Building A New House
Mar 19, 2017 12:02 pm
We're looking to go custom after the volume builders refuse to build on our land (sloping block - 5m), but how do you decide which one is the best value?
It seems like you have to be really invested into it ($10k+ in deposits) before you can get a price so how do you choose? Just gut feel? How do you know if you're paying too much...?
For a similar design (30sq, double storey, 4b2b) volume builder is quoting 350k and custom is quoting 550k... is that right...?
Re: How do you choose a custom builder?5
Mar 19, 2017 7:29 pm
We have a 7m slope on our block and built with a smaller volume builder.
Our build thread viewtopic.php?f=31&t=82369&p=1525857&hilit=fairhaven#p1525857
Re: How do you choose a custom builder?7
Mar 19, 2017 8:37 pm
Thanks cant decide, I'll give those a try.
Hi Old Bloke and Ezza78, if you don't mind me asking, who are you building with? Got another quote back for high $500k we thought we could afford to start building but these prices are just too crazy...
Re: How do you choose a custom builder?8
Mar 19, 2017 8:41 pm
At proposal stage with Busby Homes, site costs likely to go up though because our soil test came back as P type, meaning problem so will need to spend more on footings. You can design with them and get it costed before paying any money which is good. Which suburb are you in?
Re: How do you choose a custom builder?10
Mar 20, 2017 1:03 am
Hi Ezza78, we've contacted Busby Homes too, they were really lovely but think will be out of our budget. Did you get a ballpark figure before you made any payments? Was that close to your final cost?
Re: How do you choose a custom builder?11
Mar 20, 2017 6:01 am
Our was a KDR with Fairhaven Homes.
House is 2 storey 41.6sq and came in at $447K including around $100k in upgrades & $60K site costs.
Our build thread viewtopic.php?f=31&t=82369&p=1525857&hilit=fairhaven#p1525857
Re: How do you choose a custom builder?12
Mar 20, 2017 8:04 am
We got a pretty specific figure minus the variable site cost before paying anything. If your soil isn't a problem it wouldn't have increased. But it was higher than what we were anticipating and now with the soil problem it will go up again. costs are so much higher with custom than volume builders,hope it's worth it!
Re: How do you choose a custom builder?13
Mar 20, 2017 10:35 am
Custom builder often has upgrades that are already in his quote, and generally will have better structural built homes, the more add ons you have the closer the prices will be, volume builders also generally will gave boxer homes as buildings with more shape cost considerable more.
Re: How do you choose a custom builder?14
Mar 20, 2017 10:36 am
Custom builder often has upgrades that are already in his quote, and generally will have better structural built homes, the more add ons you have the closer the prices will be, volume builders also generally will have boxier homes as buildings with more shape cost considerable more.
Re: How do you choose a custom builder?15
Mar 20, 2017 3:11 pm
Ezza78 I'm sure it will be worthwhile in the end! You get exactly what you want and it'll be one of a kind
Joker, custom builders definitely have lots of plus sides but I'm not sure if we can afford the extra $150k...
How do you choose a custom builder?16
Mar 20, 2017 4:22 pm
Just remember that by the time you do the upgrades and variations and run into those "unexpected" costs through a volume builder you may as well have paid the higher price and got a truly custom home. Our builder actually included the deposit as the first progress payment so we didn't pay anything out of pocket. We also let them know our budget and they made it work. The quality of a custom build will be a cut above the rest too. Most volume builders lure you in with the glamour and aesthetics but behind the walls lurk all the problems due to shortcuts. It amazes me how many people choose the cheapest quote yet expect the highest quality. You get what you pay for.
Re: How do you choose a custom builder?17
Mar 20, 2017 10:47 pm
Hi there, I second Magavin's comments. We are also going custom and so far couldn't be happier. Our builder did not require any upfront payments until the contract was prepared. Even then it was only $1500. By then he had provided us with a very detailed quote. Any decent builder who wants your business will spend the time to give you a proper quote without any down payment. And by proper I mean take a few weeks for their suppliers to get back to them so they can accurately quote on the job.
We are building a 37sq two storey home for much less that what you've been quoted and that's with quite a few upgrades. Obviously with your sloping block your site costs are going to be more $$$. But I'm sure you can do better than $550K. Shop around. Also try some of the smaller volume builders that also do custom.
Re: How do you choose a custom builder?18
Jun 04, 2017 10:02 am
Do you mind me asking whether you have a design already? Or that the builders you are speaking to saying you need to pay a deposit in order for them to design and quote against it?
We bought back in August 2015, slopping block. Went to a building designer, got concept, structural and fit out drawings done, engineering, sites surveys and soil test, bush fire rating etc all done. $$$$ bit out of pocket by this stage. Last quarter of last year designer got indicative build price from one building company - that came back within our brief price to designer of $450,000-$500,000. Same firm finally came back with quote in early March of $690,000 with many exclusions so not the final build price. Next four quotes from other companies were $680,000, $807,000, $770,000 and $680,000 again all with numbers exclusions, so any costs we cut down are added back on because of essential items that have been excluded. Those were all well established companies in the custom build end of the market in our location. Clearly there's too much demand and not enough competition here currently in that market segment. Apparently the volume end of the market is overrun for competition such that it is hard to make a profit at all but not the other end.
So we have taken a bit of a different tact and are going through the quote or tender process with another tranche of builders currently that we identified with a bit of research and by putting out a RFT. They are all smaller businesses wanting to expand into the custom end of the market. We've specified our budget is $500,000 and that because of overcapitalising risk, we cannot go much beyond that. We're flexible about certain aspects of the design and specification in order to save costs. We're also prioritising fit out joinery etc and there will be work that we will get done down the track. We appreciate that there's risk going with less established companies but we will do our reference checks and check out previous work etc. At this rate, for 2 out of 3 of the firms their communication and attentiveness has been outstanding and far beyond anything we experienced with the larger companies. Not that that means a quality, stress free build process of course.
Our design has a fair bit of glazing and generous open living/dining/kitchen, and garaging/workshop beneath but is not enormous, 4bdm 2bthrm, 3grg. We are keeping the interior simple and low key, no stone or marble anywhere. Our tiles and lighting will be from bunnings or equivalent I expect.
But I guess from our perspective, $500,000 to $550,000 seems pretty reasonable for a custom build on a sloping block. But we certainly haven't ever been asked to pay a deposit in order to get a quote.
Re: How do you choose a custom builder?19
Jun 04, 2017 11:16 am
hey ezza78 looks like you and I are in the same boat with a sloping block of land and home size.
So far I have had a chat with Latitude 37 and their work seems to be good and general have got good feedback. There are a few L37 houses being built in my area as well. Perhaps it is just me and that their designs don't appeal to me. They do both custom builds and have predesigned templates. Their build prices are good as well.
I am also going to be chatting with Mazzei and Thomas Archer homes this week and happy to let you know what my experience has been like. Inform has very good reviews but they are out of my budget by $300k.
So far my estimates have come in between $550k to $700k but I am aiming to $600k.
Re: How do you choose a custom builder?20
Jun 04, 2017 12:20 pm
With quotes my home was coming 200,000 above budget, I then hired a project manager who was committed to top quality for less, and I became owner builder with him handling everything like a builder would, he would work out, what was cheaper to do, but not cheaper quality, example, frame was done on building site, as it worked out $5000 less this way, huge merbau stairs quotes were, 12,500-13500,
Ended up building them on site for 8900.
If I were not taking the risk of owning my build, these savings would not be mine,
But right person with the right mandate are keys.
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