What to look for when building a home

key exchangeWe can all look back at our childhood and remember the oddest details about the house we grew up in – whether it’s the secret hiding spots you found when playing with the neighbourhood kids, or the location of the hole you put in the wall and subsequently patched over. The memories of a welcoming and comforting home stick with us forever. I think that’s why we’ve chosen to build a home – a home that is built the way we want it to be built. Whether you choose to buy affordable homes or have a home builder build your ideal home, there are a lot of options you will need to consider. If you do choose to undertake a custom home build, here’s a few tips that will make the entire process a little less stressful…

1. Meet with home builders and discuss the house plans.

Once you meet with the home builders, you can discuss your vision and see if they can implement them. While not every builder will lay out the costs for certain additions or improvements (Metricon refused to give us prices until after we put down our $1000 deposit), most are relatively forthcoming about what is included and what isn’t. During our search for a home, we met with a number of builders and found that while some looked cheaper on the surface, the amount of upgrades that you’d have to get to have the house looking the way you want it to was outrageous, and often became more expensive that the alternatives. We found that Metricon, while having a higher base prices than many other builders, had many of the upgrades we’d want already included in the base price of the house. Things like Ceaserstone benchtops and large stovetop burners were included at no additional charge.

2. Compare builders on their prices and services.

There are heaps of builders out there. Each offer something a little different than the next. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to ask about what is included. This goes beyond what’s included in the base price of a home. During the entire build process you’ll need to interact with the builder, and some are more accessible than others. While we haven’t started the build process yet, we’ve been very happy with Metricon’s level of customer service. We’ve been in contact with no less than four people that have been handling our account/build and not once was a message or phone call not returned within a reasonable amount of time. I firmly believe that it’s worth paying slightly more when you get first class customer service.

3. The quality of the finished product

Aside from the price and services that builders offer, you will also have to take into consideration the quality of their work. By doing a bit of research online (such as blogs like this one), visiting their display homes, or even speaking with neighbours who may have built previously, you can generally get a good feel for what to expect with any given builder. It doesn’t hurt to ask if they builder has a contact list of people you can speak with too, though it’s highly likely you’ll get a skewed response from that route.

Metricon Display home, Liberty 42 in the PondsWhile these are just a few tips that will help you choose the right builder for you, it’s a good starting point. I think many of us just get that ‘feeling’ that this home is right, when you walk into the display home. That’s definitely what happened with us when we walked into the Liberty 42 at Metricon’s display homes in The Ponds. We were all but decided on an Eden Brae home and were driving to their nearby display home when we just happened upon the Metricon display centre. I slowed down as we drove past and Megan and I looked at each other, said,”Do you like that?”, agreed, and stopped the car to go have a look. The Liberty Plantation facade “had us at hello”. We walked in, and instantly found ourselves with a frontrunner. Of course, the rest is history.

That’s how we came to be building the Liberty with Metricon homes.

How did you choose the home you’ve built?

About Stefan
Stefan is the regular writer for Megan & Stefan, and hails originally from San Diego, California. A resident of Australia since 2007, he write about his experiences living abroad, his love of photography, and documenting the process of building a house here in this sunburnt country he calls home. Feel free to drop him a line - he's always up for a chat.

Comments

  1. John says:

    Stefan,

    I new 5 minutes after walking into Metricon’s Grandview that I would one day live in that house.

    I tend to agree….. “first impressions count”!!

  2. Praveena says:

    Hi Stefan!

    Thanks for the tips. I was thinking of a custom builder but now am really liking the Liberty with a few modifications. Annoyed that they don’t release their prices until after the initial deposit! But hopefully all good! :)

  3. Rose says:

    Hello Stefan

    I, too, have fallen in love with the Liberty. However, I would like to modify it to suit our needs a little more. You have said that you modified the original plan. How much compromise did Metricon allow?

    Rose

  4. Stefan says:

    Hi Rose,

    Metricon was pretty good to accommodate changes that we wanted. That said, each change was accompanied by a fee. Some things cost quite a bit, while others were relatively inexpensive. I guess it just never hurts to ask!

  5. Karen says:

    We’re building next year and I found this online which looks quite useful http://macalisterprestigehomes.com.au/the-building-process/ We’ll be going custom I think.

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