like, when it wasn’t built to be an advertisement? Join some online forums or groups to source real feedback from people who’ve actually worked with your proposed builder. Look for trends in the feedback to see if there’s any recurring themes/ issues that tend to pop up with particular builders.

Also keep in mind that people love to tell you everything that went wrong throughout the building process. Be sure to ask them what went right too, so you have a balanced perspective. And what issues they believe could have been avoided, if they’d done something differently. Sometimes the “bad” things can be prevented with more time spent planning or a better understanding/ awareness of the overall process. If you know of anyone who has recently built a home with a builder you’re considering, ask if you can shout them lunch and ask them lots and lots of questions.



Whilst landscaping is generally not covered as part of the build, it’s still worth considering at this early stage. Will the yard be levelled as part of the build process? Or is there the potential to have this done? Paying for it now might make things a lot easier in terms of completing the landscaping.  It might also save you money by not having to worry about tight access issues once the house is completed.


Know who you are dealing with

You might liaise with a sales team over the plan and quote, but what is the builder/ building team like? You need to know who you will be dealing with once the build commences as there are likely to be things that come up during the build you need to discuss. You need to know who you are actually working with, and be confident these are people you can trust.

In many cases, you will talk to lots of different team throughout the planning stage. ie. someone might help you finalise the layout and then another specialist/ team talks to you about colours. You need to be confident that all these teams properly communicate with each other, so you actually end up with what you’ve requested.


First impressions count

What is your impression of the builder and/ or the sales team when you’re developing the plan and quote? Do they respond to phone calls and emails quickly? Do they communicate as a team, or are you constantly repeating your requests? Do requested changes happen quickly or are they forgotten about?

Whilst things are easy enough to rectify in the planning stage, when it comes to the actual construction of your house, a simple miscommunication could quickly turn into something quite costly. If you get the impression the builder and their team is disorganized and not systemized in their approach, this might be your red flag to find someone else.



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