Signing a building contract is one of the biggest commitments you’ll ever make. So before you lock yourself in, you need to make sure you’re 100% satisfied with your builder. It’s true that not all builders are equal, meaning there are many important factors you may not have considered that can make or break your homebuilding experience (and bank balance).
Take this moment to confirm why the builder you have chosen is right for you. Here are ten questions you need to ask them. If they have nothing to hide, they’ll happily provide all the answers, and you can sign the dotted line confident you’re putting this massive investment in the right hands.
1. Are You A Registered Builder and Are You Insured?
If you ask only one question, make it this. Do NOT proceed to sign the contract until you have confirmed these details. They are the absolute basic requirements required to build and will give you emotional and financial peace-of-mind.
2. How Will I Be Kept Informed Throughout the Building Process?
It’s imperative that you’re kept in the loop along the homebuilding journey. The best builders will be excellent communicators, making sure you know about all the changes occurring onsite as they happen. Don’t be afraid to ask for the direct contact numbers of the person who is managing your site –you should have access to this person when you need them, as well as a client liaison. At Webb & Brown-Neaves, you get direct access to both your Site Manager and Client Liaison Manager and you'll receive a fortnightly phone call from your Site Manager with updates on everything happening onsite.
3. How Will the Quality of My Home’s Construction Be Managed?
Quality control during construction is pivotal to delivering premium craftsmanship, finishes and durability. While it’s true that most builders have a dedicated site supervisor, it’s important to know what their credentials are and how involved they will be in your build. At Webb & Brown-Neaves, we only employ site managers with a high level of experience in site management (many of whom are registered builders themselves). What’s more, the number of jobs we allocate to each of our site managers is well under the industry average, ensuring that your home’s construction gets the attention it deserves.
4. Can We See Examples of Your Previous Projects?
Talk is cheap – if you want to confirm that a builder’s principles translate into reality, you need to see and feel it in person. Walking through past projects will allow you to compare the level of quality and attention to detail that the builder upholds. If the home is older, there may also be signs of wear and tear that indicate the home’s durability. Webb & Brown-Neaves has five display homes currently open (with three more to come in early 2016), which are all located within 20km of the CBD for convenient access.
5. What Kind of Contracts Do You Utilise?
Be careful of ‘cost plus’ contracts, as they are a gamble. Ultimately, they carry no limit on what you could end up paying, and can drag out construction time longer than expected. Webb & Brown-Neaves uses ‘fixed price’ contracts created by the HIA - an independent Australian body that ensures both the customer and builder get a fair deal with fair terms.
6. What Kind of Warranty Do You Provide?
Be sure to confirm the warranty periods offered by your builder. A long warranty is a sign that your builder is willing to back its ability to construct a home that lasts, which is fantastic reassurance for you, the homeowner. At Webb & Brown-Neaves, we pride ourselves on providing warranties that are testaments to the confidence we have in the quality of our homes. We offer a six-month warranty period (exceeding the required four months) and a 10-year structural warranty (exceeding the required six years) to provide complete peace-of-mind.
We also provide a homeowner’s manual outlining all product warranty information so you are crystal clear on what’s covered. In the unlikely event you need to request maintenance, you’ll go through a dedicated Service Supervisor who will prioritise and manage maintenance items in the best way possible.
7. When Can You Give Me A Definitive Price to Build My Home?
Receiving the total construction cost of your home early in the journey is crucial to a seamless experience. Your finance approval and evaluation of options hinges on this figure, so confirm exactly when this will happen before you get too deep in the process. Webb & Brown-Neaves provides a definitive quote extremely early in the process to ensure each stage in your journey flows smoothly.
8. How Do I Know Your Business Has Financial Stability?
Unfortunately, the homebuilding market is so competitive that it is not uncommon for builders to declare bankruptcy, leaving homes unfinished. Financial stability is a crucial (and often overlooked) consideration when evaluating builders. Established in 1978 and backed by the renowned Alcock Family of Companies, Webb & Brown-Neaves offers the assurance of over three and a half decades of success.
9. What Happens If I Want To Change or Upgrade After I Sign?
It’s essential you ensure your building contract provides flexibility in the event you change your mind on certain home elements in the future. Webb & Brown-Neaves allows changes right up until the construction stage. We provide a fair variations contract to ensure you can get the home you want without excessive costs.
10. Exactly What is Included in My Contract?
You may be surprised to learn that some builders don’t include essentials like external render or internal painting in the cost of your home. Be sure to confirm exactly what is and isn’t included, or you may face significant unexpected finishing costs later down the track. If you want to be absolutely certain that you will walk through the door into a completely finished home, Webb & Brown-Neaves offers a turnkey package called ‘WB+’. With everything included in the contract - from demolition, to site works, landscaping and even the letterbox – you won’t have to lift a finger from handshake to handover. Find out more about WB+.
We'd love to have the opportunity to answer any further questions you may have. You can get in touch with a Webb & Brown-Neaves' Building & Design Consultant by visiting a WB Display Home or simply call 6365 4060 or click here to get in touch.