Helping UK new home buyers

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You don’t necessary get what is in the Showhouse

new home kitchenAll too often the fixtures and fittings in the show home are not standard but are available as an upgrade. This can be anything from the quality of the carpet to the type and specification of kitchen units and worktops. It is now also common place for house builders to offer new home buyers the opportunity to add or upgrade selected items from a range of standard "additions" or "finishing touches" at extra cost ranging from anything from a double plug socket to a whole conservatory.

One advantage of paying the house builder to provide the extras is that the additional work will be covered by the new home warranty.  It is also more practical to make provision for additional sockets, TV and telephone points and burglar alarm wiring before the home completed. It may even be possible to get these extras done at zero cost as part of the negotiated purchase price. Sometimes it may also be beneficial and possible to add the more expensive items such as a conservatory to the new home mortgage loan.

Remember that the house builders pay both their Site Managers and Sales Negotiators 2.5% commission for every additional pound you spend. It is always cheaper to deal directly with the individual tradesman concerned but some house builders try to stop this, such is the profit they make on purchaser’s extras.

Show home The price you are charged will include the house builder’s overhead and profit (20%) the commission (5%) and the sub contractors overhead and profit (10%) that can amount to 35-40% more than it would cost to employ a tradesman directly yourself.

Builder's options service is always more expensive

It is always going to be more expensive to get upgrades or additional work done through the house builder. However, some items are ridiculously expensive, especially kitchen appliances or appliance upgrades. For example a fridge freezer can cost over £1000 and to upgrade an oven and hob from white to stainless steel and extra £300, even though in reality the additional cost is less than £100. However, the appliances will have an additional year’s warranty over that given by the high street stores.

Think carefully what is best done during the build process, for example to conceal cables, and what you can arrange yourself after you move in for example fitting mirrors and toilet roll holders, an outside tap, turfing and patios. Compare what your house builder is charging for items with that of the DIY stores like B&Q etc. You will be surprised at the savings that can be made.

Finally house builder’s carpets are usually of poor quality. They may look nice when you first walk in to your new home but soon go flat and becoming shabby after only 18 months or so. Once your family and all your furniture has moved in, re carpeting can be expensive, time consuming and inconvenient. It is far better to buy the best carpets and underlay you can afford from the outset and arrange this yourself to save the house builder’s 25% mark-up.

For advice on choosing a tradesmen to carry out work in your new home  click the link.

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House builders’ optional extras