Before we get into our Simonds Homes review, let’s take a quick look at the company. Simonds is a legacy builder in Australia. Established in 1949 and responsible for over 50,000 builds, they continue to be one of the top residential construction companies in the country.
Their projects extend from Queensland and New South Wales down to Victoria and then across to South Australia. They offer home and land packages (both fixed price and flexible), new builds, knock-down rebuilds and assistance with building investment properties.
What we liked
✅Wide range of design options
✅Helpful with styling suggestions
✅Sales team provide good service
What we didn’t like
⛔️Limited virtual tours online
⛔️Numerous complaints of poor workmanship
⛔️No dedicated post-build team
⛔️Landscaping, fencing and concrete not included
⛔️QBCC asked them to rectify defective work in 2016
- Arise Estate: 46 & 48 Grand Street, Rochedale QLD 4123
- Aura Estate: 49 & 51 Leslie Crescent , Baringa QLD 4551
- Carvers Reach Estate: 1 & 3 Cypress Street, Park Ridge QLD 4125
- Covella Estate: 12 & 14 Acacia Loop, Greenbank QLD 4124
- Foreshore Estate: 53 & 55 Oakey Creek Road, Coomera QLD 4209
- Ridgeview Estate: 31 & 33 Ridge Parade, Narangba QLD 4504
- Springfield Rise Estate: 1, 3 & 5 Houston Street, Spring Mountain QLD 4124
- The Surrounds Estate: 8 & 10 Clover Way, Helensvale QLD 4212
- Yarrabilba Estate: 41 Expedition Road, Yarrabilba QLD 4207
Simonds Homes Review and Commentary
As with most builders, Simonds Homes reviews are a fairly mixed bag. There are plenty of glowing reviews and recommendations online; however, Simonds has a significant number of low ratings and negative comments. For instance, Product Review shows 289 1-star ratings at the time of writing, which constitutes approximately 13-14% of Simonds’ total score. Let’s take a look at what clients have to say.
First up, we see that Simonds has a large number of clients who have been impressed throughout the whole process. One client mentions that she had great communication with her team in Victoria and encountered no hidden fees, which is great to hear.
Another praised the design options and clear pricing options. In South Australia, an experienced client states they prefer Simonds to other builders:
Here are some customer photos, showcasing their new Simonds builds:
Many of the 1-star reviews mention poor customer service after the completion of the build. Though Simonds claim to have a “full-time Maintenance Customer Relationship Coordinator,” numerous reviews indicate a lack of ongoing communication or follow-up:
In addition, there are a considerable number of comments regarding the quality of tradespeople and services contracted by Simonds. There seems to have been issues with external brickwork, blocked drainage and plumbing, inconsistent quality of paint and plastering, missing or faulty fixtures, among others. Sadly, one customer in Victoria wrote that “just the thought of [their] tradesmen brings me to tears.”
Although some of these issues could be referred to the manufacturer, at the end of the day they were not installed correctly… Simonds chose these brands/installers which is a reflection on themselves.Review on Product Review
Unfortunately, small defects are a common experience when dealing with big builders. As one of the top construction companies in Australia, Simonds have such a large volume of clients that it is almost inevitable for standards to slip in some projects. Even though it is common, it does not mean that defects or cosmetic issues should be accepted. Protect your investment and insist on a quality finish with Buildi in your corner.
A Simonds client in South Australia snapped a photo of dangerous safety practices by a seemingly inexperienced tradesman. We’ve included this below, along with some customer examples of poor workmanship:
One or two clients have voiced a lack of due diligence on the part of Simonds Homes. According to this customer in Baulkham Hills, there was a change of plans during construction for his home’s porch design. Subsequently, the proposal had to be reapproved by the local council.
In another Simonds Homes review, a man expressed his frustration with a home sitting unfinished for over three years! After enquiring with the council, the man claims Simonds’ private building certifier made an error resulting in wrongful placement of the build. The only solution was to knock it down and start again. Problems like these can cause significant delays, leading to higher costs (such as extended leases and additional rental payments) and increased stress.
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In Shannon Draper’s case, Simonds builders excavated his site and laid a slab far too low. Rather than honouring Mr Draper’s request to halt construction on his home, they instead went ahead and erected the frame. It has been reported that Simonds also changed the drainage plans without consulting their client first. As a retired carpenter, Mr Draper commented to the media:
“I’m not a normal client – I know what I’m doing. And what I saw was Simonds simply choosing to ignore me. These big builders, they just don’t care because they know you can’t fight back.’’Shannon Draper, Builder’s Collective of Australia
Mr Draper was fortunate and knowledgeable enough to win his case in court and hold his builder accountable. This is not always the case for every client, especially if you have never built a home before. Combat the confusion and ensure your home is to plan. Buildi has your back.
