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  • Carmel Homes

Why is it Important to Choose a Builder Near Me?

There are many different characteristics you might look for when choosing the builder that will help create your new home. Depending on your plans, you might want the flexibility of a custom home builder or the creativity of a design and build service. You may also look for experience with knockdown and rebuild projects, passive home principles, or French Provincial home designs.

Most of these features will be fairly obviously and clearly driven by the type of home you want to build. However, there is one other characteristic most homeowners overlook, even though it can be extremely beneficial – being based locally.

Working with a local builder can improve both the quality of the construction work and your experience of the build. It can also reduce the risk of long term issues and even help bring your build costs down. Here we take a closer look at why this is and the unique advantages working with a local builder provides.


Valuable local knowledge

The biggest advantage of working with a local builder is that they should have a deep understanding of the area. They will most likely be familiar with the nearby neighbourhoods and the unique characteristics of the surrounding landscape. They should also understand the local streetscapes and design style, and may have even helped develop and refine them.

As such, a builder based near you should be able to help make sure your new home suits its surrounds. This is particularly true for design and build companies, who should be able to recommend ways to marry your style with local aesthetic. For example, if you love French Provincial homes, but they know the area is dominated by more modern home designs, they can combine these influences.

Importantly, if there are specific challenges associated with building in your area, a local builder will be aware of them. They will know if the streets are narrow or lined with overhanging trees, creating access issues, or the soil quality is poor. They should also be able to suggest ways to pre-empt these problems and minimise the impact on your build timeline and budget.

Best of all, they should have a strong understanding of local planning requirements and established relationships with the local Council. As such, they should be able to advise you on preparing your application, making sure you tick all the required boxes. They should also be able to support you through the planning process, making it less confusing and stressful.

This is especially useful if you are planning to knockdown and rebuild, as the planning requirements for this vary greatly. For example, some councils expect you to stick within the existing building footprint, whereas others are open to larger developments. A local builder should know what the exact rules are in your area and help you adhere to them.

Increased flexibility and availability

Unsurprisingly, if your builder is based nearby, it will be quicker for them to get to the site. As such, it will be easier for them to be there, overseeing progress, at key points of the build. This should help minimise the risk of major issues and mistakes, and the resulting need for repairs or rework.

And, if there are issues, a local builder will be better positioned to intervene early, offering advice and recommending fixes. This helps to eliminate surprises and makes the build process much smoother and less stressful for you. It can also help you avoid major delays, making it easier to stick to your planned build timeline and budget.

Maintaining regular communication with your builder is also much more straightforward when they are based in the area. When arranging to catch up in person, neither of you has to go too far out of your way. And you can easily set up a meeting on site, at their showroom, or somewhere else nearby, whenever you need to.

A good local custom home builder will also actively try to keep you engaged throughout the build process. From regular progress updates to site walkthroughs at key points, they will make sure you are involved at every stage. This gives you ample opportunity to ask questions and request changes, while supporting a greater sense of ownership and investment.


Supporting local businesses

By choosing a local builder, you are also choosing to invest in your new community. The money you spend with them will stay in the area and, most likely, be spent with other local businesses. It will also help create jobs for other locals, further strengthening the local economy.

By contrast, when you use a large national builder, most of the money you spend will go elsewhere. While local subcontractors may be used, the majority of the build team will generally be brought in from other areas. And, as materials will generally be sourced nationally, there will be limited flow-on benefit to other local businesses.

Many homeowners find that local builders also have a stronger attention to detail and take greater pride in their work. This is usually because these companies rely heavily on referrals, so need to maintain a good reputation to survive. Projects by local builders also tend to be more closely watched by the community and those considering building in the area.

On a more personal note, local builders also have greater motivation to do the best job possible for their clients. As they are based in their area, even after building works are complete, they maintain a connection to the projects they deliver. So, if their work is sub-par, they will be constantly reminded of this and regularly have to face the people they let down.

Easier warranty period

Once your new home is complete, you will enter the warranty period. During this time, if you experience any structural issues, your builder will be responsible for fixing them. This helps hold builders accountable for the quality of their work and minimises the impact on homeowners if issues arise.

While all builders are legally required to honour a warranty period, it is easier to enforce when they are local. Even if they wanted to, it is hard for a builder to avoid contact when they are based nearby. As such, it should not be too difficult to track them down and follow up on any issues that do arise.

Local builders also have a vested interest in making sure any structural issues are fixed as quickly as possible. The last thing they need is an unhappy former client telling their new neighbours about problems with their new home. This could cause massive damage to their reputation and severely limit their ability to win work in the future.

However, if all issues are addressed promptly and painlessly, the neighbours are more likely to hear positive reviews. And there is no better – or more effective – advocate than a happy former client.

Crucially, a local builder is better positioned to respond quickly to any emergencies that arise during the warranty period. For example, if there is a plumbing problem, a local builder may be able to have someone there in a matter of minutes. Whereas builders that are based further way, or service larger areas, could take hours, or even days, to respond.


Better value for money

Depending on your plans, choosing a builder that is based nearby could also help keep your construction costs down. Most notably, a local builder will not need you to cover their travel and accommodation costs during the building phase. This can represent a significant saving, particularly if your building site is remote or in a location popular with tourists.

Moreover, many local builders will source most of their materials from local suppliers, often at a discounted rate. This means transport costs are kept to a minimum and could help you avoid delays caused by supply issues. It also means that additional materials will be easy to source, if you need them at a later date.

A good local builder should also be able to recommend ways to maximise the efficiency of your new home design. For example, as they understand the local landscape, they should be able to advise on the optimal building orientation. This will help maximise natural light and airflow, reducing your reliance on heating and cooling, and your future utility bills.

They should also be familiar with modern home design practices and know how to tailor them to your area. As such, they may be able to recommend cost-effective ways to achieve the function and finish you are after. This could help bring down your build cost without impacting the overall look and feel of your new home.

Want to discuss this further?

For more information on the many benefits of working with a builder based near you, contact Carmel Homes. We are a true local business and have over 30 years of experience building luxury custom homes in Melbourne’s inner east. Over this time, we have developed a reputation for high quality construction, strong attention to detail, and superior service.

To learn more about our approach, or to arrange your complimentary design consultation, call Carmel Homes today.

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