Helping UK new home buyers
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Perhaps more accurately, rather than trying to find the best house builder it would be advisable to make every effort to avoid some of the worst house builders.
Ultimately the finished quality of the home you buy will depend on the individual site manager building it. However house builders can influence how your new home is built in several ways including the speed of construction, the number and quality of site staff, head office visits, specifications and the type and methods of construction.
See also snagging defect photographs
The better house builders tend to win the most NHBC Quality Awards. Look for the NHBC Pride in the Job Winners flag to see if the Site Manger cares about the quality of his homes. See our league table to see which builders consistently win the most NHBC awards.
Be wary of magazine and newspaper awards. They have so many categories everyone is a 'winner' of something - provided of course the house builder has paid for plenty of advertising!
This is only given to those house builders who participate the HBF customer satisfaction survey. Don’t read too much into this as all but three of the 16 largest house builders who took part, attained a five star rating in 2012. However, if any house builder is not rated five stars, it should act as a warning regarding both quality and service. See results table for the last 7 years builder star ratings.
What discounts or deals are available. How does the price per square foot compare with older homes. What is included as standard. How much choice is available regarding specification and options.
What is the level of customer service. Ask existing buyers on the development about their experiences with after sales service and customer care, especially if they have reported problems.
The larger well-known national plc. house builders have a proven track record and dedicated customer care departments who may be better able to respond to any problems you may have for a period of two years from the time you move in. The largest companies can demand the best deals (national agreements) from their suppliers to give you, their customer, the best value. However, these large organisations are numbers and profit driven and use their size to maximise returns for shareholders and future expansion plans. Indeed, it is becoming more difficult theses days to know who is actually building your home with so many of the plc. house builders merging or being acquired.
Generally, the largest house builders dictate the most demanding construction programmes, these being monitored on a weekly basis to ensure the production targets are being achieved. This means that your new home may not have time to fully dry out between building stages and it is possible that the quality of work could be sacrificed to achieve the completion date.
The larger the builder, the more they tend to invest on the promotion of their developments. They have full time sales advisors based on their developments, often with several fully furnished show houses with landscaped gardens. The financial outlay of this may be at the expense of the standard specification, which is often lower than that available from competing smaller house builders. There may also be less choice and flexibility from the larger builder as their regional offices are tied to national agreements and the resultant specifications set by the builder’s group head office.
For more information:-
|Snagging and Quality|
|Why do new homes have defects|
|DIY snagging your new home|
|SNAGGING DEFECT PHOTOGRAPHS|
|External DIY snaglist|
|Internal DIY snaglist|
|External snagging defect photo slideshow|
|Internal snagging defect photo slideshow|
|Who are the best house builders|
|The worst house builders|
|Builder's end of year figures|
|HBF customer satisfaction survey results|
|NHBC awards league table|
|Taylor Wimpey Homes|
|Taylor Wimpey on BBC Watchdog|
|New home customer satisfaction surveys|
|HBF New home survey results|
|HBF House builder star rating|