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selection of a builder

By 8 March 2014 21

Selection of a builder is a risky part of the dream home construction. Currently I am going through it and getting lost in so many builders in Canberra. I liked the display homes of BLD homes. Can anyone share his/her experience about working with them. Thanks

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21 Responses to
selection of a builder
water_lily 9:31 pm
08 Mar 14
#1

Having just been through the building process, I would say to anyone: don’t build in Canberra. I had a builder who was NEVER on site, made a lot of mistakes, and went nearly nine months past practical completion date until I took possession. I have now had to get a lawyer. The builder had refused to put any liquidated damages into the contract, so he felt he could take his time. One of his tradesmen turned up at my house the other day wanting money. I said he had to get his money from the builder. He called me a ‘f…..g trollop’. That says a lot about the builders and tradesmen in Canberra. I don’t know one person who has had a good building experience in Canberra.

curmudgery 9:49 am
09 Mar 14
#2

I recommend Richard Martin at Country Builders in Queanbeyan. They’ve done work for me and an acquaintance of mine – we’re both happy with the results, timing and workmanship.

twinmill 11:21 am
09 Mar 14
#3

Ive had a positive experience with builders in the ACT. You need to do two things, find builders who are recommended by prior clients and be prepared to pay a premium. We had a substantial extension and reno to half our house. Luckily the neighbors had a similar job done so I asked them for a recommendation. They were very happy with the work and critically they were able to live here and get on with the crew. The real winner was the builder, Santio Di Carli, wanted to work with his favorite architect, Nabil Ahdami. Having the architect and builder aligned is a massive advantage. The other thing to look for is a builder with a crew they have used for a long time. We knew we were on a winner when the subbies started telling us how much they liked working with Santino. Trust the architect, if we had taken the very first design we would have had a better outcome for the same price and the only design flaw would have been avoided. Finally, add 10-20% onto your budget. It wont be all their fault, these projects grow!!!

Sandman 8:05 pm
09 Mar 14
#4

For new homes, stick with one of the larger companies. They have the funds to back themselves up and their subbies rely on them for a lot of work so will try harder to not piss anyone off as it will cost them big time.

For extensions and renovations., my recommendation is Build Proffesional in Queanbeyan. We spent $230k on the house last year. It came in on time (I was moving furniture in 10 days earlier than the 3 month build date) and on budget. The whole thing went extremely smoothly and stress free and they worked with us so that we could live upstairs in our Inner north duplex while the entire bottom floor was extended and changed. They did everything from design onwards.

s 10:29 am
10 Mar 14
#5

On the weekend, we visited all of the display homes in Wright. The display home by Mayfair Homes is AMAZING!! You have to see it to believe it. The master bedroom is equivalent to a massive hotel room. The pool and outdoor areas are like from a magazine. In terms of quality, attention to detail and design, it’s streets ahead of any display home we’ve seen in Canberra (or from Sydney for that fact). We also noticed two of the larger Sydney firms have closed their display homes in Wright.

milkman 4:03 pm
10 Mar 14
#6

Having built and renovated several houses, I’d say the main problem is the tradies. Apart from a small group of genuinely good trades, Canberra tradies are slack, make a mess, don’t care about honouring agreements and do generally crap work. Tip for young players: don’t EVER pay a tradie until the job is complete to your satisfaction.

cranky 8:32 pm
10 Mar 14
#7

Said it before, will say it again.

The most important person in a build is the certifier. They dictate to the builder the standards required. Unfortunately, only the good ones will dictate to the builders when slackness occurs. Those employed by the builder are a waste of time. They have VERY selective vision when checking the build.

Do due diligence, employ your own certifier, and let the man earn his money ensuring the builder does the right thing.

screaming banshee 11:31 pm
10 Mar 14
#8

s said :

On the weekend, we visited all of the display homes in Wright. The display home by Mayfair Homes is AMAZING!! You have to see it to believe it. The master bedroom is equivalent to a massive hotel room. The pool and outdoor areas are like from a magazine. In terms of quality, attention to detail and design, it’s streets ahead of any display home we’ve seen in Canberra (or from Sydney for that fact). We also noticed two of the larger Sydney firms have closed their display homes in Wright.

Astroturfing is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message (e.g. political, advertising, religious or public relations) to make it appear as though it originates from grassroots participant(s). It is intended to give the statements more credibility by withholding information about the source’s financial connection. The term astroturfing is a derivation of AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass, a play on the word “grassroots”.

zorro29 1:50 pm
11 Mar 14
#9

water_lily said :

Having just been through the building process, I would say to anyone: don’t build in Canberra. I had a builder who was NEVER on site, made a lot of mistakes, and went nearly nine months past practical completion date until I took possession. I have now had to get a lawyer. The builder had refused to put any liquidated damages into the contract, so he felt he could take his time. One of his tradesmen turned up at my house the other day wanting money. I said he had to get his money from the builder. He called me a ‘f…..g trollop’. That says a lot about the builders and tradesmen in Canberra. I don’t know one person who has had a good building experience in Canberra.

