Choosing the Right Home Builder in Coffs Harbour

Let’s assume for a moment that you’ve made the decision to build a new home – we think that’s a great idea! Now you have to choose a builder. There are literally dozens of builders on the Mid North Coast from which to choose. How do you select the right one from all the home builders in Coffs Harbour?

How do you pick the good from the bad? How can you tell which builders will be honest and transparent and which builders will take you for a ride? Where will you find quality and value? A new home may be the largest investment you will make in your life so it is important to get this decision right! 

There are a few simple steps to help you choose a builder who will create a quality house and provide excellent value. 

Checklist - How to Choose a Home Builder in Coffs Harbour

Run Basic Background Checks

Step one is really simple. Check that any builder you are considering has the right type of licence. A builder must have a licence to do any building work costing more than $5000. Conducting a check is quick, easy, and free! Just visit the NSW Department of Fair Trading website. The licence check will also tell you if a builder has previously had their licence cancelled or suspended, or if they have limitations on the type of work they can accept. 

You can also use the online check to determine if your builder has the right type of home warranty insurance in place for your project. 

You should also check if a builder is a member of one of the major Industry Associations, either the Housing Industry Association or Master Builders. Being a member of one of these associations does not guarantee that a builder is reputable, however membership does mean that the builder has agreed to abide by the code of ethics and is undertaking regular professional development.

Research Reputations

Once you’ve carried out basic background checks the next step is to consider a builder’s reputation.  Check their online reviews.  Online reviews can be manipulated so they should not be your only guide, but they can be helpful.

Ask for recommendations from your friends and family. It’s likely you know people who can offer a first-hand reviews of many local builders.  

One very helpful tip is to request contact details for a few previous clients.  If a builder is as good as they claim, they should have no trouble providing you with three or four phone numbers for happy previous clients. Make use of those contacts – call some previous clients and ask questions about the build process and quality.

Consider Transparency

When you first start researching home builders in Coffs Harbour, you will quickly form a long list of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask! A good builder will be happy to answer your questions and explain how they approach the building process. 

Ask about finishes, industry experience, sub contractor relationships, project management strategy, and anything else that pops into your head. 

If a builder is unwilling or unable to answer simple questions, that should raise major red flags! Building a new home is not like purchasing any other product. It is a process that will take months. Thus, it is important to have confidence that your builder will be transparent and approachable throughout the entire build process. 

Carefully Inspect Quality

You are likely to live in your new home for many years, so you want it built to a high standard! Home builders in Coffs Harbour have various quality standards. Visit display homes and look carefully at finish details. Is the paint coverage even? Are the tiles straight? Do the fixtures feel solid? If something feels cheap or poorly finished, it probably is.

It is also important to look past the glossy brochures and fancy marketing. Some high volume national home builders have large marketing budgets and very clever staging strategies. All those bright colours and expensive furnishings in their display homes are really just a sales tactic, and don’t tell you anything about the quality or durability of their homes. 

Evaluate Value

Price is a key consideration for almost everyone looking for a home builder in Coffs Harbour. But price and value aren’t always the same thing. Look for a builder that offers more than just a cheap price. Low quality finishes and inclusions may cost less up front, but you may end up paying down the track as fixtures start wearing out prematurely or you need to undertake vital maintenance earlier than you expected.

Compare Inclusions

A new home builder’s inclusions list, sometimes called a Standard Specification, tells you what is included in their quoted prices. Unfortunately, there is no standardised way to present an inclusions list, so it’s not usually possible to exactly compare the inclusions offered by each builder. Check these lists carefully, and pay particular attention to what is not included. 

At Balance Design and Construction, we offer a comprehensive inclusions list so there are very few additional costs for you to consider after your home is built. We include the television antenna, clothesline, letterbox, data points, fly screens, and even a water filter.

Many builders offer a basic inclusions list, which allows them to advertise unrealistically low prices. Once you add in the cost of extra items, the final build price is much less competitive. 

Another trick some builders use is to offer only very limited options in their standard ranges. The carpet and tiles in their Standard Specification may only come in a handful of ugly colours, and any change will be considered an upgrade. 

It is also important to ask how a builder charges for upgrades. Do they have transparent pricing? Do they charge an administration fee every time you choose to make an upgrade? Usually these questions don’t come up until after you’ve signed a contract, at which point it’s too late.

Personality Compatibility

One important question to ask when choosing a new home builder in Coffs Harbour is “do you work well together?” Do you share a similar ethos? Do your personalities mesh? 

Building a new home is a process. You’re going to be interacting with your builder dozens of times over six months or longer, so your relationship will be vital

At Balance Design and Construction, we get enjoyment from our client relationships. We like to sit down and have a coffee with our clients and get to know them. We want to understand their motivations and needs. Getting to know our clients in this way means we can offer better service, and in the end, build better homes. 

Because we get to know our clients personally, we can personalise our homes to suit each family.

The Wrap Up

Choosing a builder for your new home is definitely a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be stressful or worrying. Take it step by step, ask lots of questions, and don’t forget to look past the price tag and consider value, inclusions, personality compatibility, and quality. 

With the right builder chosen, you are well on your way to creating a house you’ll love! 

Why don’t you start by calling Balance Design and Construction? We’re a local Coffs Coast new home builder. We offer a comprehensive inclusions list, accessible owners and project managers, and excellent value and quality.

Our number is 1300 056 298 or you can reach us over at our contact page.

Home Builder in Coffs Harbour


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Our Location

I’m thinking about building a new home – how can Balance DC help me?

The team at Balance provides expert assistance at every stage of the residential construction process, from initial feasibility analyses to final touch-ups. Our in-house design team has produced a portfolio of exceptional new home designs, and we also offer custom design services using state-of-the-art design software (including 3D renderings you can view on your smartphone or VR glasses!).

We have solutions for steep sites, beachfront lots, and unusually-shaped blocks. We take care of Council paperwork and approvals, and provide professional interior design advice to ensure your home is stylish and practical.

Boutique Developments and Multi-Builds

Seeking a construction partner for your next investment project? Balance are the Coffs Coast experts in townhouse and boutique developments, with multiple successful projects delivered over recent years, producing excellent returns for our clients.

We offer a unique service to investors, with our ability to handle every stage of your development, from early concept plans through to completion. We provide excellent value, and can even put you in touch with quality local real estate agents to help sell or rent your new development.

We also offer turnkey development solutions so investors can start earning a return sooner with less hassle.

Woolgoolga Display Home
Can I really afford a custom home?

Unfortunately, the big builders have convinced new home buyers that the only way to afford a new home is to settle for one of their standard plans or pre-arranged house and land packages. But why settle for a home designed for someone else?

A home designed to meet your specific needs may be much more affordable than you realise! At Balance, our pricing is transparent and we’ll happily tailor our designs to meet your budget and the family’s needs.

You’ve got nothing to lose – visit our display home, or give us a call today on 1300 056 298 to arrange a free consultation.

Get Started Now

Contact Balance Design and Construction today on 1300 056 298 to start planning your new luxury Coffs Harbour home!

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