Tip 1: Dealing with design
Several customers mentioned a rushed experience in the Simonds design gallery. This is a crucial step to get right if you want to avoid disappointment later on. Arrange to view the gallery ahead of time, either in person or online via the 360 degree tour.
Check out their style suggestions and be prepared to ask for any fixtures, fittings or finishes that have been discontinued. It’s also a good idea to ask about pricing for features you really like, so that you aren’t surprised by costs down the line.
Tip 2: Know your timeline and your team
While this is not a unique aspect to any one builder, it is important to have a good relationship with your Salesperson, Customer Relationship Coordinator (CRC) and Site Manager. When looking through Simonds Homes reviews, we’ve noticed that many of the moderate to high ratings mentioned excellent communication with their team, who notified the owners of any delays and ensured timely handling of any issues. Insist on changing your contacts if they are not suited to your requirements or you feel that they are unhelpful.
Be aware of your estimated dates for completion stages, too. Ask questions if something is delayed or taking too long; if you have a good site manager, they will be able to intervene and ensure your project runs smoothly.
Tip 3: Post-construction rights and responsibilities
Your building journey does not necessarily end once construction is finished. Close to your move-in date, you will have a Practical Completion Inspection (PCI) with a Construction Supervisor. They will take you through anything you might need to know about taking care of your home. Make sure you clarify anything you are unsure about (especially if something does not look right), and ask plenty of questions.
You will be placed in the SimCare program once handover is complete. This includes a three-month warranty period on your home, after which you can fill out a Post Construction Warranty form to fix any defects. Be sure to keep track of any defects covered under your warranty period, no matter how small. You are also covered under a seven-year structural guarantee, which is important to keep in mind as well.
Simonds Home designs
This builder offers several design ranges, which we will explore below. It may be useful to note that on one section of their website, Simonds describes three types of designs: “Fusion”, “New Living” and “Ranch”. In all other areas of the website, the ranges are listed as “Simonds Homes”, “Ranch Range”, “Xpress by Simonds” and “Metro by Simonds”. When we asked about the difference, the customer service representative was unable to clarify further.
If you browse the home designs online, the options available to you may vary depending on your location. We have taken our screenshots (below) from searches in Queensland.
Simonds Homes Range
This is the largest range and is “all about choice”. The Simonds Homes’ inclusions can be viewed here.
Metro by Simonds
This range features “cleverly customisable plans”, designed to be contemporary with room to accommodate growing families. The Metro inclusions are here.
Xpress by Simonds
The Xpress range is all about convenience. Select a design, acquire a lock-in price and sit back as the build gets underway. Xpress inclusions are here.
As Simonds puts it, “it’s all about lifestyle.” These homes are sprawling single-storey plans intended for large blocks of land. Click here for the inclusions.
A closer look at Denham
The Denham design falls under the Simonds Homes Range. Featuring a standard floor plan, this home has a great flow from entry right through to dining and outdoor area. The overall aesthetic is clean and modern. We noticed the generously sized bathrooms, too.
A clever use of design allows light to flow across the entire dining, living and additional off-set entertainment area. The shutters let light in, but also act as a clever form of privacy from the main house.
This layout is a great example of Simonds’ approach to design overall. The bar window and alfresco doors bring the outside in, encouraging outdoor dining and entertainment.
An array of facades are available for this home, with designs ranging from lowset brick to stylish render.
A closer look at Gilmore 44
This luxurious five-bedroom, double-storey home feels like a mansion without being too big for its boots. A guest bedroom sits on the ground floor with plenty of space, an ensuite and a walk-in robe. The master bedroom is upstairs, with a larger bathroom and private dressing room.
There is no compromise on space, with a separate theatre room (complete with raised seating area) that backs onto an ample living and dining space.
The Gilmore is another example of Simonds’ focus on integrating outdoor living with inside spaces. The pool wraps around the living area and into the alfresco, where it looks through the bar window and into the kitchen.
Like other floor plans, the Gilmore offers a great range of facade options for that personal touch.
One thing that we have noticed, however, is the use of inexpensive fixtures and laminate styles. This example shown to us in the Gilmore virtual tour is not what we would expect on a relatively high-end build.
Ultimately, any Simonds Homes review must take into account that the business has been operating for 70 years. As one of the top 8 builders in the country, we know there is a significant number of customers who are happy with their build and prefer Simonds as a builder. Of course, the larger the builder, the higher the chance of something going wrong. Because of this, you are likely to see more negative reviews than with a smaller builder.
Having said that, the lower ratings are consistent in their mention of poor workmanship, and this has been the case for several years (judging by the reviews). We speculate that hiring cheaper subcontractors is an attempt to cut costs. In addition, there are quite a number of repeated complaints regarding follow-up communication and unresolved defects.
We think our Simonds Homes review can be summed up with this client’s comment: