our first crack
We were originally attracted to a quality volume builder. We looked at their menu of designs and prices online (several times), visited their display homes (several times) and eventually found a design we (mostly) liked.
Meetings with various people in various roles from the building company followed, mostly to choose finishes and materials from selected offerings. We realised we could essentially choose from their initial offerings (representing the published prices of our chosen design), or "upgrade" if we wanted to better quality fittings & materials. We seemed to be picking the upgrade offerings and understandably the final price was starting to bear little resemblance to the original pricing ( "Jetstar" pricing?).
We received a breakdown of all the pricing line by line and what was included and what was included not in the build. When we started to have some doubts about the original design and discussed some possible changes in design it was apparent that changes:
a) were not really encouraged, and
b) if "allowed", were going to add significantly to the price and timeline.
Ultimately- and this is no reflection on the quality of this builder- we decided the designs offered weren't really going to satisfy our needs entirely. At our age we felt we really only had one crack at this and wanted to build a home we really liked with as few compromises as we could afford.
next crack: new builder and the value conversation
Six months down the track and we had to start all over but as it turned out those 6 months were far from wasted as the experience had made us focus much more on what we liked and what we didn't like.
This time we met with a local builder whom we didn't know (but knew of) and had seen their builds over many years. Our first (long) meeting was mostly all about why-whydo you want to build a new home?why now? why this many rooms? why us? etc. We also moved onto the whats-what are you trying to achieve? what do you like? whatdon't you like?
Then came the master of all what questions -what is my budget for this?
We had some questions of course- mainly the when questions (when will it be completed?), a few how (how will you construct this or that?) but I can’t remember us asking any who questions, such as who is going to be our project manager, who are the tradesmen working on our home, etc? Even though some of these who answers were volunteered by our builder we really didn't care who was working on our home so long as they produced the outcome we were anticipating.