I also wanted to add my experience with BB H. We ended up paying for a tender after being pushed into it and ultimately pulled out after we got the tender. This was mainly due to the difficulty of dealing with the sales person. We like to get into details, and look at rules, and consider all our options. We had lots of questions, usually as to what various terms meant or what the rules allowed etc, and felt that our questions weren't answered very well (lot of evasion) and felt like we were being troublesome by asking them or challenging the responses. We also found that responses to our emails were hard to decipher and felt awkward to have to clarify our understanding each time, adding to the feeling that we were being bothersome. It was like the complete opposite of every other sales person we have ever come across - there's a certain "harshness" that put us off so much. We also read the great reviews and that's what attracted us to BB H. However we could not understand how the reviews which spoke about the great sales experience at Oran Park could be so opposite to ours.
Since it was our first tender, we couldn't compare the price with anyone else.
Some good things about BBH: their tender process turnaround was very quick (about 1 week or so after the file was sent off) and their tender price looked "fixed" except I think if they hit rock, and they appeared to have good inclusions.
After pulling out, we decided to try our luck with Wisdom Homes and paid for a tender with them since their promo looked good at the time. The sales person there was fantastic to deal with and answered all our questions to our satisfaction and all their email responses were substantial and in sentences which did not leave the meaning in doubt. However their administration process were soooo slow and it took 3 months to get to tender after our file was sent to head office....I was very unimpressed at this time frame, and even more so when I found there were still so many items included as provisional sums in the tender price... it was almost identical to the initial quote except for a few things like windows.
Since Wisdom was not moving, in the meantime we reached out to Kaplan Homes and ended up signing the contract with them. The experience has been mixed to be honest, but recently seems to be getting much better. We are building one of their designs which has been heavily changed so there has been a lot of back and forth on this which is mainly the reason for this mixed experience - I don't think this would have been the case if we stuck with a standard plan and made common changes. Their sales person was great to deal with, not pushy but very helpful and wanted to give me ideas to make the plan work for me. He now works in the head office and is no longer front office. But overall, their prices and inclusions, in my opinion are better than both BB H and Wisdom. I've been able to upgrade most things and still the price is less than the other two. They have completely fixed site costs for falls up to 1.5m included in their base price (including if they hit rock), which is already low. It's clear they run on lower overheads and are not as flashy in terms of showroom and display homes but if you know what you want through your own research, then it can be quoted even though you won't see it in the showroom for example. They also allow you to price up everything at tender stage (if you know what you want at this stage) and it's free to get a fixed price tender. They also have $1000 per week liquidated damages and a 30 week build time guarantee for double storey. These points, their good online reviews and actually speaking with people who have built with them (through this forum and Instagram) and hearing of their good experience is what swayed us. Currently at post-colour appointment stage and fine tuning a few requests. Looking forward to getting started on our site after a long journey.
Sorry for the essay-length response...but I hope this helps anyone at research stage.
I think you summed up the BBH experience succinctly. I know ToWuAHome mentioned they weren't after "friendship" with the sales rep, and that you move on from them quickly, but I found we were being pressured into paying $1200 to get a tender, whilst other builders have sat down with us and allowed us to play with designs and discuss questions in more detail with no pressure to put down money.
Having spent Saturday with the sales team from Hotondo, my husband and I have ruled out BBH entirely. Hotondo don't have nearly as an extensive inclusions list as BBH, but they have the best insulation building practice we've seen so far. Our focus was on adding sustainable/efficiency options to our home. Additionally, we wanted more flexibility with finishes and things like kitchen and bathroom hardware - Hotondo allow for that. Finally, the sales reps at Hotondo are also builders or surveyors for the franchise we have chosen. Their building knowledge, from explaining the science behind a metal roof, brick choices for soil salinity and then slab classifications and timber frame width.... We walked away feeling empowered rather than weary.
Best of luck with your Kaplan build!