In Australia, we currently have three different types of a house builder – the 'high-end custom house builder', the 'production house builder', and the 'small, hands-on house builder'. If you are looking to build a house, you need to determine which of these builders is the best for your project, and here's how:
The 'High-End Custom House Builder'
Generally, you will find this builder working out of an expensive office somewhere in the city, driving a BMW convertible and refusing to take on a project that will cost less than $ 800,000. Whilst these guys are extremely good at what they do, the everyday family or couple can not always afford their exorbitant prices.
The floor plan and other aspects of a custom home are drawn up by an architect who works extensively with the customer and the contractor to come up with the final design. The customer is usually responsible for securing the land and the loan for the project (although this is not always the case), and the building process itself is always a lengthy one.
The 'Production House Builder'
This type of builder is often found skulking around housing estates where the majority of the work is located, with a number of set floor plans and layouts that they offer to potential customers. Whilst buyers are generally pretty satisfied with the work that these guys do, issues can be caused when changes are made to the layout or design of the home – production contractors are not that good at working outside of the norm.
Some of the larger production companies will have over 50 different houses that customers can choose from, often with a few additions or subtractions, as well as a choice in façade. Smaller production companies, however, could have less than 10 houses to choose from and customers will be able to make little in the way of changes.
The 'Small Hands-On House Builder'
This type of builder will either be an up-coming apprentice who is working his way up to being a 'production builder' or a seasoned contractor who has had enough of the hustle and bustle of the other jobs. These guys will only build a few houses a year (never more than about 4 or 5) and are not interested in expanding their business any further.
These builders may have some general floor plans that they supply their customers with, but they are much more accustomed to changes being made to these plans, as well as working from original plans altogether.
Generally, your budget will determine the type of house builder that you employ to build your dream home. If, however, you have the choice between a production builder and a hands-on one, most people would recommend the latter because of the personalized service you receive.