How to Choose a Custom Home Builder

16 August 2018Uncategorized

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Once you have made the decision to design and construct a custom built home, you then need to start the process of finding a custom home builder to help you achieve this. This not a simple task and there are a few things you need to make sure you consider before you make your choice.

Architectural Design

Custom built homes are usually designed by an architect. You want to know that your builder has experience at constructing architecturally designed homes.  You should look at their website for past projects… are they similar to what you want to do? Look at every detail from structure to finishes of past projects.

It is important to have an architect involved in the design of your home because they are going to be the first point of call for turning your ideas into something tangible. You need to consider then how well your custom home builder is going to be able to work with your architect. Some builders may only work with architects they know and can recommend, others may be happy to work with anyone.

Communication Style

When you are working on a long term project like a house build, there are bound to be things that don’t go exactly to plan or that need to be tweaked as you go along. To ensure that you have the best experience possible and that you get the final result that you want, you need to make sure that the builder you select has a communication style that matches your own. This is a combination of personality and working styles. You don’t want to walk away from a conversation where both you and your builder think something different was agreed or worse, you can not agree.

The customer service the entire building company provides makes such a difference to your experience.  From the admin people in the office, to the site manager and the tradespeople to the owner of company.  Are they all approachable?

Education and Skills

You want to be certain that your builders have the necessary skills to produce the home you are dreaming of. This can be a little difficult to assess because in most cases you are probably not well versed in all the finer points of home building. You may be able to ask all the questions in the world about how they plan to carry out the work but without the relevant knowledge you can’t judge their answers on anything other than how confident they sound. You need to find out if they have the necessary skills!

A good builder should be able to give you a run down of their education and past work experience.  Ask how long they have been in the industry and who else they have worked for. Are they continually developing their skills? Are they going to workshops and industry events to learn about new products or new industry regulations?  You should also check that they are fully licensed to work in Queensland, fully insured, and if they are members of any professional association, such as Master Builders of Queensland.

References

A expert builder should have an excellent reputation. Ask for testimonials from former clients and ask them some blunt questions if possible. You want to know about how well they stuck to the budget, and if the work was completed on time. Were they happy with the overall experience and outcome?

Another source of information about custom home builders is from the independent certification companies in the area. Once you have narrowed down your choice of builders have a ring round the certification companies in the Gold Coast area. They will be able to give you an idea of the quality of work the builders do. If they’ve never heard of them it might indicate they are a new company which could be a risk, and they might be able to tell you if there have been problems with them in the past.

Local Knowledge

When you are building a home you should try to pick a builder who has local knowledge. If you are building in Gold Coast then find a Gold Coast builder. They will have local connections which might give you access to more competitive prices. They might also be able to offer suggestions from past projects they have completed in your area that you hadn’t considered.

Most importantly, by working with a Gold Coast builder you know that you are going to be working with someone who knows all the potential pitfalls of building in the area. This means that you can be reassured that you aren’t going to run into avoidable problems.

Financial Viability

When you select a builder you want to pick one who is in good financial standing. This matters because you want a builder who will be around for the foreseeable future. You should be able to know that if there is a problem years down the track that you can get hold of your original builders so they can assist you.

The signs of a viable company are that they have been trading under the same name for a number of years. Ideally more than five. Any less than that and you run the risk that they might be new to running their own business or they might have a failed business in the past and have had to change their name to trade as a new company.

A quick way to check if they are in a good position is to go online and do a company lookup.  You can search their ABN status and company details. You could also call their suppliers and get a reference from them, asking how long they have been doing business together for.

There is a lot to consider then you are choosing a custom home builder, but it is important to take your time and do your research!  Hennessy Building Projects have a proven track record of building and construction on the Gold Coast. Call us today to talk with a custom home builder.

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