A house under construction near Victoria, BC, Canada – Photo Courtesy: pnwra
Building a new home can be a fairly daunting prospect – exciting, but daunting. There are hundreds of different aspects to consider and plans to work through, and it certainly isn’t a quick, and often isn’t an easy, process. Choosing a builder or building company to work on your home is one of the very first decisions you will have to make, and often is the most important. Whoever you choose to build your new home will have your dreams in their hands, so it’s integral to make sure you choose the right company. Here’s a few tips to consider when choosing builders for your new home:
1. Do your research
Good home builders have their own websites with homes built by them displayed. Above: ‘The Bellucci’ home design by Ideal Homes of Australia – one of many such designs on their site.
It sounds simple, but it can’t be stressed enough – research, research, research. Most will begin their search online, and that’s usually a good way to go about it. Searching for home builders in your city will narrow down your choices, as will searching for certain kinds of builders – for example, you may prefer builders who have significant experience building large family houses as opposed to those who build commercial apartment blocks. Check for review sites in your city or country; some areas will have websites where customers can leave reviews for different builders, which could give you a clearer idea of who to steer clear of. Look out for forums, blogs, tweets, and other social media posts from others in your city who have used builders. Ensure you have all your bases covered before even making the first call.
2. Ask the neighbours
In the current housing market in a lot of countries, it’s more financially viable to build a house than to buy or rent one. Chances are at least one of your friends, relatives, or even neighbours will have built a house, apartment or workspace, and can give you tips on not only who to use for your process, but how to go about researching the different aspects of the home building journey. If you are new to an area, again it is best to head online for customer reviews and social media posts – always check the company’s Facebook or Twitter pages for possible feedback, and to get a feel for the way they work.
3. Work out your budget
Work out exactly how much money you have, how much you have to spend, and how much is coming in. Go through your personal finances and income and see how much you have to spare for each monetary aspect of the building process. If you are building a house or apartment with a partner or friend, work through your finances together and be completely upfront and realistic about what you both have to contribute. Use online budget tools – they’re usually fairly accessible and free – or see a financial advisor to tally up how much you have to spend. If you are going to be getting a loan or mortgage, ensure that you have enough coming in to make monthly payments, and factor in all your other weekly and monthly expenses. It may take a while to work out your budget, but it is undeniably worth it in the long run!
Right: Blueprint of the “The Bellucci” design home (show earlier) by Ideal Homes of Australia. Work out your budget with your builder. All genuine builders will be more than happy to guide you create a financial plan for your dream home.
4. Check the fine print
Read absolutely everything that the building company – and every other person and company involved in the process – hands to you or asks you to sign. It can be tedious reading through the fine print and convoluted information, but you don’t want to miss anything. Make sure you have someone on hand to interpret anything that may be confusing, and work with a financial advisor to ensure you know where your money is going. Ensure you’re on top of everything at all times.
5. Ask the tough questions
When you do choose a company or builder, don’t hesitate to ask the tough questions. Maintain a positive relationship, but ensure that the builder doesn’t take you for a ride. Ask how long they’ve been in the business, ask how many similar homes they’ve built and ask for examples, ask about their training in the industry, ask for personal and bank references. These questions can be a little awkward to ask, but ensure that your builder is completely transparent and open with you.
Lastly, enjoy the process! Building a home – whether it be your first or fifth – is exciting and extremely fulfilling once it’s ready to live in. Good luck, and do your research!
Chloe works on behalf of Ideal Homes, a home building company based in Perth, Australia. Ideal Homes consistently deliver stylish and quality homes, and have over 35 years experience in the industry.