by Damian Will, Sales & Marketing Manager
Building a new home for most people is the single biggest financial investment you will ever make.
So I am constantly amazed when I hear of some of the criteria people have used when it came to deciding upon the builder for this huge investment:
I really liked the sunken home theatre in their display home... The price was cheap... They included a free airconditioning system...and other such reasons that do not really say much about the quality of the builder.
To help you make sure you select the right builder for your new home, I want to list what I believe are the five key criteria you need to weigh each company up against:
1. The Quality of their Construction
It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten."
This should be your number one consideration no matter what your budget.
A well-built home is going to bring you pride and pleasure for many years to come, and this is why you don't want to scrimp on quality.
Have a look at each builders display homes. If their display homes look shabby and you can see construction issues on their 'shopfront homes’, then what chance do you think you will have when they come to build your home?
Look out for things like:
- Are their building sites clean and tidy?
- How smooth have their plasterers finished off the walls?
- Is the brickwork straight?
- Does the tiling look straight and grouted off neatly?
- Do the cabinets and benchtops look well finished?
Check how many Site Supervisors work for the company compared to how many homes they have under construction.
Some builders have a very small team of building supervisors to try and keep their staff costs down, but unfortunately this means their supervisors simply don't have enough hours in the day to properly manage the construction of your home.
This leads to time delays and the possibility of poor workmanship not being picked up and fixed.
At Novus, our Site Supervisors manage a very small number of homes compared to the industry average.
What this means for you is that they have time every week to visit your home on multiple occasions to make sure that the quality of our trades is the standard we expect, and that each delivery is happening on schedule to ensure we build your home as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Having extra Site Supervisors is a huge expense to our business, but one that we believe is essential for our customer's happiness.
2. What is the Company's Reputation and Standing in the Market?
Is the company you're considering known as a reputable builder in Perth?
How many homes do they build each year?
Are they known as an industry leader?
How many years have they existed as a company?
There have been a lot of new building companies created in the last 5 years, and I've known some people to choose these new companies to 'give them a go!'
Why would you invest hundreds of thousands of your dollars with a company to help them practice on you? Let somebody else be their guinea pig and invest your money wisely with a company you know is going to be around to maintain your home - or even finish it in the first place.
Ask around with your friends and family and people you work with to see what their building experiences have been like.
Have a look on Social Media and Product Review websites to see what everyone is saying about the company you're considering.
Certain building companies in Perth will rise to the top when you start doing your research, and these are the ones you want to have at the top of your list.
3. Value for Money
Just like anything, you get what you pay for, so when we talk about value for money, we're not meaning to just get the cheapest price.
You may find a cheaper builder, but if what they include in their home in regards to the interior specification and the quality of the materials they use is far inferior, then this supposedly cheaper home has just cost you a lot more in the long run.
Just like buying a cheap car compared to a more expensive, better equipped vehicle, you have to make sure that you are comparing apples with apples.
Don't be fooled by tricky marketing, and make sure you do your research before you rush in for the cheapest builder. There will always be a reason why one builder will cost a lot less than another - and that will be the quality and specification.
As the saying goes...you don't get anything for nothing...and...if it seems too good to be true then it probably is.
4. Award Winning Designs
If you've been wandering around display home villages in Perth for any length of time, then you will be well aware of how many homes just seem to be the same old plans reproduced with different colours... and they all start to become a little boring and bland.
A great builder will have award-winning designs which have been recognised by peak industry bodies such as the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and the Master Builder Association (MBA) who carry out stringent judging every year on new home designs so as to encourage their members to create innovative and inspiring homes for you.
Make sure you ask when your builder was last recognised and awarded for their work.
You may also be surprised to know that some builders in Perth don't even have their own home designers, and rely upon their drafting team to design their homes.
5. Have They Already 'WOWED' you with Outstanding Customer Service?
We live in a highly competitive global economy where customers expect to be treated with exceptional service.
Make sure you choose a company which believes in this important value otherwise you are going to be in for a very long and stressful journey to your new home.
If you are at the stage of dealing with your New Home Consultant and you're not really feeling the ‘love' at this early point in the process, then take that into consideration.
You should be able to expect:
- phone calls returned promptly
- designs and estimating presented accurately and professionally
- Display Homes to be impeccably clean and tidy
- a pleasant, friendly and polite experience throughout your discussions
If you're not enjoying this kind of service, then take your business to someone who does care about you.
I know when I am making a significant financial investment I expect to be treated as someone special.
In fact, if I go out to a restaurant and only spend $100 I expect a great experience. So if I'm spending $300,000 with a building company then I want to know that I'm not just another ‘job number' but a client who is building their dream home.
So Who Do You Choose?
I know that there are building companies in Perth who meet all of these five criteria. I am proud to say Novus Homes are one of them.
So do your research, and when you select a company that believes in these five values then you are on the way to an exciting adventure of successfully building your new home.