Building a brand new homes is very exciting specially when you select the right home builder.  Having the right builder on your corner will make your building journey very enjoyable (as it should be).

Below are some questions that you may consider asking your builder to make sure that you have made the right decision.

Builder’s History

  • Are they a licensed builder?
  • How many homes have they built?
  • Do they have proof that they use certified and licensed trades?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • What guarantees or warrantees do they offer?
  • How many homes are they currently building?
  • Check FairTrading to check if they are licensed and whether they have any public warnings, infringement notices, insurance claims against them, etc…

Reviews

  • How long have they had customer reviews?
  • Is there a consistent pattern of the bad reviews?
  • Do their reviews seem genuine?

Process

  • What’s the builder’s process?
  • Do they have a clear step-by-step process for the entire build of your home?
  • How much do I have to pay before I get a fixed price and final tender?
  • How long do you lock your fixed pricing for?
  • What happens when you don’t account for a site or authority cost?
  • What happens if I pay you some money and I decide not to proceed?
  • If I pay for reports and surveys, can I reuse them with other builders?
  • Will you release all the original files (eg:  DWG contour survey) when I pay for it?
  • Do you offer fixed pricing?
  • What do I need to do to obtain a fixed price tender?

  • What do you normally not include?
  • How long does it take to sign off on contracts?
  • What are your timelines around completing my colour selections and obtain DA / CDC approvals?
  • How long will it take you to start once I have my finance approved? (anything more than 3 weeks is a red flag)
  • How long is your build time?
  • What happens if you go over the build time?
  • How much do you pay for every day / week that you are late in finishing my home?
  • Will there be any changes to my fixed price once I sign off on my contract?

Floor Plans

  • Can I make changes to my design?
  • How much does it cost to customize my design?
  • What will you charge if I want to create a complete custom design home?

  • Do you check and account for developer guidelines?
  • How do you accommodate for my block orientation?
  • Does my home price include all the requirements for a 6-star+ energy rating?
  • What finishes are included in my facade?
  • What is on my facade that is not included?
  • Can I bring my own plans for you to price and build?
  • How much does it cost to provide me with a fixed price tender for my own plans?

Site Supervisor

  • How many homes does each supervisor build at any one time?
  • How often does the office and the site supervisor communicate with me?
  • What is the format of the communication?  Email / Phone / etc…
  • What happens when my site supervisor cannot or does not help me with my questions?
  • What’s the escalation process like?
  • How often does my supervisor visit my site?
  • Who are you planning to assign to my site?
  • How many years does he / she have in building homes?

Selections

  • Where is your showroom?
  • Do you have an experienced interior designer helping me with selecting my fixtures, finishes and colours?
  • What are the list of upgrades that are not included in your packages or promotions?
  • Will I be restricted to choose from your builder’s range or can I choose any items from other suppliers?
  • What happens if I don’t like the provided selections?

Other

  • How many current building disputes do you have?
  • Have you ever declared bankruptcy?
  • How many homes have you built in my area?
  • How long is your initial maintenance period?
  • When will you conduct my home maintenance after handover?
  • Can we visit some of your recently finished homes?
  • I would like 3 references that have built with you over the last 1, 2, 3 years respectively?!!
  • Can I make changes during my build or will there be extra costs?
  • Will I be able to supply any items myself to install as part of my build?
  • What provisional allowances do you have in your tender?
  • Will you charge more if BASIX requires changes, after I sign with you?
  • Can I have my own independent building inspector during the build to check on the quality?
  • What happens if you miss an item that we chose?   For example, if we selected to have a niche on our bathroom and you forgot to build it, what happens?  (Generally a refund is not good enough because it will cost you more if you decide to do it later)

Finally

The above are just some of the many questions that you can ask your builder before proceeding with them.

It’s important that you select a builder that you trust and who is transparent with you at all time.  It is also imperative that you obtain the answers to your questions in writing so you are completely covered.  If it is not in writing, it did not happen.

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