May 15, 2013 6:25 pm
So my wife and I are going to build a house. We have been looking at house plans with builders such as Dale Alcock, Ross North and Don Russell, but nothing is exactly right. We decided to investigate building a house suited to what we want, and the characteristics of the block. But we don't really know how to go about picking a builder - there are so many options.
I have heard mixed things about building brokers, and think that we would prefer to go speak to a few ourselves. In the quick search I have done, its seems some cost you money directly, which I think is better than most of the brokers which are "free", since they are working for you. My theory anyway.
My questions are fairly broad - just looking for general discussion/advise on where to start.
ie how have you narrowed down the choice of builders? Have you got any recommendations? Has a building broker worked or not worked for you? If you have just built a custom house what did you learn from choosing a builder?
Re: So what now? Choosing a builder.2
May 16, 2013 12:33 am
We also didn't know where to start when starting our building journey. We went around some display villages and narrowed down to 3 builders based on the "feel" we got from the homes and of course checking whether we were in the right price range. For us the sales consultant was key. We had to feel comfortable with the person we were designing the house with. Our favourite display home had a sales consultant who was so slack at returning emails and just didn't bother to come back to us and they literally lost our business because of it. It was actually one of your choices you mentioned. We ended up narrowing down to 2 builders. The sales consultant at dale alcock was amazing and was probably the main reason we ended up going with dales. He would open different display homes at 7.30am before work for us, take us to ones still being built and said he would go the distance to get our business and he did. Pm me if you would like his details. We went over so many different designs with him as we loved the dale homes but none had everything we wanted so we took the back of one house and the front of another and mashed them together somewhat... When it came time to decide which builder to sign with we had the other builder cost up the home we liked and then started bargaining. I think it's important to let the builder know that there is another option - more leverage when negotiating!
All the best with your choice
Re: So what now? Choosing a builder.3
May 17, 2013 12:21 pm
Thanks Tbrown, and thanks to those people who sent a private message.
So far we have made one decision - to speak to WA Country Builders about designing a home. Mainly because we like the look of the country style houses.
Hopefully there are still people who can add to the discussion!
Re: So what now? Choosing a builder.4
May 29, 2013 10:31 pm
We have decided that we are keen on a loft style home, or a two story home with only a study and theatre/lounge on the top level. We narrowed it down to 4 builders, who we have now spoken to:
1. Rural Building Co (RBC) - we alike the country style home, so they were easy to put on the short list. We would be custom designing a home with them.
2. Broadway Homes - their "Inspired design" range is exactly what we are looking for, but none of their plans are right so we need to modify them a fair bit.
3. Two small Perth based builders who have been around for about ~10 years, one of who couldn't offer us a two level design within out budget, which cancels them out at this stage.
So there are 3 options. As we expected, after talking to each builder, they were our favorite for the following day. But after the dust has settled I think we are feeling that RBC is our preference. However, we like the idea of a small company, in that I think we'd get a more personal service. Broadway is interesting in that they offer the traditional style two story home with a concrete floor, yet seem to be the cheapest. They are also the only one who would draw up a plan for us without any cost (fairly major changes were made to the standard plan).
So we are still trying to make a decision, but have at least limited it to 3 builders (unless we are talked out of a loft home). If anyone has had any experience with Rural Building Co or Broadway Homes, please let me know. Or if you have an opinion on the small v large builders, please share it as well.
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