There are a few common mistakes that people make when they are looking for a builder — so watch out for these:

Getting Indicative Quotes

As I’ve raised already, regardless of how detailed the plans might look, there will be a lot of things that aren’t included in the final construction of your home. The key is to understand what these are, so that you can budget accordingly.

This can be extremely important when it comes to site preparation. Often the builder won’t cover any additional costs that arise during excavation, such as removal of unexpected rock etc.

Ask your builder for a detailed ‘inclusions schedule’ showing everything that is included, and not included. For example, what finishing touches are done on the interior of the home at completion, and what is left for you to finish yourself?

We’ve all seen the shiny new houses with unfinished concrete floors months later. Say no more!

Choosing the wrong type of builder

Even the most experienced builder probably has a ‘specialty’ — naturally tending to build a certain type of home or perform a certain type of work. Experience is everything, especially when mistakes can lead to a more expensive build for you.

Most major building companies will split themselves into different brands focusing on different types of houses. The same company may have a division that builds entry level homes and another division for two storey homes.

If you’re looking to build on a steeply sloping block — make sure you speak with building companies who specialise in split-level homes.

If you’re doing a major renovation or extension, don’t choose a builder who has only constructed new homes. There are a myriad of small issues that can arise during a renovation, and a builder inexperienced in this area can cost you a lot of money.

Ignoring things in the quote that you don’t understand

Now is not the time to be bashful about your vocabulary. If there’s a word you don’t understand — highlight it, circle it, do whatever you need to do but get it clarified by the builder.

Things like ‘indicative’ or ‘provisional’ can be words that builders use to avoid committing to an exact price for an item, which can result in a big cost to you.

Not doing background checks

Obviously, testimonials and references that the builder offers you will be taken from clients who were very happy with their work. They’re not likely to show you the negative ones.

Ask to speak with people who are in the middle of the building process with your builder. These clients are less likely to give a rave review — they will probably hold their judgement until the job is done. You’re more likely to get honest feedback from someone who is in the middle of the process right now.

So to wrap things up…

The vast majority of builders are fantastic to work with and very passionate about building you the home you deserve.

Remember, the key indicators to look for to make sure the process is a smooth one are:

  • Sales consultant — are they with you from A-Z?
  • After sales service $ Delivery time guarantees
  • Design and sales consultant — are they good to work with? Are they listening to you and turning your ideas into what you were expecting?
  • Policies — what will they be like to work with during the build?
  • Warranties & insurances $ Reviews & construction quality
  • Some of the most common mistakes that people regret are:
  • Getting ‘Indicative Quotes’ and not budgeting for unexpected costs that may be out of the builder’s control
  • Choosing the wrong ‘type’ of builder
  • Ignoring things in the quote that you don’t understand
  • Not doing background checks

Finally, a few tips to help you find the right builder in a nutshell:

  • Define your needs. What size, type and price range of home do you need?
  • Look for experience and a ‘design fit’— with the specific type of home you want to build.
  • Find out if other clients have been happy — including those currently going through the process.
  • Check licensing, warranties and insurance.
  • What is their service like — after sales, during construction, and after completion?
  • Walking through other completed homes (not just display homes), can you see evidence of high-quality construction and finish?