It’s time. You have invested endless hours pouring over home magazines, and years dreaming of the day you have your luxury, custom-home built. Now you are finally ready to create that showpiece that is a true reflection of who you are and your success in life.
Now that you’re ready to press the button, choosing a luxury home builder on the Sunshine Coast can be daunting … especially considering that selecting the right builder to construct your dream home is the most important step to seeing your dream turn into a reality.
For a smooth, hassle-free process and a stunning result, here are 7 questions to ask to select the right luxury builder for your Sunshine Coast home:
1) How many years have you been in business?
Know that it may take years for a luxury house builder to build up the experience to be a master of viable building practices and a master at building quality. Knowing how long the builder has been in the business, can put your mind at ease by establishing the credibility of the company you are entrusting your dreams to.
At Shadforth Lythgo, we’ve been building luxury, custom-built homes for 20 years and we have built a reputation of being one of the most respected builders on the coast so you can rest easy knowing that we have a strong track record.
2) Have you won any awards?
The HIA and Master Builders Association regularly recognize the workmanship of top quality builders through their annual awards. Winning an award or multiple awards means that the builder has a reputation for quality. (You can check out our award wins here).
3) Can you give me references from past clients?
It’s always a red flag if the builder fails to provide you with the credentials of previous clients to call. If they provide you with a list of references, be sure to call each one individually and ask important questions to garner an honest account of their experience. Ask about the credibility of the builder and any problems they might have encountered.
Here are just some of the client testimonials that we have received over the years:
- “Shadforth Lythgo’s standard of finish is second to none – they are incredibly meticulous. They are up there with outstanding!” Richard Smith, Noosa
- “We were very impressed with the level of communication we received from Shadforth Lythgo – from the beginning to the end of the project, their office and estimation staff and the directors themselves were exceptional communicators.”. Rob & Maree Major, Noosa
- “Both Tony and Dean were very personable. We appreciated the way they dealt with us face-to-face. Their strongest attribute was their positive attitude towards issues. They were easy to communicate with and took a solutions approach to problems.” Brant Harris, Noosa
4) Can we also look at past examples of properties they have built?
This will give you a good feel for the kind of design and workmanship they deliver.
5) If there are any increases in labour costs or materials, how soon will you let me know?
Most variations are cause from Provisional Sums (Items plus labour) or Prime costs (Items only). These are items that couldn’t be chosen or decided on prior to the contract being signed and an estimate $ figure is agreed upon eg. things like tiles, door handles and various fittings.
Builders are required to get the Provisional Sums estimates within 10% as long as the scope stays similar. That’s why it’s important that your builder asks you the right questions at the outset to get a good feel for all the items you want.
Otherwise, this can create unforeseen expenses and also means that there was a possibility other builders in a tender situation were actually closer or cheaper on some occasions.
That’s why we always spend time talking with our clients about these items at the beginning of the process and offer suggestions and solutions to help the customer make their final selections.
5) Who will supervise my job?
It is important to know if the luxury home builder is going to manage the entire construction of your home. If they are, does the builder closely supervise and inspect every detail and stage of the construction process?
Since the site supervisor has the closest involvement in the day to day construction activity, your builder should make sure they have a supervisor who keeps in touch, supervises the work efficiently, and has an excellent comprehension of building principles.
The site supervisor at Shadforth Lythgo, as well as all of our construction team, have worked for us for many years and are well known for doing outstanding work. Not only that, one of our directors, Dean Lythgo is very hands-on with each project It is not unusual to see him elbows deep in concrete setting up brackets at footing stage or on his hands and knees scrubbing floors at handover stage.
Employing people with the same mindset is important, as well. That way there is a consistency with the way the company handles itself and the staff are trained in all aspects of the role.
One of the greatest highlights of this is how much importance we have put into training young kids with over 50 odd apprentices having worked under us. They often end up staying on with us and working for us for years. Some spread their wings and leave us but often come back to us for advice and guidance as they start out on their own.
6) How often will you keep me updated?
From day one, establish with the builder if you should expect updates from him or the building supervisor? Plus, how often do you want the updates? Weekly, daily, or every fortnight?
Establish a communication plan with the builder so that you can communicate without disruptions. Also, ask your luxury home builder if they are happy for you to visit your home while it is getting constructed, and how often you are allowed to check on it.
We keep clients informed with weekly meetings. We also give clients access to BuilderTrend which is a software program that shows weekly and sometimes daily progress photos on the project so they can see it take shape.
BuilderTrend allows you to track the progress of the job, make selections or see where you are at with your PC at work or walking around on your mobile device.