Viewing display homes is always a very exciting part of the new home build journey. Leading up to this point, your inspirations and ideas have been pictured in your mind or on pages in front of you, but now, you get to see some of the work in action!
This is a significant milestone in your research and planning phase, so here’s a handy guide of things to consider, and how to make the most of your display home visits!
Know what you want before you go
Are you looking for a single storey, a double-storey, a duplex? How many bedrooms do you want? Do you need a granny flat? A rumpus room for the kids (or the adults!)?
Not all builders will offer exactly what you’re after, so before you go anywhere, sit down and work out what you need and what you won’t compromise on.
Some builders offer 3D virtual tours of their display homes, which will enable you to better prepare for a physical visit, as well as note down any questions you might have.
If you already have land, know your block!
Be familiar with the specs of the land that you’re going to build on. Details such as the fall of the land and the dimensions of the block will define what you can build and help set the parameters for your new home, on your piece of land.
This information will help your builder work with you to choose a design that’s right for you, especially if you’re building on difficult or unusually-shaped land.
Focus on the floor plan
It’s easy to fall in love with the style of a display home, but remember to keep coming back to your desired floor plan and how you and your family will live in the space. Make sure that your needs are being met, whether that’s wanting your children’s bedrooms separated from the rest of the home, or the inclusion of an outdoor entertainment area for family and friends.
If you find a floor plan that is almost perfect, ask the builder what your options are when it comes to making changes and find out about costs involved.
As a general note, builders can face limitations on what they can build in their display home blocks, so remember, if you’re after something specific that you can’t see – just ask about it!
Look at the quality of the build
When it comes to your new home, you want to be working with a builder that you can trust. Display homes are dressed up beautifully from an interior design perspective, so keep an eye out for any attempts at concealing cracking, and areas that look unfinished or as if they’ve been rushed.
Note the calibre of craftsmanship in the display homes that you view, as this will highlight whether a builder delivers on both aesthetic and quality.
Find out what’s included
All builders should be able to readily provide you with an inclusions list. This is a list of items that you can expect to have installed in your new home.
Do your research and compare inclusions between builders, as they will have different products and brands that they work with. Are the builder’s inclusions high quality? Do they offer good value for money?
As a start, look for builders who provide options for the majority of their included items, as this means there will be more opportunities to individualise your home. Our experience has shown that there are lots of customization opportunities during the selection of benchtops, kitchen cupboard colours and finishes, flooring colours and materials, vanities, bathroom tiles and bricks.
More importantly, find out what’s NOT included!
Following on from the above, be mindful of what is not included. Be aware that many display homes have upgraded items that aren’t included in the base price of the house. Some builders don’t include simple necessities, such as carpet, in their base ranges, so it’s always best to ask about the ways the display home you’re viewing may differ from the one you’re looking to build.
Take notes and compare
We dare say by now, you realise that you’ll be visiting a lot of display homes and asking a lot of questions! The best thing you can do is take notes for each display home you visit. Write them down on your phone or take a pen with you and make notes on the builders’ paperwork as you go, to keep track of all the information provided to you.
When you’ve found a few builders whose designs you like and you’ve asked all your questions, do a thorough comparison between them. Be sure to refer back to your original list of needs and non-negotiables.
This is a tricky one but try not to get caught up in a promotion! Some promotions do offer great value for money but don’t sign on the dotted line without doing your research first.
Your thorough comparison between builders will also come in handy here. Some builders could be supplying more in their base package for a similar price, or the builder running the promotion might charge more for upgrades. In any case, take the time to work out whether the promotion you’re being offered is worthwhile.
Enjoy the process! This is an exciting part of your home build journey where you get to make your own decisions about how your new home will look. Find out about all the design possibilities, have fun and enjoy the ride!
There are lots of things to consider when viewing display homes and you’re likely to make a lot of key decisions off the back of what you see. Our simple advice is: be prepared. Have a checklist of all the things you want, take notes and make comparisons, and remember, ask lots of questions!