How To Research the Best Home Builders
Building a custom home means that you are likely planning to create your dream home. You’ve probably gone through multiple layouts over the years, changed your style and done a 360 on what kind of paint colour you want. One thing is for sure, you’ve invested a lot of heart and brain power into your custom home designs, and when you sign on with a builder, you’re about to invest a lot of money.
So how can you know for sure that they’re the right choice? And in today’s world where information and opinions seem to come from every direction, what is the best way to research home builders?
Read on to find out.
6 traits to look for in a home builder
Here’s a quick list of the 6 traits:
- Years of experience
- Valid insurance
- Positive reputation
- Excellent communication skills
- Good customer service
- Extensive portfolio of completed home builds
More information about these important traits
1. A high level of experience
|This is the most important thing, as you don’t want your home to be someone’s training ground. Quality home builders will have a strong online presence, a range of online reviews and finished projects for you to visit.|
2. Up-to-date insurance and memberships
|Ensure your builder is trade certified and affiliated with the Master Builders’ Association, HIA, or other relevant professional bodies. In addition, check that their insurance is up to date, and they have the latest training.|
3. Good reputation
|It doesn’t take long for a bad reputation to rear its ugly head. Whether online, from chatter at the local Bunnings or on your area’s local Facebook page, keep an eye on how people speak (or don’t speak) about your builder.|
4. Clear communication
|When dealing with something as precious, essential, and costly as somebody’s home, it is a builder’s duty of care to provide clear, concise, and up-to-date communication. You can tell how your builder communicates from the first point of contact, and first impressions should last.|
5. Excellent service
|This isn’t essential to building a great home, but it certainly helps. Nobody wants to feel like their home isn’t the priority, particularly when working with a boutique custom home builder. If good service is as important to you as the quality of your home, make sure you don’t ignore gut instincts or bad reviews.|
6. An extensive portfolio
|Having an extensive portfolio goes hand in hand with being experienced. More than just online pictures, your builder should have display homes in your local area to give you a good feel of what to expect in your build.|
Ways to find a quality home builder
There is a lot to research when building a house, and one of the most important is your builder. While it might seem time-consuming, it is not as arduous as what can happen if a lousy builder takes over your worksite.
A thorough decision-making and research process can save you time, money, and heartache. The following checklist can help you to make the right decision and avoid the wrong one.
Word of mouth is powerful, and your builder should have a decent list of reviews from previous customers, plus some that wouldn’t mind you getting in touch for a first-hand account.
Search on Google
If Googling someone before meeting them is customary, Googling your home builder before signing on with them should be compulsory. This will give a quick snapshot of any scathing or raving reviews and allow you to double-check their licensing and qualifications.
Check out their portfolio
Most good builders have more than just photos for you to explore. Display homes are the best way to get an idea of the builder’s standard of workmanship, along with their additions, inclusions and finishings.
Go by first impressions
Take note of their response times, efficiency, communication, and service from the get-go. First impressions go a long way, even if you’ve only had a short meeting.
Chat to their sub-contractors and suppliers
A home builder’s relationships in the industry will speak volumes about their integrity, deliverables, and reliability.
Ask about their procedures
From invoices to handover, ask about their policies if anything goes wrong. Make sure you are comfortable with how they conduct business and that they include what you expect in their procedures.
Explore their online presence
More than just Google, forums such as Facebook, Reddit, and Quora can provide an invaluable asset for finding real reviews about your builder. A vacant online presence is almost as much of a red flag as a negative one.
Discuss common goals
Nothing gives peace of mind like falling in love with a home your builder has already created. Chat with your potential builder about your goals, and check whether they have something similar you could view in person.
What about Facebook groups to research home builders?
Social media is a valuable tool for any business, and the online presence of your builder can tell you a lot about their ethics, practices, and service. Almost every suburb, city and shire have their own Facebook group these days, and this can be the best place to begin your research about any service you wish to use. Post the question about your potential builder in your local group, or search the group for their name, and you could end up with the most honest and trustworthy reviews from their real-life customers.
Keep in mind, however, that Facebook reviews often aren’t closely moderated and authenticated. Pay attention to common trends and themes in the way people speak about your builder, and build your opinion based on a combination of that and your own exterior research.
What about product review sites to research home builders?
Absolutely! Again, this is a good avenue for genuine reviews from real life customers.
Product review sites are often authenticated, meaning the reviews are legitimate and the experiences are real. All contributing to your builder’s online presence and their legitimacy, product review sites are the new form of local recommendation in today’s digital climate.
Your search for the perfect home builder is over with New South Homes
If you’re looking to create your dream home in Greater Sydney, check out our 10 tips for choosing the best home builder in Sydney.
Curious to work with our Sydney builders at New South Homes? Meet us at one of our many display homes, or browse our completed home design projects here. We would love to work with you to make your dream home a reality.
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