10 traps to avoid when building a new home
Choosing a builder and building a house is an exciting experience, whether you're a first-time home builder or a seasoned pro. But it's important to be aware of the hidden costs that can significantly impact your budget and timeline, whether it’s due to an unreliable tradesperson or poor communication.
It's crucial to take the time to research all the common and hidden costs associated with a new build so that you can avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line. By doing so, you can prevent budget blow-outs, hidden defects resulting in future repairs, contract confusion, missing features, and a lot of stress!
With over three decades of experience, we don’t believe in hidden costs and we ensure you’re aware of everything you need to know when building a new home as upfront and early as possible in the process.
Make your building journey as smooth as possible by asking your builder the following questions to avoid some common hidden costs.
Questions to ask a builder before starting a new home build.
- Misleading claims. It’s easy to claim being the biggest, best or No.1 - make sure the claims stack up! Being the biggest doesn’t translate to being the best.
- Base price disaster. Ask what is included in their advertised price. It can be tempting to always pick the lower starting price but this can often mean there are hidden costs when building a home. Be wary of items in your quote such as site costs that are included as ‘provisional’ sums, these can sometimes blow your budget. It’s essential to understand the overall package price before you sign a contract.
- Dodgy display homes. Are the display homes attainable for your budget and representative of the usual build quality? If builders take on too much work and don’t have the resources to build them, achieving consistent quality can be difficult. Check out online reviews or join customer social groups and ask lots of questions.
- Shady inclusions. Which brands do they partner with? Ask to see the costs of all upgrades and what’s included in each ‘category’? Different builders have different categories so make sure you’re comparing apples with apples to prevent house-building mistakes. Will you be dealing with qualified interior designers and are they paid commissions to endlessly push upgrades? (You’d be surprised!!)
- Floorplan flack. Do they have floorplan options, or do they want you to stick to a standard floorplan? Choice will help you make a house your home!
- Cost of changes. How much will they let you personalise your home? Are changes difficult? Know exactly what you can and can’t do to avoid mistakes when building your home.
- Contract pressure. Be wary of builders that race to the building contract before you’ve made all your choices and know the final costs. Why would you sign a contract before knowing the final costs?
- One-way communication. Are their teams really invested in your experience? Do they care about your outcomes, ready to support and guide you throughout your build?
- Poor aftercare. A tip for building a new house that often gets overlooked is checking if they have a stringent quality control program, or will you need to engage an independent building inspector at your own expense?
- No backing. Are they financially stable and able to finish your home no matter what?
How to choose a builder
Finding a good builder can feel like a big task, but it doesn't have to be. With a little research, you can find the right builder for your needs. One of the best ways to find a good builder is to ask for recommendations from friends and family or check out online reviews and testimonials to get a sense of the builder's workmanship. Be sure to look for builders who are licensed and insured, and who have a good reputation in the industry.