As independent building consultants we are often asked “who we should build with?” This is always a question for you, but collectively we have those we would recommend to you and those we won’t advance. What factors do we consider relevant in your determination as to who you should choose:

  1. Genuine respect for you the client, actions speak louder than a logo;
  1. Respect for your role in the journey and not just money
  1. Assistance and explanation at all stages, from the first meeting, through construction to delivery.
  1. The internal quality assurance processes, are they trying only to meet the minimum standards or exceed them?
  1. Are there terms that are aimed at deterring you from having an independent person comment on the construction method, such as wanting to add extra days on the build time when a report is provided
  1. Do the special conditions respect the applicable legislation?
  1. Will the builder permit amendments to the contract?
  1. Is the contract being offered a standard term contract issued by the relevant industry body, or is it amended from the standard form used by others?
  1. Is the build method or tolerances compliant to Australian Standards or to some display house, whose location is not stated, nor are the tolerances to which it was built.
  1. Have the builders special conditions and tolerances been provided before you are provided with a contract to sign? 
  1. Have the contractual specifications been provided in draft form before you are asked to make any payment or sign any agreement?

Ask the question up front. Can I use an Independent Inspector of my choosing without conditions imposed by the builder. Then ask if the builder can confirm in an email that they encourage the rights of the home owners to have an independent review. The recommended builders will do this.

We suggest you should look at the attached list of who to build with based on the following criteria.

Builders that seek to build a house respecting the customers journey and dreams. 

Builders that look at assisting the home owner through, not just the sales process, but the most important phase, that being the construction of your home.

Builders that have a good internal quality assurance program that seeks to comply with the requirements of the Australian Standards. Great builders try and exceed the Australian Standards.

Some builders look to special condition in the contract to try and negate the homeowner’s rights. They put up all manner of barriers in an effort to restrict your rights of entry to check the works. Or more so your right to have a competent person look at the builders workmanship and issue a report.

Some builders use words in the special conditions to control the home owner. To bluff the home owner out of what are the homeowners rights in law.

The law forbids some of these actions, however, there is no real proactive enforcement and the builders know it. So in the contract it goes.

A standard form contract is a HIA or MBA format that has not be redacted. Some builders have changed the Standard form contract with a statement on the front page that says (This contract is available only for use by XXXX Homes Pty Ltd. Some standard HIA terms and conditions have been modified.) The modifications are in the homeowners favour or the builders? You can guess and your guess is probably correct.

Some builders have “Contract Specifications” that remove the homeowners rights to have the home built to the Australian Standards. They do this with words like “ XXXXX Homes have developed a high quality of finish that is equal to our display homes or better”.  The home owner agrees that the Display home is the benchmark if a dispute occurs over the finish. Nothing stating that the Display is built to the Standards.

One builder has a 50 plus page of “Contract Specifications”. It is not disclosed until you are committed to the final tender process, colour selection and 4 months of meetings. Then and only then is the contract rolled out.

Good builders welcome the defect list as this allows the builder to get on top of defects before they create issues years later.

This saves thousands of dollars in repairs at some time in the future, and could also stop costly legal battles.

In some states there is no registration for any of the trades or the Supervisor. That is the supervisor could work in retail selling perfume one day and the next be your site supervisor.

The same for a Construction Manager and a Building Manager. Victoria is such a place. The builder that holds the License doesn’t have to live in the country, he or she, can control the business from any part of the world.

When a client hears the words “its within Tolerance” the question back should be “Where does it say that?”

Independent consultants bring independent thinking and assessment.   We assess from a view of quality, finish and what is required.  We do not get rewarded by the builder and we are not required to meet KPI’s based on houses started or completed. We are not concerned by budget requirements or increasing profits.

Builders Who Embrace Independent Inspections

Victorian builders (in no particular order):

  • Metricon Homes
  • Simonds Homes
  • Darbecca Homes
  • Lovlee Homes
  • Carter Grange Homes
  • AHB
  • Sherridon
  • Soho Living
  • Marque Property Group
  • First Place
  • Evo Homes
  • Dennis Family
  • Henley Homes
  • Sanctum Homes
  • Elite New Homes
  • Exclusive Homes
  • Australian Building Company
  • Langdon Homes Ballarat

Queensland builders (in no particular order):

  • Simonds Q’ld
  • Plantation
  • Porter Davis Q’ld
  • Hallmark
  • Metricon
  • Brighton Homes
  • ABC

Unfortunately, there are those who do not embrace the role that independent inspections plays or the matters that it identifies, those who will seek to charge you a fee for independent assessment and those who will, regardless of the merit and the evidence, refuse to accept the reports and comments from independent inspectors. Often these organisations will also have special conditions* that many independent inspectors are openly critical of.

Included in the ranks of those who are refusing to accept reports or wish to charge clients fees or have special conditions that we are critical ** of are:

The following information is based on builders operating in Victoria.

  • Carlisle Homes
  • Arden Homes
  • McMaster Designer Homes Ballarat
  • Frenken Homes
  • Grandeur Homes
  • Orion Homes
  • Burbank Homes
  • JG King Homes
  • Aston Homes
  • Aycon Building & Construction
  • Metronest Homes
  • Stroud Homes Vic
  • VM Builders
  • Mega Homes
  • Omnia Homes
  • Mimosa Homes
  • Joestarr Homes
  • Bentley Homes
  • Creation Homes
  • 3 Point Homes
  • Kalwanu Homes
  • Luxton Homes
  • United Builders
  • Escape Homes
  • Snowdon Homes
  • Symmetric Homes – Port Melbourne
  • Bright Homes Constructions
  • GJ Gardner Bacchus Marsh
  • Orbit Homes
  • Semore Homes

The following information is based on Builder operating in Queensland.

  • Coral Homes
  • Stroud Homes Q’ld
  • GJ Gardener Springfeild
  • FRD Homes
  • Orbit Homes.
  • Integrale Homes
  • Burbank Q’ld
  • Bold Living
  • GJ Gardner Queensland.
  • Oracle Platinum Homes
  • GJ Gardener Sunshine Coast South Minyama