When you’re ready to build the home of your dreams, it’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of exciting emotions. You’ll also be thinking about financing, choosing the right suburb and making sure all the best amenities are nearby.
But choosing the right builder is arguably the most important decision in the whole process. That’s why we’ve put together some tips to show you how to find a good home builder.
Review their portfolio of previous builds
In doing your own research of different builders, you’ll probably have an idea of the type of home you want to create. As an early-stage task, this will help whittle down the choice from dozens of options to just a handful of your preferred builders. This can be made even easier if you’re looking to buy in a new development – their house-and-land packages will often be tied to experienced builders and designers.
Once you have a shortlist, get in touch with the builders directly to review homes they’ve previously built. You may be able to find property walkthroughs online, visit a display village or otherwise the builder will be able to send you a catalogue of their portfolio. If their previous builds match the type of home you want, you’ll know you’re on the right track.
Are they licensed and insured?
You might be surprised how many soon-to-be home owners forget to do their due diligence and simply take a builder’s word at face value. And while the vast majority of builders are fully licensed and have an adequate level of insurance, it’s worth double-checking on your end to make sure your big investment doesn’t take on unnecessary risk.
A reputable builder such as one that is located in a display village won’t have any issues showing you their up-to-date permits. At a minimum, they should also have public liability insurance and home building compensation cover (previously known as home warranty insurance in New South Wales).
Create a ‘tender package’
Building your new home is an exciting time, but sometimes that can be tempered by the worry that you might not be getting the best deal. After all, you’re probably not a construction expert yourself, so how can you be sure you’re paying a fair amount?
You can start by working with your builder to create a tender package:
- Scope: This should outline all the work your builder will be taking on, including any third parties that may be contracted for certain jobs (e.g. building a pool, pouring a driveway, or landscapers for a feature garden).
- Plan: Work with the builder to detail everything you want to see in the finished home. This will help clarify the total cost (or any additional costs if you’re going with a house-and-land package) and allow a proper timeframe to be created.
- Schedule: Inclusive of all fixtures, materials and fittings you want in your new home. Again, this will be useful to avoid any additional costs from impacting your budget.
Sign on the dotted line – but only when you’re ready
Have a legal professional – preferably one with building contract experience – look over the documents before you sign. They will help take care of any minor changes that could otherwise cause big headaches down the track.
Also speak to your builder about what’s included in the contract. Are you protected against termites? Is there a fully itemised list of quotes that both parties have agreed to? What warranties are included? Some builders, for example, offer lifetime structural guarantees. And finally, is there a ‘building calendar’ that details the expected start date, key construction milestones and completion date?
When everything is in order and you’re happy with both your builder and the contract, your new dream home can get underway.
Waterford is an exciting new development set to become one of the most enviable suburbs in Chisholm, East Maitland. Enjoy natural beauty and spacious surrounds with all the convenience of stylish village living.