Hi, I’m Rob the Builder and I’d like to talk to you about selecting the right builder.

Not all builders are the same and I can help identify the key elements to look for.

There are 3 main things to assess in a building contract:
Time
Cost
Quality

You can have 2 of these, but not all 3.

If time and quality are important to you then the cost will rise. If cost and quality are important to you then the time will extend.

Time and cost are very closely linked and commonly not considered when comparing builders and I’m going to explain why.

For most people building their dream home, they’re going to finance the build through a lending institution. They’re also paying rent or have a property that is a cost to them, whilst not getting a return. Many people will have to endure rent and repayments during the building phase. If the build period extends this costs the customer.

Build times will vary greatly between builders and the complexity of the build will determine build time. I strongly recommend people ask their potential builder for references from ex clients with similar projects and ask how long did their build take.

I also recommend that you make a list of what you and your partner want from your potential builder. Okay, this might seem weird but you will be surprised by the results and more importantly, the more expensive builder may actually be more cost effective in the long run.

Ask whether his past clients experienced a cost blow out post-contract once you went into a prestart. Don’t be bullied by a salesman saying; “Don’t worry about costings on that, it will happen at prestart.” Ask your builder for an electrical plan and what the cost will be if you want to add more electrical components. Get them to cost it before you go to contract. I’ve heard of some companies not allowing electrical for air-conditioning, for only one light point and one power point per room, which was never going to be sufficient.

I urge people not to be afraid to ask for this – this is your house and you have a right to know what the final cost to you is actually going to be.

In respect of design, is your builder designing your new home? I highly recommend you pay for a design. Designing your own home in the hope of getting a building contract is unlikely to be the best plan. When I’m designing a client’s home, if the budget and wish list don’t correlate, we don’t proceed and won’t proceed until they do.

Designing a home you can’t afford is futile and pointless. All too often I’ve had clients that have had plans done up by other builders or architects who miss building budget targets by huge margins. Unfortunately customers simply end up with worthless pieces of paper that have effectively destroyed someone’s dream.

Don’t let this happen to you!

Okay, time to recap!First make a list of what you want from your potential builder

Write a list of questions to ask your potential builder i.e.:

How long will my build take? Can we make changes during the build?

Get references from past clients. If your builder is not willing to provide these, are you willing to take a chance?

Pay for a design. Can the builder or architect give some guarantee they will hit budget targets?

Get more information up front i.e.: electrical plans and a full costing on items you want in your new home.

Remember, the salesman will work a lot harder to satisfy your wants pre-contract.

Ask for a full account of what the building process entails and whether you will be dealing with the builder or a supervisor.

Finally, think ahead and don’t rush into any decisions! Take your time before you pick your builder and get a full assessment of the costs before you sign up.

At Maughan Building we are a boutique home builder of custom homes including Hampton Style Home Designs, Federation Style Homes Designs, Tuscan Style Home Designs and many other contemporary and modern home designs.