Of course everyone wants the best but ultimately the decision in choosing a builder rests in how much design input you would like to have, what land you have bought and how much you have to spend.
Start with budget, you simply can't choose a builder outside your budget. Get a clear idea of your finances and find out from a bank or lender how much you can afford. This will determine the type of build available to you.
1. Project vs Custom builders
Project Home Builders typically have a library of designs to choose from with a limited amount of customisable options. Look at the floor plans first, before you start looking at the features. If you find a floor plan that you think will work then take a careful look through the inclusions lists. Visit a few displays and talk with the builder about the options available, what you need and what you can afford. Many Project Home Builders have limitations on what land you can build on, especially sloping blocks. Check with the builder about site costs to prepare the land and any extra costs asociated with site preperations. When selecting a standard plan take into account the orientation of the block. Most people would agree that capturing the afternoon sun coming into your yard and living areas by facing them west would be ideal. The builder may be able to flip a standard design if required, check this early.
Custom Home builders create a one-of-a-kind home typically with an Architect in house to create a unique floor plan which suits your exact needs. The options available are a lot broader and you will be a lot more involved in the process if that's what you want. Typically custom home builds are only restricted on your budget and building limitations.
Check into the builder’s past work. Don’t be afraid to ask the builder for references before you sign a contract.
You can also check review sites like Product Review who have thousands of customer reviews about new home builders.
3. Credentials & Warranty
Before you start into discussions with a builder make sure your builder is adequately licensed and insured. You’ll also want to make sure the builder is a member of Master Builders Australia.
Check their cover of warranty insurance to cover defective and incomplete work. Pay particular attention to the duration of specific types of coverage. Your builder is obligated to provide you with a defects or maintanence period following the handover to give you an opportunity to call out concerns and have them repaired by the builder. This can be anywhere from 3 to 6 months or longer, check the building contract. Warranty periods cover major structural defects and vary from state to state generally around 6 years. Registered builders must also have domestic building insurance for all work over $16,000 to cover you if they go insolvent or disappear. But this insurance only gives you limited cover.