Yesterday we met with our top two choices for builders, both are custom builders who concentrate on quality over quantity, both have received great reviews on www.productreview.com.au and we had two very different experiences.
We spent over an hour with James from Precision going through every aspect of our design and all the ideas that we had and how/if they where going to work. We looked at the design from every angle, what materials did we want to use for the front facade, our ideas for each elevation, how the loft space would work and our concern about the percentage of open space. In the room we where sitting in was their selections for some of the finishes so we could gather an idea of what would be available to us. When James saw our idea for the floor plan and the front elevation you could see the natural enthusiasm and he looked excited by the fact that they didn't have anything that was like it. He showed us the concept drawings that they did for a house at Henley Beach that that the master bedroom, ensuite and walk in as the loft and told as that if we wanted to arrange a time to look through the house to let him know as the owners are more than happy to do that. Once we had gone through everything from our budget, to wall height, to eave width, to the type of cladding he then explained that he would start on our concept drawings and get back to us in two weeks with those drawings as well as a quote, which will obviously change depending on if we change things in the concept drawings. This whole process he does himself and takes account for every brick that is to be used.
When we arrived at Stellar the person who we where meant to be meeting with had been called to Mount Gambier so we ended up talking to someone else. We spent 20mins with him as he explained the process from their end, we showed him our design briefly and then he took us through some of their selection options so we could see what was available at the basic level. He then explained that he would give our floor plans and front elevation picture to their design team who would then come up with their concept drawings and from there he would put the info into the computer to calculate the estimated costs and that this process may take a week or so. We weren't asked what our budget was and a lot of the details that we went through with Precision where over looked.
The last builder that we met with was Clay with Endeavour Homes, I had been referred to them by a few of my clients at work and after having such a terrible experience with Stellar we decided that we wanted to meet with another builder just so we could accurately compare what each company was willing to offer us. We spent about 45mins with Clay to discuss our plans and ideas and he was able to give us a rough quote very quickly. The quote for everything that we wanted sat at $1216/m2 for the standard home then plus the upgrades that we wanted which took it up to $1400/m2.
One of the biggest concerns that we had going into this meeting was that we wouldn't be able to interpret our idea's into words and that the builders wouldn't be able to see our true vision of what we wanted in a house. From the time spent and the details given we feel that Precision took the time to get to know us and our plan and from that first meeting will be able to give us something very close to what we are after, we aren't so confident that Stellar will be able to do that.
But we aren't going to let this first meeting make our decision for us, that will come once we see their concept drawings and see their quotes and then we can take it from there.