Tips for Choosing a Home Builder

Wendy Z.
Wendy Z.Published on

Ready to build your dream home? For the best outcome, a lot of planning prior to building is recommended, so here are some tips to help you with choosing a home builder.

Price and Budget

Firstly, with the aid of your architect or building designer you need to put together a formal tender package containing your building schedule and plans. With this tender package you can request a quote from a home builder.

Aim for at least 3-5 quotes from different builders. Each quote should be clearly itemised for all materials and labour involved in all stages of construction. When comparing quotes, make sure to compare each section of the quote, not just the total figure. Consult your architect, building designer or third party professional if you notice any discrepancies or huge price differences.

Remember, the builder with the lowest quote isn’t always the best choice. You don’t want a builder who uses inferior quality materials, cuts corners or sacrifices quality workmanship for a lower price. On the other hand, be wary of builders who quote a grossly large sum for their services - you don’t want to be taken for a ride.

Also be wary of promotions that offer free inclusions like an air conditioning system, pool etc. Make sure you read the terms and conditions of the promotion, as these costs are often hidden elsewhere.

Reputation and Financial Security

Always check their previous work and if possible have a physical walk-through of a home they’ve built. Additionally, consulting an engineer to walk through the property with you may be worth the cost.

References can be tricky since if you ask a potential builder about previous clients, they may be quick to hand you the details of specific clients chosen by them because they know they’ll receive a glowing recommendation. This makes a great research tool because you can read genuine, unbiased reviews from thousands of clients of different home builders. For more information on how to filter through and read reviews most relevant to you, read our guide to getting the most out of's home builder pages.

It may also be worth conducting a credit check on the company you intend to choose. With plenty of competition in the market, not all builders are in a financially secure state and you don’t want to be left with a builder who can’t complete your home.


It's best to choose a builder that is based nearby or familiar with the area you intend to build in. Builders outside of their local area will most likely add a contingency to their quote or you could end up with delays or a higher than expected bill to account for additional expenses (e.g. longer transportation times & distance for goods)

To help narrow down your options and find a builder that's in your state, make sure to use the Location filter on our Home Builders category page. Once on a listing page, you can filter for reviews for a specific office within the company. Listings are structured by offices so that reviews by clients who used the same team can be grouped together. This is particularly helpful when large home builder companies like G.J. Gardner Homes have over 80 different offices throughout the country.

Licence and Insurance

It’s a legal requirement in every state except for Tasmania for a builder to have Home Building Compensation (HBC), also known as Home Warranty Insurance (HWI) and Domestic Building Insurance in Victoria. They should also have Public Liability Insurance which covers the legal liability to pay compensation to others who have suffered personal injury or property damage as a result of their business activities.

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