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Burbank Blog

A few home truths about building a home and all that surrounds it.

How to choose a new home builder



With so many home builders out there, choosing the right one can be a daunting task.

Your relationship with your home builder has a huge bearing on the outcome of your home, so it’s important to do your research.

While rapport and communication are key, the first step is to make sure your new home builder is registered and qualified to do the job. While most home builders are above board, engaging with an unqualified, unregistered or unethical home builder can be a costly and stressful experience. It’s a mistake you don’t want to make.

So how do you know if a builder is qualified?

“Checking a home builder is qualified usually means checking they hold a residential building licence,” says Kristin Brookfield, executive director for building development and environment at the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

“In Victoria, new home builders are licensed by the Victorian Building Authority and you can check a builder’s licence by contacting them directly.”

The most professional home builders will also be members of industry bodies, like the HIA or Master Builders Association (MBA), and you can see if they have won any awards.

Once you’ve checked your home builder’s credentials, the next step is to get clear on exactly how you want your home to look and set your budget.

“Before you look for a new home builder, develop a comprehensive budget and have clear, detailed plans,” Master Builders Association of Victoria (MBAV) chief executive officer Radley de Silva says.

“Decide on what you want to achieve from the beginning and ensure everything is in place to prevent unforeseen, costly amendments and confusion later.”

Once you’ve narrowed your list down to a few home builders, check their suppliers and look at their warranties.

Most home builders provide specification sheets for materials, finishes and appliances, so you can get a detailed view of what they offer in terms of inclusions and upgrades.

But the research doesn’t stop here. Any home builder can look good on paper. It’s what you see in person that really matters.

Take the time to visit as many display homes as possible and talk to sales staff.

Kristin from the HIA suggests asking your new home builder as many questions as possible. “When you find a display that really interests you, ask the salesperson to explain in detail what the standard options are, as well as the upgrades, room by room, inside and out,” she says.

“Look at the selection of finishes and other additional features, or ask for an appointment at the company’s colour consultant or suppliers’ showrooms.”

Also consider how many homes your builder has on display. While it’s not essential to choose a big name brand, most experts agree the new home builders you find in display villages are highly experienced and able to deliver quality homes at affordable prices.

Another good tip is to talk to customers. Whether it’s in person or through online forums, seek out customer opinions on workmanship, communication and warranties for different home builders.

Building a new home is a hugely emotive experience, and you’ll be surprised at the number of people who take time to review new home builders and share details their experience.

If you’d like further information on building new with Burbank, contact 13 BURBANK.