Thomas Archer’s top 5 things to ask your builder

15 August 2017

Home Beautiful are following Thomas Archer build a custom home from the ground up. One of Thomas Archer’s Directors, Frank Tarulli shares his Top 5 tips on what to ask your builder before you get started on your dream home.


I'm going to give you five well directed questions that are going to help you work out if you're speaking with the right builder. This question will help you work out who you're dealing with. Is it a volume builder, a mid sized builder or a small builder? There's nothing wrong with a volume builder. They offer great service and also great value. But if you want more customised, more personalized service, you might be better off going with a smaller to mid size builder. A volume builder would typically build 30 or more homes a year. This is going to give you great insight to the quality and the fittings going potentially into your home. You need to beware of display homes. As you can imagine. They're fully landscaped, fully furnished, they're always specked up. So make sure when you go there, it doesn't take your eye away from what you're really there to look at. And that's the quality and the workmanship. Going into a custom home where someone's actually living in the home, you're going to get a better indication of how the house is holding up and how it looks with a family living in there. It's not always about the quantity of inclusions, it's more about the quality. For example, it's easy to say European appliances. What does that actually mean? You need to dig deeper and ask your builder, what are you actually putting into my home? Are they brands you know and trust? Or are they inferior imports with warranties that don't last? You're going to be this home for some time, so you want to make sure you're not going to have any issues down the track. Even when building a custom home, you need to understand what the builder is proposing to put into your home. This will give you an indication of where your base house price should be. A well managed builder, a well processed builder will have a building guide of some description. This will tell you exactly what your responsibilities and the builder's responsibilities are throughout the whole build, including payment methods. This will prevent any building disputes happening down the track and keep everyone honest.