What to Ask Your Custom Home Builder?

It’s your first meeting with a custom home builder, what are some key questions you should ask? We would advise to be as prepared as you can be for your first meeting, be confident on what your total budget is and what your priorities are. Have a wish list, of items that you could live without but would like to include budget permitting.

Some important things to ask your designer/builder include timelines, how long does the whole process take? Break that down into the design phases, time at the council, and then the construction of the home. Also, what is included in their offering? When they say ‘turn-key’ does that include landscaping etc? Most custom builders will include everything but there are some that don’t. In regards to costings, talk to your builder about what parts of the build do they see rising, for example, timber supply, steel supply, bricklayers etc. Are the costs that you see today going to be the same in 3, 6, 12 months time?

Enquire into the capacity of the builder, what style of projects do they specialise in, if any? How many staff do they have and how many homes do they build a year? We are in a construction boom at the moment and some builders are spreading themselves too thin so clients need to be confident that their project will be a priority and won’t be ‘sidelined’ at all during the journey.

It is also important to understand who will be your point of contact throughout the project, do you get passed from sales person, to designer, to supervisor – or is there one customer liaison contact throughout the entirety of the build?

How customisable is a custom home? At Weststyle we begin the process with a blank page, we are focused on delivering what the clients want in their dream home and committed to achieving this within their budget. This means that our custom homes are completely customisable and this isn’t limited to the design and layout, we are also flexible with styles and construction methods. Following the design phase and council approval some builders may lock you in and build only what is on the plans, this does ensure an efficient process but you may miss design opportunities. Weststyle’s flexibility and customisation run throughout the process and our designers will always suggest small changes and improvements if they see an opportunity along the way.

For most custom builders, including Weststyle, items such as landscaping and window treatments are included, absolutely everything is included if the client and budget permits. We are passionate about delivering a polished and complete product at the end of the journey. Clients may have their own curtain supplier or landscape contractor that they want to engage with directly, Weststyle are happy to accommodate this and co-ordinate the work, having them involved in any input during the design or build stage.

How do we determine the costs of a custom built home? Weststyle have been building homes for over 50 years. We draw on this experience, assess the needs and wants of the client and the level of finishes they are after, taking into consideration their overall budget and the size of the home they want we will work out a cost per square metre which will provide an accurate estimate for their home. Moving forward with the design of the home our in-house estimation team will fine tune the price for construction. Cost per square metre gives people a good idea of what their home will cost to build at the concept stage but once the design is finalised and pricing becomes more detailed this square metre rate doesn’t apply as different spaces have different costs (for example garage vs kitchen).

Advice from our team would be to view testimonials and examples from past clients, we encourage potential clients of ours to do so. Testimonials are one of the best ways to really find out what the customer service experience is like from the builder and this is so important. We don’t have permanent display homes, our clients are kind enough to let us open their homes to the public upon completion so that we can showcase our work. All of our clients will happily let us bring potential clients through their homes to see and feel our design styles and workmanship, it is a fantastic way to reassure clients of our skills.

Schedule an appointment with our award winning team today.