Called you an f***ing trollop?? What an a*****e…you poor thing – I would’ve been so upset if that happened to me. I hope that nonsense is over for you but it doesn’t excuse that…ever!!! :( :( :(

Unfortunately, with respect of the OP, my experiences were the same with Canberra builders. The tradies are lazy (and messy – trash your property and leave rubbish/ciggie butts everywhere), the quality is horrendous, and they NEVER meet schedule. Add to that ACTPLA who are completely useless and grant CoO when there are clear breaches and things incomplete.

Plus the poor quality accepted in Canberra – it has a reasonably extreme climate and yet insulation standards are horrendous. Barely acceptable if you lived in a place that was 20oC all day, every day.

THEN if you want to fight the crooks in court (like I did), ACAT are more than happy to help you…if you’re the builder that is. You will get sc****** over at every step if you’re the buyer.

Thanks Canberra. I wouldn’t ever do it again and I wouldn’t ever buy in Canberra. The quality of all buildings there (including apartments) is too poor (and the market is stagnant/falling).

This experience was also echoed by pretty much everyone I knew who built…

TinyTank 2:43 pm
11 Mar 14
#10

screaming banshee said :

s said :

On the weekend, we visited all of the display homes in Wright. The display home by Mayfair Homes is AMAZING!! You have to see it to believe it. The master bedroom is equivalent to a massive hotel room. The pool and outdoor areas are like from a magazine. In terms of quality, attention to detail and design, it’s streets ahead of any display home we’ve seen in Canberra (or from Sydney for that fact). We also noticed two of the larger Sydney firms have closed their display homes in Wright.

Astroturfing is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message (e.g. political, advertising, religious or public relations) to make it appear as though it originates from grassroots participant(s). It is intended to give the statements more credibility by withholding information about the source’s financial connection. The term astroturfing is a derivation of AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass, a play on the word “grassroots”.

Exactly. This comment stands out like dogs b***. Most display homes in Wright are “amazing” because each builder finishes them to high standards. Anyone willing to pay big $$$ will get magazine-like outdoor areas.

I spent my Saturday afternoon in Wright looking for inspiration for my home due to be build in Coombs later this year. The comment by cranky is something I hadn’t heard before but will certainly be looking in to. Many thanks, cranky-person.

TinyTank 3:04 pm
11 Mar 14
#11

TinyTank said :

screaming banshee said :

s said :

On the weekend, we visited all of the display homes in Wright. The display home by Mayfair Homes is AMAZING!! You have to see it to believe it. The master bedroom is equivalent to a massive hotel room. The pool and outdoor areas are like from a magazine. In terms of quality, attention to detail and design, it’s streets ahead of any display home we’ve seen in Canberra (or from Sydney for that fact). We also noticed two of the larger Sydney firms have closed their display homes in Wright.

Astroturfing is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message (e.g. political, advertising, religious or public relations) to make it appear as though it originates from grassroots participant(s). It is intended to give the statements more credibility by withholding information about the source’s financial connection. The term astroturfing is a derivation of AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass, a play on the word “grassroots”.

Exactly. This comment stands out like dogs b***. Most display homes in Wright are “amazing” because each builder finishes them to high standards. Anyone willing to pay big $$$ will get magazine-like outdoor areas.

I spent my Saturday afternoon in Wright looking for inspiration for my home due to be build in Coombs later this year. The comment by cranky is something I hadn’t heard before but will certainly be looking in to. Many thanks, cranky-person.

*BUILT*

Oh the shame.

farout 12:19 pm
12 Mar 14
#12

water_lily said :

Having just been through the building process, I would say to anyone: don’t build in Canberra.

+1. From my experience, you will find three types of builders here:
a) Ridiculously Expensive
b) Dodgy
c) Both of the above.

Good luck with it, but I’d avoid it if could. I’d sell the land and buy a fully built house with a Certificate of Occupancy.

Shirokuma 10:31 pm
12 Mar 14
#13

Don’t know much about BLD.

We’re building with Blackett Homes. Probably about halfway through the build but haven’t had any problems so far. They’ve been quick and efficient. We visit the block probably 2-3 times a week and it is rare that something hasn’t been done in between visits. We’ve been a bit of a pain and changed our minds on things a bit, but their office people have been very responsive. Build quality looks good so far.

We almost went with Renaissance homes but the plan we liked was just out of our budget. GJ Gardner has a nice display house in Wright that’s worth a look. And David Reid Homes a few doors down seems promising.

BenMac 7:16 pm
13 Mar 14
#14

I’m currently building in Casey (Springbank Rise) with BLD.

Loved their display home and the quality of their finishes.

