The Building Secret: Part 5

How to get the Best Best Builder for Your New Home

— By Joh Domingo, Building Buddy

YOU NOW have a basic idea of what you are looking for and can search with that focus until you have a basic understanding of the costs and the effect the selection of the basic inclusions have on the those costs. It is time to begin shortlisting your preferred Builders.

Many House Builders use a focus on Special Packages as the primary advertising tool. Be sure to examine these carefully for hidden traps, and make sure the “Free Upgrades” are genuine.

Common tricks include the need to upgrade already “upgraded” items because the design makes the “Free Upgrade” seem ridiculous. For example a glazed bi-fold door to the external deck is pretty useless if it only 2700mm wide. The cost of upgrading this “Free upgrade” to a reasonable size could probably pay for the entire upgrade.

Inclusions are sometimes confused with quality and basic quality revolves around the ‘finish’ of the product as I explain in Best Quality.

One of the most important criteria when choosing a builder is the likelihood he will provide the best quality. A good house builder should achieve an exceptional finish, even if the inclusions are fairly basic. Since achieving an exceptional finish is a management issue, we should carefully examine a builder’s relationship with his subcontractors and suppliers.

A House Builder that blames his subbies is like a tradesman that blames his tools.

Talk to the builder’s subcontractors if it is at all possible, to obtain reasonable third party impressions of the builder's relationships with his colleagues.

Also check to make sure the builder has a strong enough team to manage the amount of work they do efficiently. This is often easier said than done, because a sensible subcontractor or supplier will avoid appearing to bad-mouth their builder, but some effort should be made in this regard. I recommend following the steps outlined in Best Price.

Despite the perception generated by prolific advertisements, the margin spread between new house builders’ prices, based on a “standard” style construction, is very small. Intense competition over an extended period of time has meant that the opportunity for profiteering in the general house construction industry has all but disappeared.

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 deal from a new home builder or not. A good deal, however, is only a part of it.

The single most irritating cause for client dispute with builders, that incompetence was causing them to waste far too much time during the construction process, meaning the builder took far too long to build the home. Short construction times, more than any other single indicator, almost always is the mark of a competent builder, and vice versa.

To make sure of this, and also to enquire about other pertinent information, it is wise to insist on speaking to a sample of existing, and past clients of the builder before you decide to engage them to build their home.

Be aware that these samples will generally be the best they could manage.

It is nevertheless better that they have some clients you can talk to, rather than none. Try to speak to them in person if possible, because a face-to-face conversation is sure to uncover snippets of information you will get over the phone. Please examine the basic guidelines on how to conduct a conversation with Builders referees contained in Best Price.

The rule is: If they have done a reasonable job for themselves (as in their display), or for someone else; there is half-a-chance they will do it for you. If they could not even do a reasonable job for themselves; you have no chance they will do it for you.

Now we've examined how to get the best new home plans and designs, we've covered how to get the best quality and the best price for your home, and this article explains the qualities of the best builder.

Please, never feel hesitant to call Joh, your Building Buddy, on 1800 107 102 of you have any questions about this series of articles, in which we've shared The Building Secret.





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