Choosing the right builder just as important as decision to build a home

Choosing the right builder just as important as decision to build a home
Choosing the right builder just as important as decision to build a home

IF you are building a new home, now is a great time to start.

Romano Homes director Peter Romano said if construction works started in spring the builder then had the drier months to get the major structural components completed and have the house locked up by the time winter came around.

“This means that there are less delays in the construction timeline due to inclement weather conditions,” he said.

“Also spring is a great time to get started on designs and have the time needed to accomplish all the approval processes and documentation, which can take up to 12 months to complete for a custom home, all ready to start construction the following spring.”

If you are contemplating building, you will need to choose a builder and Mr Romano said this could be a very difficult task as there were so many to choose from and not all home builders were the same. However, most builders tended to specialise in particular housing markets.

He offered the following examples:

n Project home builders tend to work with first-home buyers and homeowners building their second home.

They offer streamlined services and affordability but can also come with only standardised plans and specifications.

These builders will usually have a few display homes and standard plans to choose from and will offer optional extras to the standard repeat specification.

One of the advantages of building with a project home builder is that your home will look just like the display home and there should not be any need for additional architectural services such as three-dimensional models or the engagement of an interior designer to help with selections of fixtures.

n Small builders may work from home and do not usually employ office staff.

They usually tender on jobs and may not provide full design services.

Some of these builders will work alongside architects and will take on small, modest jobs, as well as upmarket homes.

n Custom home builders will tend to provide a greater scope of service, including in-house architectural and interior design services as well as customer support throughout the design and construction process.

Each custom home builder will have their own architectural style or styles and can generally be more flexible in both their designs and the services they can provide.

The homeowner meets the builder and architect/designer from day one, which has the benefit of a home being designed with real budgets in mind.

“Once a homeowner has narrowed down where their project might sit in terms of architectural style and budget and they have decided on the degree of service they require, they should research builders in the same category as each other,” Mr Romano said.

“It makes little sense to compare, for example, a project home builder who builds 30-plus houses a year to a custom builder who only takes on two houses at a time.

“If the style or quality of a particular home draws your attention then research who designed the home and who built it; was it a tender process or all undertaken by the builder with their own designer?

“A tender process consists of first having a design completed, then having a number of builders quote on the job.

“This process can also be a little unsettling for homeowners as they don’t get to meet and work with the builder through the design process. This can lead to initial construction budgets not being met at the time of tender.”

Mr Romano said many builders also acquired their clients via word of mouth.

“The main tip is to do your research and don’t be shy about asking a prospective builder many questions,” he said. n