Once you’ve made the decision to buy a new home, there’s no doubt you’ll plan on visiting a selection of display homes in order to really visualise your dream home. However, before you go out in search of the home of your dreams, it’s crucial that you do ample research to avoid any costly mistakes. Because as much as there are wonderful and honest builders out there, there too are those who may not deliver the job you had hoped they would. Display homes may entice prospective buyers thanks to their amazing finishes, but the look of your home is only one consideration. Building a home is a long process, so it’s important that you find a builder you trust and are confident they will deliver as promised.

Below is a quick summary of this guide to help you avoid any common tricks builders use to snare clients without being clear on the various stages of the build.


Research is the most important first step

First, find as much information as possible about all the builders near you. The easiest way to do so is to search online forums, Google reviews, Facebook company pages and local community groups. Be sure to read the comments and maybe consider posting in the groups for feedback on past experiences with any builders that seem reputable. If any of your colleagues, family members, or friends have recently built their own home, it would also be good to talk to them and get a good understanding of their experience.


Questions to consider

  • How did the builders treat them?
  • Were all their initial & ongoing queries answered satisfactorily?
  • Did the builders get the job done on time?
  • Does the builder have a valid license under their name?
  • How many years have they held their valid builders license?
  • Was the project built within the agreed budget?
  • How long did the building start after they took the deposit?
  • How were they treated by the builder once the house was built?


Avoid being trapped by unscrupulous builders:

Some of the common traps that investors fall prey to are:


Paid quotes

Builders quite often have a range of houses for you to choose from. So, unless you’re choosing a bespoke custom design, don’t pay for a quote from the builder. They know the cost of their homes and land prices, but often builders make you pay a non refundable fee for the quote. Also, avoid any quotes without a ‘no more to pay guarantee’ cap.


Selections are limited

The main idea of having your own home is that it’s built to your tastes and choices of colours, textures, and design. At what stage do you see the colour palette or the tile samples? Most builders have a limited collection, so they get you to spend more money on upgrades. What type of tiles? Is the kitchen material made of top quality polyurethane, or is it just made of cheap laminate? You need to know exactly what stage you choose these details to make sure it’s all included in the price.


Misleading terms – builder’s range

Don’t fall prey to the term builder’s range. It’s generally of the lowest quality, and you’ll have to pay extra to get decent finishes and extras. If you’re looking for quality, builder’s range will generally leave you unsatisfied.

A common example of this is “all living areas are tiled” when builders refer to coverage in their quote. But their definition of “living areas” may not be the same as yours. You need to ensure the specific areas that must be tiled are outlined on the quote.


Extra Costs  

Be sure to check that the following are included in your quote: site costs, excavation costs for levelling, soil removal costs, government & council charges, BASIX energy efficiency, NBN Conduit, capped build time frame, structural guarantee and any other guarantees in writing.

As much as you want your dream home to be built as soon as possible so you can enjoy life within its comforts, it’s crucial to take the above into consideration. Failing to do will put you at risk of paying up to more than $100,000 over your initial construction quote., so it literally pays to do your research thoroughly and be on the look out for any of these traps.

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