And the ‘Best Builder’ award goes to… YOU decide!

Impressive awards and flashy advertising campaigns with famous brand ambassadors and promising slogans can allude to a premium product, sometimes the marketing and construction departments do not correlate.

Entering housing and construction industry Excellence Awards can be a fantastic way for a builder to increase their profile and reputation. A website displaying gold, silver and bronze badges recognising quality, sustainability, outstanding craftsmanship, innovation, or design excellence certainly assists in boosting a consumer’s perception of the brand.

While there certainly can be merit attributed to the builder or project that has won a prestigious award, sometimes this is not the case. Unbelievably we have seen a multi-million-dollar housing project awarded the title of ‘Best Custom Home’ the week AFTER we have been engaged by the owner to report on major structural issues including a leaking balcony that was ripped up, had non-compliant rectification works and tens of thousands of dollars of damage.

We have also seen a builder win the title of ‘most professional’ builder, yet throughout the building process, our clients received terrible or no communication from their Supervisor and Client Representative, there was absolutely no focus on processes within the company and the quality of construction was inexcusable.

The esteemed judging panels obviously have a criterion to score the projects on, however at the time on judging, it may not be possible to assess how the build process has travelled or what lurks below the surface. We are not saying that awards are not warranted, certainly a great deal of time, effort and passion goes into putting together an application.

What we want to highlight is that our experience had found in some instances, just because a builder has won a particular award, it doesn’t always reflect the build experience one might expect to have with them.


Before committing to a builder, it is imperative that you do your own research and due diligence:

  • Check reviews on Facebook, Google and Product Review. Keep in mind that it is usually those that have had either a great or shocking experience that write reviews so there can be lots in between. Also remember that often people can receive a thank-you gift (aka bribe) for sharing positive feedback so due diligence is required to ensure these reviews are valid.
  • Join forums on social media to ask questions and hear what past and current clients have to say.
  • Drive around some local estates where you plan on building to see how organised the sites are. Below are some examples to keep in mind; if they are consistent across a number of the builder’s sites, then alarm bells should start ringing. If scheduling isn’t being well managed, then its highly likely quality assurance isn’t on their radar either;
    • Windows delivered and sitting in mud, but no slab poured or frame delivered.
    • Bricks being delivered but roof tiles not yet on site or installed.
    • Rubbish – don’t get us wrong, construction can be messy, and some stages of construction look messier than others, but if there’s lots of old rubbish and the sites are not respected, then the same could be said for actual home.
    • Grey frames – “grey ghosts” we call them. If numerous frames look like they have been out in the weather this could mean there’s been delays with the frame approval or the builder can’t progress to the next stage due to procurement/getting the trades back.
    • Weeds – tall weeds, site looks like it has been under construction for a long time. Obviously, it depends on the build – larger the home the longer it takes but once again if it’s a consistent theme, then ask more questions.
  • Check out the display homes and ask to see some projects that have recently been handed over. Majority of builders will contractually utilise the standard of the displays. We have assessed multiple display homes, and this is not a good thing so be wary.

Remember that impressive awards and flashy advertising campaigns with famous brand ambassadors and promising slogans can allude to a more premium product, sometimes the marketing and construction departments do not correlate.

You be the judge, and hopefully you will start the building journey with confidence, realistic expectations and have the best possible building experience.


Got a building related query? Our team is always happy to help – Call Manse Group today.

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