If you’re on the hunt for a Sydney home builder, it can be challenging to find a trustworthy one.
At Worthington Homes, we hear all kinds of stories about optimistic buyers getting caught out by Sydney home builders. Not to mention, the scrutiny the residential construction industry has been under for ‘shoddy’ work, receiving a lot of media coverage this last decade.
While there are excellent builders out there, they are unfortunately becoming rarer to find.
From poor quality work to unreturned phone calls, confusing pricing structures and long construction wait times – all these things can add up to become both daunting and disappointing for someone who has invested everything into building a new home.
However, there are ways to avoid getting blind-sighted. It all comes down to thorough research, a bit of insight and asking the right questions.
As we often say, building a new home is one of the biggest investments of your life. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. To help you save time, money and unnecessary stress, we’ve listed a few things to watch out for when selecting a Sydney home builder.
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Poor workmanship in the build
Building is a craft, one that requires the proper skills, qualifications and experience. Unfortunately, it has become typical to build in Sydney and find ‘shoddy’ work all throughout the house.
Everything from structural issues to cosmetic detailing such as messy grouting and paint stains can be disappointing to see, considering the significant amount invested into your new home.
Attention to detail should be the rule, rather than the exception. Don’t accept poor workmanship in your new home and hold your builder accountable to the final result.
Being ‘ghosted’ by your builder
If you’re investing your life savings into a new home, it goes without saying that communication between you and your builder should be a priority. Sadly, this isn’t always the case.
Mainstream builders can really spoil the experience of buying a new home by not returning phone calls, ignoring complaints and generally keeping clients in the dark. The larger the builder, the bigger the risk of getting your project ‘buried’ under the complexity of red tape and paperwork.
Ask your potential builder how proactive they are with communication and how often you’d expect to hear from them during and after the build.
Ambiguous sales gimmicks
Most people like a ‘what you see is what you get’ type of approach when it comes to what is promised and delivered. In residential construction, however, there can be a lot of smoke and mirrors to get you committed to the sale.
Beware of bait marketing tactics such as “$50,000 worth of upgrades” that seems a little too good to be true. Often, those ‘free’ upgrades are things that you would need in your new home anyway, such as flooring and lighting.
Ask for a detailed break-down of what the terms and conditions are of any promotion to be sure you aren’t caught out later on.
Deceptive and dishonest pricing
How much does it cost to build a new home? It is virtually impossible to answer this without knowing your site, slope and conveyancing information, the materials you want to build with (e.g. brick, render or steel?) and the list of inclusions you need.
In other words, defining the cost of a new home build is like asking, “How long is a piece of string?” It all depends on many factors. Therefore, when you approach a new home builder and ask for the price, often it’ll be a ‘bare bones’ base price that does not include site costs and preliminaries.
In addition, depending on your builder, your quoted price may not include tiles, carpets, BASIX, electrical connection and other builder’s specifications that must be included in your house. It’s a little bit like selling a new car without wheels – yes, the price is cheaper perhaps than other new cars, but can you drive a car without wheels? Not really.
All these costs add up and are suddenly added to your bill without any notice or prior knowledge. Invoices are issued to the owner throughout the build when it’s far too late to pull out of the project.
To avoid this, request an itemised quote detailing everything that is included in your price so you can hold it up fairly when comparing quotes.
Pre-construction phase dragging on for too long
Once you have received council approval on your Development Application, you’re ready to start building. The time between pre-construction to when dirt is turned (provided all is well with DA) should really be no longer than six weeks.
It comes as no surprise to speak with clients who are frustrated at the length of time taken to get things started with their project builder. With clients waiting up to 12 months, it is apparent there is a long queue of eager buyers ‘clogging up’ the queue of builds awaiting commencement.
Before handing over any deposit, ask for an explicit timeframe of when your build will commence, as well as the project milestones. This will help avoid disappointment and allow you to decide upfront if the build is as timely as you desire.
If you’re wanting to jump the queue, ask us about how we may be able to cover the costs of deposits and fees paid when you switch to Worthington Homes.
Being treated like a number
The number one grievance for those building a new home is that feeling of being treated like a number. Everything from lack of progression in the construction phase to spending hours trying to talk to a person to answer a simple query can be incredibly frustrating among mainstream builders.
Nobody wants to be seen by a corporate giant as merely a number on a spreadsheet. Clients deserve more than that – you should have the focus and attention of your builder throughout the entire process, not just when it is time to sign the dotted line and make payments.
Ask if there is a specific person who will be your point of contact and how you can reach them. Also enquire as to how often people in the company change roles because this can also happen over the life of a build.
Why build with Worthington?
We like to see ourselves as a trustworthy and honest Sydney home builder servicing the greater Sydney area. We are known for our commitment to delivering a happy and positive client experience. Plus, we build beautiful new homes that make a lasting impression.
As family owned and operated Sydney home builders, we are dedicated to offering a personalised experience. There are no hidden costs, no surprises and no gimmicks, which means you’ll be getting value for money, quality workmanship and open communication from start to finish.
We value all our clients equally, from our mum and dad ‘forever home’ buyers to investors and major project developers. Whether you’re building your first family home, a multi-generational mansion or a complex of townhouses, we offer the same level of quality, workmanship and service.
Building across all areas of greater Sydney, Worthington Homes specialise in the design and construction of Single Storey Homes, Double Storey Homes, Custom Houses, Knockdown Rebuilds, Duplex & Dual Occupancy Homes, Narrow Block House Designs and Granny Flat Designs.
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