How To Choose A Reputable Builder
What you need to know20 July 2020
New build homes are a great option whether you're a first home buyer, have a growing family or downsizing in later years. However, many people don’t realise how important it is to select a reputable builder and the research that should be undertaken to do so.
There has been much controversy of late surrounding the construction industry at large off the back of the recent Opal Tower disaster, which saw many significant cracks in the structure of the high rise form, leaving many occupants homeless and/or waiting to hear when it will be safe to live in their home again.
As a result, many commentators have highlighted a “systemic” problem rife throughout the building industry and have blamed Opal Tower's failings as the result of the privatisation of building certification.
Poor building practices have the ability to undermine confidence in the multi-billion-dollar construction industry, the strata management industry and the planning system.
As a highly accredited, awarded and certified builder, we here at Elderton Homes would like to provide you with some information on how you can select the right builder for your new home, what you are entitled to and what to look out for.
Firstly, let’s recap some of the primary benefits of building your own home.
Benefits Of New Home Builds
- Many people like the fact that they will be the first to live in the property
- Homeowners often get to live in an area which is desirable for them and their growing needs.
- Repairs and maintenance costs should be minimal for the first few years
- Homeowners can often select fixtures and fittings to tailor the property interior to their taste
- New properties usually come with guarantees and warranties for defects. These conditions are as follows:
- The first step of the warranty known as the ‘defects and liability period’ is thirteen weeks for new homes.
- The second step is for non-structural defects which are valid for two years
- The third step is major defects which is for six years after the work is completed
- If the property is built to the correct standard, homeowners can enjoy lower running costs and energy bills.
- Homeowners can tailor suitability of house design to their own needs.
So How Do You Choose The Best Home Builder For You?
If you are lucky enough to be able to choose your own home builder, then making the right decision can make the difference between having a home you love and a home that turns out to be a nightmare. But how do you actually choose which new home builder to go for?
Here are some of our top tips.
Get to know the builders servicing the area where you want to buy and research them online. Look out for where they are mentioned on forums and see what people are saying. Don’t let it put you off completely but let these forums inform you of the issues you need to be aware of.
Visit the builders other sites or displays: How do they look? Are the finishes high quality? Do the new residents speak highly of their homes?
Never rely solely on promotional material. Get a feel for what you’re buying by visiting the display sites and meeting the staff. You can get a good idea of the type of service you will be getting by speaking to the staff.
Look At Awards, Ratings & Rankings
Objective data with which to measure new home builders is hard to find. One measure is helpfully provided by the Builders – Housing Industry Association (HIA) - who are the official body of Australia’s home building industry, which presents various Awards annually in recognition of the premium work being undertaken by HIA members in the residential building industry.
For example, Elderton Homes has been ranked in the Top 20 builders list in NSW for consecutive years running and have won many awards by HIA for the high quality of work they have delivered including best ‘Small Bathroom up to 8 sqm’, ‘Kitchen in a Display Home’, ‘Display Home - $350,001-$400,000’ and ‘Display Home Over $350,001’.
You can also check with the Master Builders Association (MBA) and Department of Fair Trading and under no circumstances should you consider an unlicensed builder or builder who does not have home warranty insurance.
Look At Their Suppliers
Work with a builder who has good supplier relationships and works with reputable brands. Elderton Homes in particular prides itself on its long term relationships with its suppliers, most of whom have been with us since the day we opened our doors. It not only provides our clients with consistent quality control, but also allows us to give clients accurate time frames and guarantees.
Ask What Post Build Service Is Available
On occasion, some new homes will have some snagging issues after moving in – so you are highly likely to have dealings with either your home builder or the developer’s team post completion. Any issue within the first thirteen weeks has to be dealt with by the builder, so good build service is essential.
Homeowners can often feel ignored by their homebuilders after they move in, and find it a constant struggle to get issues resolved – while other new homeowners find their builders have been incredibly helpful and sort snags out quickly. This information can be difficult to glean, but do take a look at social media accounts to see how the builder engages with their customers. Be aware when looking at social media that most builders will have some negative reviews so you only get a one-sided view from customers. Don’t give up too easily.
Here at Elderton Homes, we take pride in making sure our customers are happy throughout and post the home building journey. We are in the business of making dreams come true and that’s exactly how we like to be seen by our clients.
What New Build Guarantee Do They Offer?
As mentioned above, every single new home build in New South Wales is covered by Statutory Warranty, which is six years for the major structure of your new home, two years for non structural defects and a thirteen week maintenance period for minor defects. A guide to what constitutes as a defect can be found via the Fair Trading NSW website. There are zero exceptions, so it’s important that you know your rights and research what the classifications are for structural and other defects.
Finally and probably the most important aspect of the evolution of your new home build experience is working with someone you can communicate with, understands your needs and feel you can trust. It’s really simple, if you don’t feel comfortable with them, don’t hire them!
The process of building your new home can take up to twelve months or longer depending on the design and complexity, so communication is key.
We hope that these tips will set you on the right path to achieving your new home dreams.