How to avoid costly faults during your new home build

Avoid building faults

Your new home should be your happy place, not a headache. After making the biggest purchase of your life, the last thing you want is costly faults and structural defects. Investing just a bit more in the initial stages could save a lot more money and stress later, whether that’s in a few months’ time or a decade from now.

Spot inspections carried out by the Victorian Building Authority at the end of last year found that 3,527 out of 6,641 new builds in Victoria had medium or high-risk faults requiring intervention. These included a range of major issues across multiple aspects of the build including timber and steel frames, slab and footings, weatherproofing, fire safety, gas installation, plumbing and drainage.

Here’s how you can avoid faults during your build for a safe and secure home that you and your family can enjoy from day one.

Build smarter, not faster

If you choose to engage a builder with a sole focus on selecting “the cheapest builder” then unfortunately, corners are undoubtedly going to be cut somewhere along the way. To do it properly and go about it in the right way comes at a cost, but that cost is warranted. The key success metric of many builders is how many houses they can build, not the value of the lifestyle contained therein. In order to build homes quickly and cheaply there is less investment in quality materials and labour which results in a poor long-term outcome.

Churning out more builds on an average yearly basis also means supervisors are spread too thin across multiple build sites. This is where serious defects and faults may go undetected, especially if important aspects are left to less experienced or hurried workers.

Right from the design stage, a quality-focused builder will be factoring in every variable that could affect the structural integrity and safety of your home. This could be block positioning, climate considerations, unique architecture and of course, compliance with the current Victorian Build Authority legislation.

It’s worth taking the time to align with a builder who shares your values, and has a solid reputation for producing high-quality homes so you are rewarded with a beautiful and enduring result.

Building supervisors
A builder that churns out a high quantity of homes may have less capacity for adequate supervision across multiple sites.


Insist on Quality Assurance

A quality home isn’t just the result of ticking off a final checklist. From start to completion, new home builds need to meet minimum industry standards at various stages. Building surveyors should be checking for faults at every phase of the build, right from pre-pour and frame through to Occupancy permit.

Enso Homes invest in an independent quality assurance company (independent inspector) to carry out pre pour, frame & pre-plaster inspections & re-inspections as part of your home building package. This investment saves our clients having to engage their own independent inspector.

If you’re researching your new home build, find out if this is a service that your builder offers or ask about their quality assurance and compliance process. If they don’t have a process, or you’re having trouble getting clear answers, you may want to reconsider.

Transparency is non-negotiable

Enso Homes strives to provide a positive building journey for every client. There are variables that can affect the progress of your new home, but the difference between a positive build experience and a horrible one comes down to support and communication.

Some builders can be notorious for offering nothing more than radio silence for weeks and even months on end when clients want something as simple as a progress update. This lack of communication causes unnecessary stress and anxiety. Even when it comes to common site hiccups, the burden should never fall too heavily on the shoulders of the owners.

From the outset, a dedicated, client-centric builder will be available to talk through any concerns with a local support team and not a remote administrative assistant. It is in the interest of your builder and their reputation to help you through the build process. Be sure to do research on the kind of responsiveness you can expect from your chosen builder because anything less than full transparency is unacceptable.

House for sale
Regular communication and updates on your build should be given from your reliable and contactable support team.

What about their finance?

While you’ve worked incredibly hard to reach a position where you’re looking at a new home build, where does your builder stand when it comes to finance?

There are some horror stories out there about would-be homeowners investing with builders that cannot access adequate funding, resulting in slowed or severely delayed production. Some builders have been known to go out of business halfway through a new build which is nothing short of a fiscal nightmare. Such a situation can take months to rectify, especially if an insurance claim needs to be made to recoup costs.

It’s therefore essential you align with a builder that has an excellent reputation with a strong financial position. For this, do your research. Ask family and friends for recommendations, check that your builder is registered, has public liability insurance and is eligible for domestic building insurance.

You can even check whether the builder has been found to have engaged in misconduct, using the Victorian Building Authority’s Disciplinary Register. While mainstream builders may boast about their financial backing or worth, remember, this isn’t an indication of the value of the finished product.

Elevate your experience with Enso Homes

As a locally trusted home builder in the Greater Geelong, Golden Plains, Bellarine & Surf Coast regions, we assure a positive build experience with a full support team and a level of quality and workmanship that will last long after you turn the key. Talk to us about designing the home you’ve always wanted by getting in touch online or call 03 5240 9300.

Don’t miss out on current pricing! With the National Construction Code update on May 1st, 2024, prices will rise. Contact us now to lock in current prices.

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