Your family home will generally be the biggest investment you will make in your lifetime and as you plan your new home one of the first decisions you need to make is whether to go with a smaller custom home builder or a high volume builder.
When you work with a custom home builder you work with the builder directly and he will be the one to assist you through all stages of the build. Custom home builders are generally small construction businesses who specialise in unique builds - each a little different to the last - and each a direct reflection on their owner. A custom home builder will work collaboratively with you to design and prepare plans based on your selections and preferences and will pride themselves on giving premium quality and finish.
Volume builders operate by offering a range of standard designs that they have built numerous times. They are not site specific and usually don’t allow for layout flexibility. When choosing a project builder you can expect to first talk to a salesperson and have multiple points of contact during the build process. You can also expect that there may be some limitations on your choices in fixtures and fittings.
Before signing a building contract to engage a builder to undertake building works, ask the following questions to help you make an informed decision:
- Is your quotation professionally presented and include, or exclude, all of your requested requirements?
- What are your first impressions and do you have a good rapport?
- Are they registered and hold all the relevant insurances?
- How long have they been in business?
- Do they have a good knowledge of construction practices and the relevant experience?
- Are they easy to deal with?
- How will questions and concerns be addressed during the construction process?
- Can they supply references for past projects?
- Who will supervise the construction of the home and how often will it be under direct supervision?
- How long do they anticipate the construction of the project will take?
Under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991, all builders, building designers and most trade contractors must be licensed by the QBCC to carry out building work. To obtain a QBCC licence, certain financial, experiential, technical and managerial standards have to be met. The QBCC is responsible for assessing these licence applications, issuing licences, and ensuring that licensees continue to meet the required standards.
If you are having a home built it is imperative that you only work with someone who holds a current QBCC licence card. If you are unsure or would like to check if your prospective builder holds this licence and if it is current, details may be confirmed online at www.licencedtrades.com.au.
It is important to be open and honest when talking to a potential builder so that they understand your budget and know exactly what you are after.
Prices will vary from builder to builder. Some builders may have pre-priced plans that you can look at while others may individually price each job or perhaps offer a dollar per metre rate based on your sketch or a pre-drawn plan you have provided.
It is important to know what you are getting for your money. Once you have decided on a plan and discussed the inclusions that you are after, ensure that the builder provides you not only with a detailed quote but also a full specification outlining exactly what is allowed for in your price.
Make sure that the specification contains sufficient detail for you to understand exactly what has been allowed. Should you have more than one quote to look at, be sure to carefully compare both the products and materials included. Prices are largely determined not only by the size of the home but also by the style and standard of inclusions. A cheaper price can sometimes mean something has been missed and will make for a costly surprise further on in the building process.
We have a strict quality control procedure. Checks are carried out during construction and at the completion of every trade and construction stage. Michael believes in a hands-on approach so he constantly oversees and attends all client meetings with trades and ensures every client has ample opportunity to visit the site during construction. This ensures we identify any areas of concern early and have it rectified promptly.
Check with your builder about their warranty policy.
By law, every new home should be covered by the builder for a period of 6 months for any minor defects that may come about and 6 years for any major structural defects.
Expect for a copy of this policy to be forwarded to you direct by the QBCC offices. If for any reason you do not receive this in the early stages of the building process, be sure to check with the builder and request your copy.
At CRJ, our commitment to service and excellence in everything we do does not come to an end just because the construction process has finished. We are committed to helping you keep your home looking as good as the day we handed it over to you.
We understand that building a new home is a HUGE investment… one that you will want to protect for years to come, so we provide you with a 24 month extended maintenance period along with 5 independent build inspections to put your mind at ease that everything is as it should be. As a complimentary service, we will contact you annually to inspect your property for any unexpected wear and tear and address these items together. Upon completion of the inspection, you will be presented with a professional report confirming where things are going great and highlighting any areas that may need some attention.
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