Spending weekends visiting display homes can be an exciting way to test drive floor plans with your family, before making the commitment to build. As many buyers have found, to their dismay, the opulent finishes, fixtures and floor plan they are viewing when they inspect a display home, and what they actually get at the end of the build, can sit  in stark contrast. 
It is natural for builders to want to showcase the best they have to offer but for buyers, that means arming themselves with as much information as possible to gain the optimum value from every home inspection. How can this be achieved? By asking questions. The more the better! Asking the right questions will provide insights to allow you to make the most informed home building decisions.

What is standard and what is an upgrade?
If visiting the diverse range of gorgeous display homes in western Sydney, the first question most buyers ask is; ‘What will this home cost to buy?’. The price they are then quoted will often be a starting price, without all the bells and whistles. This means buyers need to gain a clear picture of the quality and materials of fittings and fixtures included in the base cost. This may include things such as:
● Benchtops 
● Tap fittings 
● Light fittings
● Flooring
● Window treatments 
● Bricks and facades
Ask for documentation which specifies the cost of upgrades which will allow you to take them home to study the finer details.
The cost of running the home should be factored in to the decision making process. Ask about energy efficient features such as water tanks, insulation and solar panels. These can have a huge ongoing impact to the cost of running the home, and have been shown to increase resale values
Can changes be made to the layout and what costs are associated with this? Ask about the size of rooms, ceiling heights and width of hallways. Are these the standard, or have they been expanded to provide the display home with a feeling of space and light?
How will the home sit on your block?
If you are building on your own block, ask about the minimum block size requirements for each floor plan. Consider the orientation of the home and how it will sit on the block and what it would overlook in neighbouring houses. 
Study how natural light will enter the home at each hour of the day and how this will affect the comfort level in each room. Natural light has both physical and mental health benefits and should be factored in to the liveability of a home.
Don’t forget the details
Ask about the small stuff too such as how many power points there are in the standard range, and the per unit cost of adding extras. This may seem like nitpicking but these finer details can  cause all sorts of headaches down the track - just ask someone who has to run extension cords across floors and behind couches!
Another source of contention can be light fittings. Many buyers can be disappointed to find their rooms filled with bare light bulbs and that the stunning down lights or designer shades were merely dressing - resulting in additional outlay to remedy. Having a clear understanding of inclusions can stop the cost of this double handling.
Processes and protection
Ask questions surrounding how long the build can be expected to take, what the process is and how are the progress payments are staggered. Ensure that there are insurances and warranties in place to protect you in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
If purchasing a house and land package, ask previous clients in the neighbourhood about their experiences with the builder. Hiccups in the build process are sometimes unavoidable but the response by the builder and their dedication to rectify matters, will give you the clearest indication of their commitment to delivering a superior product.
Learn from experience
If you know someone who has built their own home, pick their brain. Chances are they will be happy to share the lessons learned from the experience. Discuss the things they wished they had asked their builder when they first began their home building journey.
Regardless of whether you are planning to buy a house and land package or are undertaking a spot build on your own land, asking questions is the best way to identify the home which will best suit your lifestyle, block and budget.