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 of 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.
It is never boring, usually exciting and sometimes stressful; but the moment that every house builder looks forward to, with a mixture of excitement and trepidation, is when you open the doors to the show home and let the public in to have a look. Only then will you find out if all that effort has resulted in homes that people will want to live in.
I’m writing this on Wednesday; by the time you read it on Friday, our latest show home will have been launched at Hingham. We are really looking forward to welcoming the hundreds of potential buyers who have already expressed an interest in our very energy-efficient new homes, and we have fingers and toes crossed that they will like what they see.
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 high 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.
In the end, we love weeks like this, 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.