Porter Davis a builder whose mantra is to “respect the dream”. They were founded in Melbourne in 1999 and later expanded into Queensland, opening their first show home in Brisbane in 2016. Porter Davis has received awards such as the HIA’s Most Professional Builder award and the CSR Excellence in Housing award. Awards however don’t guarantee that building with Porter Davis will be a walk in the park.
Today we’ll take a look at what to expect should you choose to entrust Porter Davis to respect your dream. As part of this Porter Davis review we will give you things we like and dislike about them and also our tips if you want to engage with them for your build.
Table of Contents
- Founded: 1999
- Headquarters: Melbourne, Victoria
- Owned: Privately
- Operates: Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Metro Victoria, Geelong
- Builds a year: 166 in QLD
5 things we like
✅They have won Australia’s most professional builder award multiple times.
✅Chose Queensland as their first point of expansion outside of their home state.
✅Their mantra is to respect the dream of people looking to build their new home.
✅They involve themselves and support a number of charitable organisations and events
✅Offer a personalised online hub you can access during and after your build. Making it convenient to track the progress of your build, view incoming documentation, and lodge claims within their warranty period.
5 things we don’t like
⛔️They are known to make you wait till the last minute to reveal final prices.
⛔️Like most builders, they require you to pay a deposit prior to providing you with a cost for construction and upgrades
⛔️Can be inconsistent with their mantra.
⛔️If you change your mind they will charge an ever-increasing administration fee IN ADDITION to their cancellation fee.
⛔️Their base prices are barebones, often not reflect the true cost people will pay. For instance, if you upgrade to luxury range cabinets in a budget range home. The budget ranger cabinet maker will still be the one constructing them.
Porter Davis Display Homes
Porter Davis is still relatively new to Brisbane but has opened multiple display homes surrounding the city. Check out their display home finder here.
- Arise – 41-43 Grand St, Rochedale, 4123 (10am – 5pm Tuesday to Friday, Sunday)
- Covella – 8 Covella Boulevard Greenbank, 4124 (10am – 5pm Sunday)
- Aura – 53 Leslie Crescent, Caloundra West 4551 (Appointment only, Monday to Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday)
- The Surrounds – 6 Clover Way, Helensvale, 4212 (10am – 5pm Tuesday to Sunday)
- Kalina – 51 Panorama Drive, Springfield, 4300 (10am – 5pm Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday)
- Newport – 6 Rani Street, Newport, 4020 (10am – 5pm Tuesday to Friday, Sunday)
- Everleigh – 46 Olive Ave, Greenbank, 4124 (10am – 5pm Thursday to Sunday)
What People Think
Porter Davis have received professional recognition for their work from organisations such as the Australian Housing Industry. 6 times they’ve been awarded Australia’s Most Professional Builder Award (most recently in 2019).
Online however their reviews are scarce and vary in opinion.
What we found on Google Review doesn’t provide much insight into what people think about Porter Davis in Brisbane. With only 4 reviews 2 that are very positive and 2 that are very negative. Not the most reliable indicator of what you’d be in for building with Porter Davis.
Product Review appears to offer a more comprehensive range of reviews and includes a verification system that promises to weed out fake reviews, however, this is not the case. Paid reviews are unfortunately sometimes posted on the Product Review website. This makes Porter Davis look rather suspicious when you follow the trend of their reviews.
Since 2009 Porter Davis sat around a 2-star rating, receiving a handful of reviews a year. It wasn’t until 2013 that Porter Davis sees a massive uptick in both the number of reviews and customer satisfaction. Between September and December of 2013, Porter Davis received a whopping 233 reviews, a majority of which were highly positive. This saw the rating of Porter Davis climb rapidly from 2 stars to 4 stars in a matter of 4 months. To us, that seems a bit too good to be true. Despite suspicions, Product Review does offer some interesting insight into what to expect from your journey with Porter Davis.
You can work out when people were most satisfied with their experience through Product Review’s breakdown of the build stage.
The most positive reviews of Porter Davis are written during the Mid-construction phase of their builds, perhaps indicating that once plans have been finalised Porter Davis provide a smooth experience from slab to handover. The pre-construction stage however is where Porter Davis receives their lowest reviews. Bringing us to what you should know before you approach Porter Davis with plans to build your new home. Next in our Porter Davis Homes Review, we’ll give you some tips should about what to expect from building with them.
Tips when building with Porter Davis
They are secretive about hidden costs
- Hidden site costs can often significantly raise the price of your build. Before locking in a build with Porter Davis make sure you know how much site costs will be for YOUR specific block of land to avoid any unwanted surprises.
- Like most builders Porter Davis promotes an included foundation price that is the bare minimum. Meaning the majority of their builds require the foundation be upgraded. Even if your building on a flat block of land you’ll likely end up paying more than their included foundation price.
