So you decided to build your dream home or investment property, you start to shop around for a builder who you can trust to transfer your ideas to brick and mortar (ok, there is also some timber and few other things involved).
We all heard about big names present on national scale such as Metricon, Simonds, Carlise etc. And we also know that there is countless number of small companies operating locally only in suburbs. So you are thinking ‘who I’m going to choose for my project?’
Before we go any deeper, we have to expose benefits and weakness of big and small builders.
With big builder, you will initially deal with professional sales people. Their job is: well, to sell you the house. Once you choose the design or accept the quote for your own drawings, you will be given a Building Contract to sign, with a long list of “inclusions” and even longer list of not included items.
After you sign the contract and pay the deposit, you will be assigned with a project manager who might have good knowledge of building houses in general. However, this person is most likely unable to get his own Builders Licence and thus employed by a big company. This particular person works from normal business hours for the building company and it is absolutely not his problem if you special circumstance say, you wife is pregnant, you expect friends visiting from oversea in few months or you have any other commitment in regards to your new home address etc. As long as the subcontractors meet their minimal standards as outlined in Australian Building Code, his life is sweet as usual.
Ok, let’s not sound too sour here. Generally a big builder is a good choice when you are building a house as part of a new land development, when the builder is somehow connected with the land developers and normally a house and land package will give you a lot of bang for your bucks. You can expect a lot of square meters of relatively good quality home. However, it is good choice to employ an external building inspector to act on your behalf, to ensure good quality building without dramas in the future.
What about small builders?
- First, it is most likely that you will deal with only one or two people throughout the whole process. You will deal with him from the very first consultation, to the choice of inclusion and well till the end when you move in your new home. In one sentence, they are very personally engaged with your project.
- Second, a good small builder (like us J) will be very concerned with his own reputation in the area and should be able to provide you at least 3 recent references.
- Third, a small experienced builder is the best choice when you are building in established suburbs where there usually have a lot of council restrictions or house architecture is more complex than just a square box or the land is located in difficult terrain.
- Last but not least, one of the great benefits of engaging small builders is that any minor changes of your mind during construction are negotiable for free or with very minimal charges.
Feel free to download our free guide about 7 Things you should know before you sign the building contract.