The decision to build a brand new house is likely to be one of the biggest (and most expensive) decisions you make. With this in mind, it is crucial that the people you choose have the right building and project management skills to help you achieve your dream. Getting the right team together can be the difference between creating a home you love or one you wish you had never started.

Not 100% sure about choosing a new build property over an existing home?
Take a look at our list of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a new build property.

There are many factors involved when choosing a new home builder – all are important in making sure you find the best builder for the job. 

Location, location, location!

If you know the location you are looking to build your new house in, the first thing to do is find recommended builders who operate in that area.

 

Choosing a new home builder | Do Your Research 

While it is easy to get drawn into the promises of the glossy marketing brochures, shiny show homes and promises from companies; it is important to do your own research when choosing a new home builder. 

Firstly, check the company for customer reviews, accreditations and awards. If they have an ‘NHBC Pride in the Job Award’ this shows that the site manager is developing buildings of a high quality and standard.

Check the builder’s rating with the Home Builders Federation and how this has fluctuated over the last few years – this should give you a good idea of how they deal with customers. 

Public reviews such as Google and social media reviews will give you a good insight into the home builder’s quality and how other customers have found them. It is always good to remember that often reviews made publicly will be complaints rather than praise. To get a clearer picture look through reviews and note any consistency in complaint issues.

choosing a new home builder. Research

Visit the building site

If you are looking to buy on a particular development, make sure to visit the area and take a look around at other homes on the development to get an idea of the area as well as the size, style and quality of the homes. It’s a good idea to visit the development at different times to get a feel for it (in the day, in the evenings, on the weekdays and the weekdays), this will give you an idea of how busy the area is. 

The organisation of the development site will be a good indicator of the standard of the homes to be built. Usually, if the development looks tidy and is well organised, then your new home will have been built with care and attention. If, on the other hand, the development is untidy and looks disorganised then the same care will have been given to your new home. 

If the development is unfinished, ask to visit another development as this will give you a more realistic view of the quality of the home in, contrast to a sales brochure or the show home. 

Ask questions… and then ask more!

There will be lots of information you can find out online and by looking around the building site, however there will be information that only the builder can answer. 

The more information you can find out about your new home builder the better. Arrange to meet them and ask as many questions as possible. Cover all bases from the development area, to completion time to procedures, warranties and price (is there is any room to negotiate?).

Leave no area uncovered so you can be sure you are armed with all the information you need before choosing a new home builder. The more information your new home builder can offer and how transparent they are is a good sign, clear and regular communication is an important part of a successful build.

For more information on what you need to know about your new build home, take a look at our blog:
30 Questions to ask your home builder

Speaking to builder about buying a new build. choosing new home builder

Find out about after service

When you meet with your potential home builder, find out as much as you can about their aftercare service. Asking questions like ‘what is your complaint procedure?’ And, ‘what are your procedures with snagging issues?’. This will give you an idea of how efficient they are. 

When the home is built and your property undergoes a snagging survey, any snagging issues in a new property are the responsibility of the builder. It is unusual not to find any snagging issues in a new home build, so it is important to know in advance that the home builder will be on hand to get these resolved in a timely manner and to a good standard. 

 

Thinking about buying your first home? These are the 10 best first-time home buyer tips. 

 

Ian Lively, Managing Director at Lively Professional Services. Housing and Snagging Survey Expert with over 40 years of experience.