Bob and Lisa (plus Andre) have been fantastic and made the whole experience (so far) very easy for us.

Couldn’t recommend them more.

TheBusDriver 10:10 pm
13 Mar 14
#15

water_lily said :

Having just been through the building process, I would say to anyone: don’t build in Canberra. I had a builder who was NEVER on site, made a lot of mistakes, and went nearly nine months past practical completion date until I took possession. I have now had to get a lawyer. The builder had refused to put any liquidated damages into the contract, so he felt he could take his time. One of his tradesmen turned up at my house the other day wanting money. I said he had to get his money from the builder. He called me a ‘f…..g trollop’. That says a lot about the builders and tradesmen in Canberra. I don’t know one person who has had a good building experience in Canberra.

Water Lily I don’t suppose your builder was Sublime Constructions by any chance? They have been in the news a lot lately for all the wrong reasons; http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/dream-homes-turn-into-nightmares-for-canberra-buyers-20140212-32io5.html
and http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/homeowners-surprised-as-sublime-constructions-opts-to-appoint-administrator-20140221-33827.html

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 12:18 pm
14 Mar 14
#16

Q. Why do Canberra tradies have such a bad reputation?

A. Because they deserve to.

That’s my experience after a couple of builds and a number of renos.

JimCharles 8:33 am
15 Mar 14
#17

Threads like this are what puts me off about building a house in Canberra. I see it on large projects too…the lack of competitiveness in the market means that work is sloppy and expensive, the power is with the subby and there’s nothing anybody can do, the main builder needs them for other jobs so can’t protect the customer in preference to his workers.
It’s like a walk into the unknown and many people haven’t got the financial security to risk that, especially if the builder won’t commit to penalties for lateness.

BerraBoy68 12:21 pm
15 Mar 14
#18

My experience is a bit different. We’ve just gone through an extensive house extension/renovation and can’t speak more highly of our builder (Wayne Goodall) or any of his tradies and subcontractors. The job was finished on time and to a very high quality. Wayne treated us with so much respect throughout the process and dd such a great job, that we have no hesitation in recommending him or working with him again. He also works with a really good architect and between them, they’ve designed and built our dream home.

gobechara 12:46 am
17 Mar 14
#19

Thanks to sandman and cranky for your advices and benmac for sharing your experience

MightyJoe 1:08 pm
17 Mar 14
#20

Could be my builder… if you lookup my post about my particular builder…

Not bust though and despite threats of legal action (and actually commencing it) didn’t seem to faze him.
Very disappointed with building in Canberra. Funny thing was (if I could say that) was that I chose my current builder over Sublime… so caught a bit of a bullet with my current builder, but not as much as i would have if i’d gone with Sublime. The house we were going to buy from them is still (18mths later) not even at lock up stage.

My old man used to build (>10year ago) and his opinion is that ever since ACTPLA got out of the certification game, its all gone down hill from there. a lot of the issues I had would never have been approved by the ACTPLA inspectors of his day.

TheBusDriver said :

water_lily said :

Having just been through the building process, I would say to anyone: don’t build in Canberra. I had a builder who was NEVER on site, made a lot of mistakes, and went nearly nine months past practical completion date until I took possession. I have now had to get a lawyer. The builder had refused to put any liquidated damages into the contract, so he felt he could take his time. One of his tradesmen turned up at my house the other day wanting money. I said he had to get his money from the builder. He called me a ‘f…..g trollop’. That says a lot about the builders and tradesmen in Canberra. I don’t know one person who has had a good building experience in Canberra.

Water Lily I don’t suppose your builder was Sublime Constructions by any chance? They have been in the news a lot lately for all the wrong reasons; http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/dream-homes-turn-into-nightmares-for-canberra-buyers-20140212-32io5.html
and http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/homeowners-surprised-as-sublime-constructions-opts-to-appoint-administrator-20140221-33827.html

water_lily 8:20 pm
21 Apr 14
#21

TheBusDriver said :

water_lily said :

Having just been through the building process, I would say to anyone: don’t build in Canberra. I had a builder who was NEVER on site, made a lot of mistakes, and went nearly nine months past practical completion date until I took possession.

Water Lily I don’t suppose your builder was Sublime Constructions by any chance? They have been in the news a lot lately for all the wrong reasons; http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/dream-homes-turn-into-nightmares-for-canberra-buyers-20140212-32io5.html
and http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/homeowners-surprised-as-sublime-constructions-opts-to-appoint-administrator-20140221-33827.html

Busdriver, no my builder was not Sublime. My building company’s initials are ABG. Some of these people should not have a building licence. Two years doing a CIT course and a few years as a site supervisor does NOT make a builder. They are in it for the money. They have never picked up a tool in their lives; they make phone calls but don’t supervise anything; they have no problem solving skills; they can build a house to a formula but ask them to do anything different and they cannot do it.

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