It's Show Time!
The work of a house builder is nothing if not varied. If you think it’s just about putting the bricks and mortar together, then you are missing much of the story, writes Tony Abel.
We must find suitable land to build on where people will want to live; negotiate the purchase of that land; come up with an appropriate planning application that will be acceptable to the authorities and the local community; jump through all sorts of hoops involving highways, drainage, utilities, ecology, archaeology and so on; as well as creating from scratch brand new infrastructure such as roads and public open spaces.
After carefully selecting the right home for each plot and with all the relevant permissions in place, we assemble the right team with the right skills and source the most appropriate materials. When everything has come together, and the weather is kind, the actual construction process can begin.
Only when all that has been done can ‘Show Time’ begin. That is when we throw open the doors to the show home on a new development, and welcome the hundreds of potential buyers who have expressed an interest in our energy-efficient new homes – with our fingers and toes crossed that they like what they see.
Our latest ‘Show Time’ took place last weekend, when we launched ‘Bluebell Rise’ in Bawdeswell, where we are building 40 new homes (the picture shows the 'topping out' ceremony earlier in the year). This was their first opportunity to see the actual site, and the show home which is our shop window.
The show home is so important, particularly when you first launch a site. At this stage purchasers are buying partly ‘off plan’ – the home they will live in may not actually exist yet, or at any rate it is not finished. The show home is the only completely finished product that can guide them.
For us the most important thing is that the show home is properly representative of what life will be like in all of the homes we build. So, we avoid trickery such as undersized furniture and leaving internal doors off. We try to make the show home ‘liveable’ – a genuine portrayal of a real home.
Buying off plan involves a level of trust on the part of the purchaser. We can hardly ask them to trust us if we are dishonest in the way we portray the show home.
We love launch events like the one we had last weekend, when we can start to translate the bricks and mortar into people’s homes. The opening of the show home is the first real step in the creation of a new community – and that is what it’s really all about.
Of course, it’s doubly satisfying when people come to the launch weekend, like what they see, and decide there and then to buy one of the new homes. More than half of the homes released last weekend were sold by the end of Sunday; so if you want to join the party, you’ll need to act fast.