Peace of mind when choosing a home builder

Posted on Friday 9th March 2018

Choosing a builder is a big decision, often the result of hours of research, chatting to friends and family, and learning about what’s involved.

It’s also important to do your due diligence. Building a home is one of the biggest investments you will make, and you need to be confident that your builder has the people, experience and processes in place to deliver.

There are some simple checks you can do that will avoid problems down the line.
  • Make sure you are dealing with a licensed builder. Just go to www.builders.wa.gov.au for a list of all licensed builders in WA.
  • Check online customer reviews at www.productreview.com.au When reading the reviews, keep in mind what is important to you. If a reviewer complains about lack of choice of tap fittings for example, that might not matter to you. But if they complain about budget blowouts or failure to meet practical completion by the due date, that might be a red flag.
  • Be confident that you are comparing ‘apples with apples’. Different types of materials, different inclusions, and exclusions – there are lots of elements that can make a difference to the quoted cost. Read the contract carefully, and ask lots of questions.
  • Check that the builder has adequate Home Indemnity Insurance. This is regulated by the WA Building Commission, and provides you with protection if the building company goes into administration during your build.
  • Find out how long your builder has been in business. Choosing an established builder, with a strong financial foundation, is one of the best ways to protect your investment.
  • Speak to people who have built with the company you are considering. A building company that is confident in the quality of its work will be happy to put you in touch with other customers.
  • How long is the maintenance period after you have taken possession? This can vary from builder to builder. It’s important to check you have a window of time after you have moved in to your home to follow up on any issues you discover.
  • And finally, don’t be shy – ask questions – lots of questions. Any reputable home builder should be happy to commit time to help you understand the process of building a new home.
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