When looking to build a new home or renovate an existing home, it makes sense to do a general search for local residential home builders to complete the job. Well, in theory, it makes sense but in reality, this may not be the best way to go.
You see, not all residential builders are the same. In fact, there can be some pretty big differences between one residential builder to another. So it’s important to choose the right builder for your particular project.
Read on to find out just what is different and how to work out which is the best builder for you.
The different type of residential home builders
Before narrowing down your search to find the best residential home builder for your project, it’s a good idea to learn about the different types of builders and what it means when they specialise. Of course, you could find a few residential home builders that do generalise and can work on any type of residential project. They may even work on commercial and industrial projects as well, but on the whole, most builders carve out a niche in one particular area and stick to that speciality.
The different types of residential home builders include:
Volume Builders – A volume builder, also known as a project builder, generally builds to a set number of standard home designs and builds a large volume of homes every year. Hence the name volume builders. They create house plans that are popular and suit a standard house block and work to knock out hundreds if not thousands of these homes every year.
Not only do volume builders limit the house designs available, but they can limit the choices in fixtures and finishes as well. This is usually so they can negotiate better pricing on the materials and streamline the building process. By simplifying the construction details in this way they can then negotiate with developers and trades to offer house and land packages at a set price. A cookie-cutter approach to building that reproduces a package over and over again.
You would want to seek out a volume builder if you are wanting to build a brand new home, you’re on a tight budget, want a standard home design and have (or are looking at) a flat suburban block of land.
Custom Home Builder – Custom home builders are similar to volume builders in that they build brand new homes from scratch. But this is pretty much where the similarities end. Unlike volume builders, custom home builders generally take on far less projects every year, develop custom house plans to suit both the homeowner and the block of land (great for sloping or odd-shaped blocks) and take more time to construct the home. A custom home builder often pays more attention to the finer details and craftsmanship in the home as each home is different and unique.
A custom home builder is someone you would talk to about building a unique home from scratch that includes design elements and custom features that you can’t find with a volume builder.
Large Scale Renovation and Extension Builder – Large scale renovation and extension builders are builders who work on existing homes and carry out large structural renovations and/or additions to the home to make it more liveable and enjoyable to the homeowner. We think these builders are the best builders of all, but we are just a tad biased!
A renovation and extension builder is similar to a custom home builder in that we work directly with you, the homeowner to redesign the layout of your home to suit your family and lifestyle. Also, like custom home builders, we take on fewer projects every year so we can give each project the attention it deserves and focus on quality in our construction.
One of the biggest differences between a renovation builder and a custom home builder is that we, the renovation builder, are not building from scratch, rather we are working with an existing home which requires careful planning to make sure the new parts of the home blends seamlessly with the remaining sections. We also work to source materials and finishes that match the existing finishes of the home to blend perfectly.
A renovation and extension builder is someone you would seek out if you already own a home and you want to make it bigger, reconfigure the internal floor plan, add an extension on top or out the back or update your home beyond a kitchen or bathroom redo.
Small Scale Renovation Builder – Small scale renovation builders are also builders who work on existing homes to make upgrades and improvements but not at the scale or intensity of a large scale renovation builder. A small scale renovation builder is more likely to carry out cosmetic changes, such as replacing your kitchen, bathroom, back deck, laundry etc, rather than making significant structural changes.
You need a small scale renovation builder if you only want to make cosmetic changes to your home.
Why Is It Important To Find The Right Residential Home Builder?
There are a few reasons why it’s important to find the right residential home builder for you and your home.
1. Builders generally specialise so they can hone their skills and experience in a certain area. This means, by finding the right builder for your project, you are going to access all that expert knowledge and draw from the information provided by your builder to help make your project better and the overall experience run smoother.
For example, as a renovation builder, we have experience and expert knowledge around working with older style homes, the old-style building methods, being able to identify materials that are no longer used or available and working out a plan to overcome any constraints that come with working with older buildings. A volume builder or even a custom home builder may not have this knowledge as they simply don’t come across these situations when constructing new homes.
2. Your builder may not be adequately licenced to carry out your work. This is particularly relevant if, for example, you engage a small scale renovation builder to carry out a large extension. They simply may not hold the correct licence to do so. If in doubt, you can check any NSW licence online here.
3. The right builder will help make the project go smoother and faster. When the builder is a good fit for the project, has the right experience, is highly skilled in their chosen speciality and just all-round knows what they are doing because they’ve done it multiple times before, then it goes without saying that the project is naturally going to run a whole lot smoother than if you choose a builder who doesn’t fit the project requirements.
Narrowing Down Your Choices
So, now that you have an understanding of the types of residential builders available to you, it’s a simple matter of narrowing down the options, eliminating builders that are just not a good fit and booking appointments with the builders that are suitable for the project you want to undertake.
It’s important not to overlook this process of elimination when considering residential home builders. Building or renovating your home is a major event in anyone’s life and the right (or the wrong) builder is going to impact your experience significantly.
And then once you’ve weeded out the builders that are not specialists in the area you need and have narrowed down your choices, you can then begin the process of interviewing the builders and requesting quotes.
You don’t want to be well into the planning of your project to find out the builder you have selected is simply not suitable.
Have more questions about residential home builders or want to discuss a renovation or extension. Give us a call today and let’s talk.