- Porter Davis usually wont reveal the costs of the majority of their upgrades until you have completed a tender and paid the deposit. These upgrades could cost anywhere upward of $50,000 on top of the inital price to get your home looking how you imagined it.
- Porter Davis are uniquely shy about even standard upgrade prices including in some cases toilets, sinks and doors.This is understandable for site specific upgrades but not for standard upgrades.
Be prepared for change until the moment you sign the contract
- Porter Davis are known to estimate and greatly change certain costs. Commonly making significant changes to their estimated site costs often as late as the day you are set to sign your contract.
- While in the settlement period with Porter Davis they can withhold the true site costs between the writing of the contract and the finalisation of the settlement, typically a period of 6 – 8 weeks. This waiting adds unnecessary stress to the building process even if your aware that this price will increase.
- Worse is that Porter Davis will have the upper hand by the time this moment arrives. If this increase is greater then expected and you wish to back out of the deal, Porter Davis will charge you a growing administration fee that increases the longer you delay your decision, as well as a cancellation fee. Having spent potential months planning your home with them people can feel trapped and accept a contract far more expensive than they had set out to. As in the case we will now discuss.
Don’t get Trapped
Crafting their Dream Home
The story of a couples experience reveals an unfortunate and stressful situation that arose from their dealings with Porter Davis. Having fallen in love with a Porter Davis design, the couple sat down with the builders and began the journey of piecing together their new home.
The initial quote presented to them by Porter Davis was within their price range and their excitement began to grow as the dream of their new home was on its way to becoming a reality. After finalising their selections the day came to sign the contract. Only the price on the contract contained a few significant changes to their initial quote.
Most notably a substantial change in site fees. The contract increased this fee to $55,000, initially quoted at $20,000. Caught up in the excitement and pressure of the day and not wanting to throw away the months of work they had spent designing their new home, they signed the contract and paid a 5% deposit.
Relising Their Mistake
When they asked about site fees Porter Davis told them the price was based on initial soil tests. The actual fee would be determined after they dug up the land. Speaking to their future neighbour who was building next door, they learnt they had got their site fees fixed 3 -4 months before settlement. This implored the coupe to do a bit of research.
They found that alternative builders could offer them fixed site fees for about half the price. Beginning to worry about further changes to their site fees they contacted Porter Davis to try and finalise their price. They were told this couldn’t be determined until the end of their settlement… in 6 – 8 weeks.
Their dream was turning into a nightmare and the couple began to feel trapped. Considering cancellation of their contract they learnt that each week of deliberation added additional administration fees on top of a cancellation fee, (fees that at this point had reached $7000). The couple were vulnerable and this vulnerability was not respected. Feeling taken advantage of, the couple threw out the contract bearing the financial burden before it continued to grow and started the journey toward their new home all over again.
The Lesson Learnt
Remember that this is just one person’s experience with Porter Davis. It does however reveals that the potential to have your time and money wasted is very real. An understanding of how these companies operate provides you with the confidence to demand a fair deal. Without this confidence and knowledge, this couple were unfairly pressured and persuaded into a bad situation. A situation that took some of the magic of building their new home away from them. With the right information, all of this could have been avoided. Preventing Porter Davis from using their inexperience to their advantage.
At Buildi, we help you find the right builder, save time, reduce stress and stay on budget.
How We Can Help You
Building a home can be a daunting process. At Buildi, we work with you throughout the entire build process to avoid any pitfalls and make sure your house build stays on time and on budget by following these simple steps…
- Free Consultation – We will sit with you to understand what you are looking to accomplish.
- Due Diligence – We work with you to ensure you’re buying the right block of land at the right price without hidden problems.
- Builders tender – We will take your requirements out to the market of builders and they will bid to win your business.
- Present solutions – We will compile the top 3 options and present you with a comprehensive proposal on builders’ strengths & weaknesses along with prices and specifications.
- Contract Signing – We will work with you and your selected builder to ensure there is full transparency in what you are entering into.
- Building your home – We work closely with the builder, to ensure all service levels are met and your project is on schedule,
We help find you the right builder for your home build. Contact us today!
Types of Porter Davis Homes
Prestige (Starting Price: $335,900 – $519,900)
For those who don’t want to compromise on luxury Porter Davis offer the Prestige range. Ranging from timeless Hampton style designs through to more Modernistic approaches, these are the high-end homes Porter Davis offers. With higher-end inclusions than their Collection range, you can expect Silestone benchtops, higher ceilings and more downlights.
Collection (Starting Price: $177,900 – $300,900)
Varying between 17 and 42 square meter floor plans, this range boasts to bring style and comfort at affordable prices. While not including the high-end inclusions of their Prestige range, there’s a greater deal of variety. The Collection range is for those that want award-winning style on a budget.
Porter Davis has a pretty clean record with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission. They have received one direction to rectify defective work. Having built 166 houses last year (2020) this may seem insignificant. Regardless It should be considered when approaching Porter Davis to construct your home.