Ten helpful tips for working with your home builder

Whether you hire ZAC Homes, or another reputable builder to construct your dream home, you need to develop a good working relationship with the builder, the company and their key personnel. We’ve previously talked about what to look for when choosing your builder which you can read here.

A good builder will help guide you through the building process, set realistic timelines, communicate regularly, and make themselves available to you. But there is still a level of responsibility for you as the home owner to educate yourself and then be realistic about the process.

1. Understand the process

When building a new home there is a process that needs to be followed.

There is a pre-construction phase that includes choosing designs, drawing up plans, approvals, signing contracts, demolition if required, site preparation, and more.

Once you get to the construction phase, the building of your new home will occur in a particular order. There are a number of milestones you will reach in the build process including:

Slab construction

During this crucial first stage, the slab and the foundations are laid, and the site is prepared to have the slab poured. Before any concrete can be poured, the plumbing pipework is also laid, as it sits beneath the slab.

Frame construction

In this stage, you’ll see your new home starting to take shape as the skeleton appears. This stage includes the frame, roof trusses, windows and door frames. You’ll get a good idea of room sizes and layout even at this early stage.

Brickwork and exterior cladding completion

This stage will depend on the choices you have made with exterior finishes. If you’ve chosen brickwork they will be laid, and exterior cladding will be put in place. Before moving inside, the roofing and guttering will be fitted, and this will again depend on the choices you have made previously.

Internal work

The work then moves inside, with the rough-in of the electrical wiring and plumbing before any internal linings are completed. Insulation will also be installed, followed by the wall and ceiling plastic work. The internal fit-out also includes waterproofing and tiling of the wet areas. It is also at this point the carpenters will be on the job to fit any skirting boards, architraves, door jams, doors and even kitchen cabinets.

Lockup is complete when all external doors including the garage door have been fitted.

2. Understand your contract

A building contract is a binding legal document that spells out the rights and responsibilities as agreed between the builder and you. It is essential that you read the contract thoroughly and ensure all elements of the build are understood before signing. If in doubt, ask questions before you sign and have a trusted advisor view it.

3. Discuss expectations at the beginning

Be open and honest with your builder from day one. If you get weeks or months into the building process and start voicing your expectations you might find your hopes do not match the builders’. Speak up at the start of the process so any misunderstandings can be dealt with early on.

4. Let the builder manage the project

If you hire a reputable builder like ZAC Homes you need to trust them to manage the project. Of course, you can ask loads of questions and be involved every step of the way but trust in the building professionals to deliver what they have promised you.

5. Communication

Effective communication is absolutely essential when building a new home. At the start of the build, ask your builder how they plan to communicate with you. If they don’t tell you upfront, ask loads of questions including:

  • What communication channels will be used? ie. email, telephone, text, video call.
  • How often will you make contact?
  • Will you only call me when something goes wrong?
  • Who will be available to answer my queries?
  • How long will the standard turnaround time be to answer queries?

6. Be specific

When you query something during the build process be specific about it. For example, don’t make a vague comment about a lack of communication; name the specific times and dates you expected to receive communication.

7. Be decisive

When you build a new home, you make hundreds of decisions about layout, colours, fittings, and more. With a home builder like ZAC Homes, you make most of those decisions before construction even begins with the expert guidance of our team. But there are times during the build when you may be required to make a quick decision on a variation. The longer you take to make that decision, the more the process will be stalled, so be definite.

8. Be realistic and fair

Building a new home is a complex project even for an experienced home builder. There will be small things that don’t go to plan. There might be a hold-up on the delivery of some key building materials which will slow down the whole project. It might rain for weeks just before your concrete slab is due to be poured. You need to be realistic about the things that can delay the building process and be fair to the builder who is working hard to get your dream home completed.

9. Ask questions

Ask questions of your builder regularly. Building a new home is a huge financial and emotional investment so you need to be comfortable with the building process. By asking questions through the communication channels you agreed from the start, you’ll feel involved in this important event.

10. Organise regular site visits and do the final walk-through

If you’re building a brand new home you won’t have unlimited access to the site for safety reasons, but your builder will arrange regular site visits so you can check on progress. Make sure you attend all those site visits and ask loads of questions. Take some pictures so you track the progress of your new home.

The most important site visit is the final walk-through with the builder where you make sure you’re 100 per cent happy with your new home. You will have plenty of opportunities to sort out any issues that arise, but you want to be content at that final walk-through meeting.

Working with ZAC Homes

When it comes to building a new home, we want your building journey to be as enjoyable as possible. From initial design to receiving the keys to your dream home, our team is on hand to support you every step of the way. Call us on 1300 350 793 or send us an online enquiry and our team will work with you to design and build your dream home.

Want more information?

Contact our team using the form or using the details below

Phone: 1300 350 793

Email: sales@zachomes.com.au

Address: Unit 6, 119 Coreen Avenue, Penrith, 2750

Book an appointment online or visit us at our display homes at Box Hill and Marsden Park

We have just started our building journey with ZAC homes. We have chosen to build with ZAC homes as they have allowed flexibility with the design, resulting in a better usage of the living and bedroom spaces. Other companies had a rigid design which would have resulted in variation fees.


…ZAC Homes kept us regularly up to date with the progress of our home and the job was finished on time, which was very important to us. We are one hundred percent happy with our home and can thoroughly recommend ZAC Homes and their crew to anyone contemplating building a home.

Bilynda & Paul Robins

…Firstly I would like to thank the ZAC homes team for the experience that my wife and I have had when making the purchase of an investment property. The professionalism and dedication that was displayed, was by far the best that we have seen or experienced previously.

Bob F.

I can not speak more highly of this local building company. Right from the beginning they have been excellent to deal with…The finishes were very good and any work that I wanted fixed which was minor things was done


Very well managed with no hidden cost or surprises. Workmanship was excellent and very professional


Really pleased with the building process, communication and designs. Would definitely recommend.

Hannah Johnston

The customer service and assistance was superb with quick turn around times and patience with our queries. Everything from initial consultation, to colour selection to hand-over was organised easily and open communication was maintained throughout the process.

Daniel North
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