5 questions to ask in a show home

Bright kitchen and living room area
Forget the hard work of a self-build project or the inevitable compromises of a previously owned house, how about a new build home?

1. What’s included in the price and what is extra?

The clue’s in the name: the show home will mostly like be fitted out to the highest spec with all the added extras to show it off to its full potential. Typically homes are advertised as “prices start from”, then the price rises depending on factors like your chosen upgrades, the number of bedrooms or even where the home is located within the development.

Exactly what’s included in the price varies between companies, with some including carpets, flooring, appliances, landscaping or other fixtures and fittings in the standard price.

For the things included, be sure to ask whether or not you get a choice of styles and finishes. The options may be limited or not to your taste so it’s important to check upfront.

2. What’s the area like?

Before you fall in love with the home it’s important to get a feel for the area. Ask about local amenities such as shops, schools and green space as well as public transport links. Also, find out how big the development will be and if future expansions are planned. If construction work is to continue for years you would need to decide if that’s something you can live with. Overall, make sure you come away with a clearer picture of your potential new neighbourhood.

Key takeaways
  • Show homes are often finished to the highest specification, so ask what features are included in the price and what is extra
  • Ask if roof windows are included to ensure maximum daylight and easy ventilation for the home
  • Ask about the details of the warranty, from what’s included to processes for making a claim

1. What’s included in the price and what is extra?

The clue’s in the name: the show home will mostly like be fitted out to the highest spec with all the added extras to show it off to its full potential. Typically homes are advertised as “prices start from”, then the price rises depending on factors like your chosen upgrades, the number of bedrooms or even where the home is located within the development.

Exactly what’s included in the price varies between companies, with some including carpets, flooring, appliances, landscaping or other fixtures and fittings in the standard price.

For the things included, be sure to ask whether or not you get a choice of styles and finishes. The options may be limited or not to your taste so it’s important to check upfront.

2. What’s the area like?

Before you fall in love with the home it’s important to get a feel for the area. Ask about local amenities such as shops, schools and green space as well as public transport links. Also, find out how big the development will be and if future expansions are planned. If construction work is to continue for years you would need to decide if that’s something you can live with. Overall, make sure you come away with a clearer picture of your potential new neighbourhood.

"Visiting a show home is an exciting way to test the idea of a new build and imagine what your life could look like in a shiny, brand-new dwelling."

3. Is the home designed to get maximum daylight?

Natural light is a huge consideration for a new home - according to research from the World Health Organisation, we spend up to 90% of our time indoors. Whether you’re relaxing, resting or working from home, adding more daylight can provide a mood boost, regulate circadian rhythms for better sleep, and reduce the need for artificial lighting which helps cut energy costs. Ask if the show home includes any roof windows and if not consider asking if they can they be added as an upgrade. VELUX roof windows can at least twice as much light as vertical windows of the same size.

4. How easily can the home be ventilated?

It’s vital that you’ll be able to maintain a healthy indoor climate in the home. Lack of proper air ventilation can lead to more than just stuffy rooms – it can eventually result in damp or mould, which in turn can spark health issues from itchy eyes and headaches to asthma and allergies. Again, ask the builder if any roof windows are included especially in kitchen or bathroom areas where fresh air is needed the most. VELUX roof windows are easily opened and closed (via manual, electric or solar operation) to ventilate rooms whenever you need to.

5. What warranty is provided?

One of the biggest appeals of choosing a new build home is the peace of mind of an included warranty. They usually last for ten years, with the first two years being a “defects” insurance period where any issues with the building work are covered, then the remaining years are the structural insurance period.

Ask the builder to explain in detail what is and isn’t covered and for how long, from the building work to included appliances and other fixtures and fittings. Ask about their process for making a warranty claim, from who carries out the repairs to expected response times.

Read more articles