The Best Price

To state the obvious; when we introduce competition, we invariably force the lowest possible price. We will accept that as a maxim and try to examine exactly what constitutes the ‘best price’, and how we can ensure we obtain full value for our money when Building a New Home.

A popular phrase relating to price says; “If you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys”. I happen to be of the opinion that that is not always the case. Alas, it is all too often that the most expensive builders deliver the worst result. This is not a rule mind you; but an observation.

What then constitutes good value when Building Your New Home?

 

I define it as obtaining the best possible product, with the best possible service, for the lowest possible cost, in the shortest possible time.

This may be utopian, but at least it puts things in perspective. If you pay an above average price, for lousy service, and lousy quality in a home that takes ages to deliver; we can safely say you received a lousy deal.

These therefore represent the extremes. If you fall somewhere in between, you are receiving a relatively better or worse bargain. That seems to be fairly straightforward common sense. So, A good price is only a part of it. There are other important considerations that impact directly on the price.

At the end of the day, it is the bottom line, after all your special requirements are taken into account, that determines whether you are getting a good price from a House Builder or not. Because the home is a relatively large and expensive item to purchase, we always invest a considerable emotional energy in its creation, and invariably, we always feel the need to fine tune and tinker with the various inclusions and components that make up the total project.

Service is therefore an important component of the entire experience, and directly impacts on the price of the home.

Another, often an irritating cause for dispute with House Builders, is a realisation that incompetence was causing far too much time wasting during the construction process, and that the House Builder took far too long to build the home.

Short construction times, more than any other single indicator, almost always are the mark of a competent builder, and vice versa. Time is money, especially if you are paying rent or interest on the progress payments. This is a biggie; incompetent Builders cost more, that is the reality.

Try and quantify what a delay after fix-out stage is costing you per week – you will have paid almost 85% of the cost in progress payments by then.

By now you have probably heard on a number of occasions that it is important to talk to a selection of past and current clients of Builders on your shortlist. While it is not foolproof (after all, no builder is going to provide the name of a dissatisfied customer), it is good advice.

 

The only problem with it is that it seldom comes with proper instructions – the important issues to talk to these clients about, so I will summarise them here:

  1. How efficient a manager the Builder is. By ‘Builder’ we mean the Boss, the person that is ultimately responsible for the entire project; and with whom you will be entering into a Building Agreement with.
  2. Is he fair? Does he acknowledge mistakes and errors that benefit him and disadvantage you?
  3. Does he ‘fix things’ without further ado in the most efficient and fair manner?
  4. Does he short change in any way at all?
  5. Is he easy to communicate with; does he answer and return calls?
  6. Is his staff easy to deal with? Is there a high turnover of staff?
  7. Were there any/many ‘mistakes’ on the job?
  8. Were they caused by inattention to detail?
  9. Were they financially penalized due to the builder’s inefficiency?

Those are the basic issues to discuss. From them you will be able to discern for yourself if you would have been happy with the job. Too often, people ask the referee if they were happy with the builder.

The response would be quite irrelevant; many people are happy with their Builder, because the hassles will have been sorted out by the time you speak to them. Many people are way too nice to give any negative feedback about anyone.

By discussion at least some of the issues above, you will be able to tell for yourself whether issues existed, and how they were dealt with.

Happy House Building!