When it comes to constructing a home for you and your family, there are several advantages a local builder has. If you live in Brisbane, Toowoomba or the Sunshine Coast, a Queensland builder would typically provide a more personalised service. They are also more likely to have an in-depth knowledge of what works well in this part of the world, as well as being easier to reach and communicate with. Plus, there’s certainly a nice feeling that comes from supporting your local economy.
However, not all builders are made equal. Whilst one Brisbane builder could exceed your expectations, another could disappoint you.
Since a house is such a significant investment, it’s crucial that you make this decision with care.
Here are our top three tips for choosing a local builder who won’t let you down.
Tip 1: Understand Your Requirements
The first step is to think about your personal preferences and specific needs. Write down some steadfast answers to key questions such as:
- What’s your budget?
- What style of house are you interested in?
- How big do you need it to be?
Define which things are essential to you (e.g. you might be determined to have a certain number of bathrooms) and which things are just desirable (e.g. you might want the kitchen to be a certain size, however you are willing to compromise on this if everything else is just right).
Once you understand exactly what you’re wanting from your property, this will help you narrow down your builder options. For instance, if your heart is set on a Queensland colonial home, you will be able to rule out any prospective builders who don’t appear to feature this design concept in their range of homes. Similarly, if your budget or ideal size is particularly large, you might not consider building companies whose success stories are mainly smaller home projects.
Tip 2: Check Each Builder’s Reputation
A builder’s reputation can tell you a lot about what to expect from them. There are a number of ways you can investigate this, including:
- Experience – If the company has been around for over a decade, there’s a good chance they know what they’re doing and have earnt a credible reputation within the area. Be sure to consider the experience of the individual builders, and not just the brand itself.
- Success Stories – Does the builder have glowing testimonials on their website from satisfied clients, or if not, can they provide these? Do they have completed houses showcasing examples of their workmanship? A quality builder’s clients and projects will often speak for themselves. If possible, walking through a display home, constructed by the builder, is an invaluable method of checking out their quality and workmanship.
- Licences and Memberships – An important basic step, but one which is easy to overlook, is to check that the builder has the relevant licences to work within your area. If your decision comes down to two or three options, that are hard to decide upon, quantify what their industry credentials and memberships are, (e.g. do they belong to the Queensland Master Builders and the Queensland Building & Construction Commission).
- Property Value – Have any of the builder’s past projects been on the market recently? If so, it’s a great idea to do a little digging to find out how the property’s selling price compares to its original value. If the figure stayed steady or increased, this can signal that the builder’s materials and techniques will stand the test of time.
By combining these factors, you can get a strong insight into how reputable a potential builder is, which will often help you identify the right one for building your new home.
Tip 3: Look for Early Warning Signs
Even before anything is signed off, a potential builder has several opportunities to prove themselves worthy or unworthy of your business. As you go through the enquiry/quoting phase, take note of anything that stands out for a positive or negative reason. For example:
- Are they courteous and helpful when you call them for the first time? This could indicate professionalism and high customer service standards, which are both important for the long-term relationship between a builder and a homeowner.
- Do they say one thing over the phone, but another in an email? This might reveal poor attention to detail, which is not a trait you want in someone who you’re trusting to build your new home. It could even be a sign of dishonesty, which is worse.
- Are they difficult to contact or slow to respond? Reliable communication is vital for keeping you in the loop during your house’s construction. If it’s tricky to get in touch with the builder before they have even started, this probably isn’t a good sign.
- Did they provide you with a quote earlier than expected? Being prompt and meeting deadlines is important during the building process, so early evidence of this is certainly reassuring.
If you’re looking for a builder in Toowoomba, Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast, applying the three tips above will always reveal one frontrunner for you to consider: Shelton Homes. Our company is backed by award-winning designs and countless happy customers, and we would love to bring your dream Queenslander home to life. Contact us today.