May 29 2017

Questions to Ask Your Builder

There are lots of big events in life that many people only do once. Building a house is one of those things. Deciding to take this on is a big decision. It means that you’re wading into a process that you don’t know a lot about and can’t reference your experience for details.


Getting into a building contract requires a lot of research and it’s important that you feel well-equipped for what’s to come. We’ve put together a list of questions that you should ask any potential home builder. This will help you in those early conversations you’re having with builders.


Start With the Basics

  • How long have you been working in this field? Are you licensed? You don’t want to overlook some of the simple details about their experience.

  • Do you have any references I can see? Ideally, you’ll have a chance to view a house they have built (even better if it’s a real client’s home). Do your online research too and run a few google searches for the company name to see if anyone is talking about them (good or bad).

  • What length of warranty is on the home and what does it cover? It’s good to find out from the start what might not be included.

Cost and Timeframe

  • How much will it cost? Make sure you find out in detail what is, and is not part of the contract. Ask whether there is potential for overrun and how that would be handled.

  • When are deposits and progress payments due? Make sure you understand what your payment obligations are as you will likely also need to manage drawing down more money from your mortgage when these are required.

  • How long will the house take to build? What possible delays could be foreseen? You don’t want to be taken by surprise if a delay does occur so discuss this ahead of time.

  • Can I supply any material? Some people might want to supply some of the material because they have a connection who can get them a deal. It’s good to know whether your builder is willing to work this way if you’re wanting to source some material. Remember that the builder will have existing relationships (and prices) with their own suppliers so they might be able to find the same material for less and then they are working with the people they already know.

The Design

  • How much customisation can be done to the plans? Find out if you can make changes, and if so, how many. Make sure you find out if there is a timeline where no more changes can be made by.

  • What about colours and finishes? Find out if you have a standard palette you must use or whether you are able to fully customise the look of the interior.

The Build Process

  • How often can you visit the house during construction? Does it need to be pre-booked or will you be able to drop by? You might be unaware that some builders prefer the clients do not visit the site until key points of the process. If you think you’ll want to come by the site, make sure you find out whether that’s within their process.

  • Who will your point of contact be for any questions once it’s begun? Find out if you’ll be dealing directly with the project manager or if you’ll be going through other staff.

  • Am I able to request particular tradespeople? If you have a mate who is a sparky and is willing to do the work, would it be possible with this builder? Many builders have contracted tradespeople in place so make sure you ask before you assume you’ll be able to make these types of decisions.


Those are just some ideas to get you started. Make sure you take your time when selecting a builder for your new home, and please come visit Manor Build – we are more than willing to have a chat and answer all of your questions!