pros and cons of hiring a builder

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Home Builder: Save Time, Money & Hassle

If you’ve been thinking of starting a new home build, then you know the stress starts before a single brick is laid.

And chances are you’ve thought about streamlining the process by hiring a home builder. But with so many options to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about where to start. Choose the wrong home builder and you can face costly budget blowouts, frustrating construction delays, and end up with a house that just never truly feels like home.

To help you save time, money & plenty of headaches, we’ve rounded up the pros and cons of hiring a home builder plus a few practical, easy-to-follow tips to help you choose the best that Brisbane has to offer.

If you want to learn more about home builders, check out our other resources:

1. How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Builder in Fairfield?

2. How to Choose the Best Builder in Fairfield

3. Builder vs. Carpenter

4. What to Do Before Hiring a Builder

3 tips to hire the right home builder

Step #1 - Research

Go online and look for builders around Fairfield and Brisbane that have experience, reliability, and a good reputation.

Check all your candidates and make sure that they offer clear, concise information about how they work and run a new build project. It’s also helpful to look for project galleries which can show you what their styles are like as well as how many projects they’ve completed that are comparable to yours. Finally, look for customer testimonials to see what other people’s experiences have been like.

When you’re doing this research, don’t be afraid to reach out to family, friends, or neighbours and see who they’ve employed for similar jobs. People you know will typically give you an unbiased and clear overview of the job so you know you’ll be able to trust what they say.

Step #2 - Reduce Risk

Once you’ve narrowed things down to a few top candidates, it’s important to do your due diligence and make sure that they check all the right boxes. This can help reduce the risk of budget blowouts, frustrating delays or worst of all, companies going under.
Here are some ways to reduce your risk:

  • Evaluating their experience: If the company has been in business in your area for awhile, you can be more confident that they are financially stable and that they will be able to effectively address any concerns or hiccups that arise during the building process
  • Check their affiliations: Are they registered with the right bureaus and organisations? Have they received any awards or mentions for their work? Looking into all of this is a great way to determine their suitability ofr the job.
  • Looking into their safety procedures: Do they emphasise safety? Do they have all the right insurance and licences to get the job done? Do they put their team’s security first? If the answer to any of these questions is “no” or “I’m not sure,” you probably should look elsewhere

Check warranties: Do they offer product or quality warranties? Strong warranties are a good indicator that the team will be able to deliver what you’re looking for. If this information isn’t easily available, they may end up leaving you in the dust.

Step #3 - Open a line of communication

If a company seems to check all the boxes, it’s time to reach out to them and get some direct information. When you give them a call or meet, there are a few questions you can ask to help see if they are the right fit. Specifically, you can ask: 

  • “Do you have references?” – They should be able to give you the contact information of past clients, and they should have no problem doing so. 
  • “What’s your communication style?” – They may not answer this question honestly, but it’s important for you to evaluate how easy they are to contact, how thoroughly they respond to your questions, and how quickly they make themselves available. A good rule of thumb? If they’re not available when you’re putting out feelers, they won’t be as available as you want during the project – and that’s enver a good thing. 
  • “What’s your bid price?” – This is an important question to give you a sense of the competition and what price point to look out for. If a certain company gives you an unusually low bid, for example, it may be a sign that they don’t use quality materials or that you can expect “surprise” charges later on. 
  • “Do you guarantee your work?” – Asking about warranties up-front will help you see if they plan on delivering on quality construction. 
  • “Can I get a quote and/or construction deliverables in writing?” – This is an important one. Warranties, guarantees, timelines, and other key details should all be delivered in writing – and you’ll want to read through the document carefully to make sure that the information matches with your expectations. 
  • “How do you budget?” – It’s important to get a rough idea of how a potential contractor calculates costs. This will help you avoid surprises and clearly understand exactly where your money is going. 
  • “What kind of materials do you use?” – Finally, it’s super important to ask about materials. You don’t just want a home or a renovation that looks good – you want it to actually be good quality and long-lasting. Asking about materials will not only give you a sense of the contractor’s range of projects, but also their familiarity with certain materials and build types. 

How much will a new home build cost?

The next thing to consider: cost. 

After all, you want to build your dream home or extension but chances are you’ll be working with a specific budget in mind. Getting a general idea of what the cost could be will help you understand if this is feasible for you. 

With that in mind, while we can’t give you an exact estimate without knowing the specifics of your project, the cost will vary based on the following factors: 

  • Size: Are you building an entirely new home or just expanding? The square footage of the job will be one of the biggest determining factors of the cost. 
  • Design: The more intricate or elaborate your design, the more expensive the overall build is likely to be. If you’re considering elaborate hallways or a complex layout, then you should expect a higher cost. 
  • Appliances & Extras: The appliances you choose for your kitchen, bathroom, basement, and other key areas will also contribute significantly to the cost. 
  • Materials: High-quality materials will raise the initial price. However, they will also last longer than their cheaper counterparts – so that’s something to keep in mind. 

What are the benefits of hiring a home builder?

✔ Convenience: If you’re not an expert, you can get overwhelmed with all the things there are to oversee during new construction, including carpentry, plumbing, security system installation – you name it. Hiring a professional can help you with this process, and ensure that no detail goes missed.

✔ Savings: Trying to manage something on your own can lead to ballooning or unexpected costs, particularly if mistakes are made. Home builders not only avoid these kinds of issues, but also have access to the right contacts and discounts to lower overall pricing.

✔ Experience: Dedicated home builders will have expertise to make sure that everything goes exactly right, and that can be priceless during a stressful new home construction process.

What are the downsides to hiring a home builder?

✘ Cost: Though a home builder will save you money over mistakes and DIY, it will still be a large investment, and you have to make sure that you’re ready for it.

✘ Lack of control: When you hire a builder, the project is in their hands, not yours. This can be frustrating, particularly if you wind up with a team that doesn’t have very open communication or that doesn’t fully understand your vision.

✘ Lack of flexibility: In the same vein, you’re beholden to a builder’s timeline, and this can also lead to some frustration. You’ll need to speak to your home builder to understand the clear timeline of construction and any deliverables along the way.

Final thoughts: to build or not to build

There is no right or wrong choice when you’re considering hiring a builder, selling, or working on a project on your own. That said, if you have the right information and ask the right questions, you’ll have all the information you need to make the right decision for you and your loved ones.

If you have any immediate lingering questions, we’re here to help! Feel free to reach out to us here or call us on 0405 270 225 and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.