Ready, set, go! You’ve made the exciting decision to build a new home, and it’s time to get cracking. So, where do you start? As with all major projects, the key to success lies in the planning.
But as you pour through home design magazines or visit show-houses, the realities of building a house set in and you’ll discover it can be physically and emotionally draining. Don’t let that douse your excitement and enthusiasm.
In this post, we outline a 10-point building a house checklist to assist you in planning a stress-free home build. These include:
Make sure your finance and personal budget are sorted before you start looking to build. As a rule of thumb, set aside more than you would expect to spend. Start with a ballpark figure and work through the details as you finalise the plans. A pre-approval from your lender, coupled with a sensible budget, will clarify what you can afford. A pre-approval also indicates to a professional builder that you’re serious about building.
Why does the location matter? If you intend to live in the house for an extended period of time, you will need to be comfortable with your surroundings. For example, you do not want to wake up in the morning dreading the commute to and from work, or school.
Pinpoint the location where you want to build. Once you’ve decided on a location, you can then contact builders who work or specialise in that geographic area. Professional builders with local knowledge are invaluable: they will understand the soil types, wind factors and positioning aspects of the area; as well as any Local Council or government regulations.
The terrain you’ll be building your new house on can impact several things, such as positioning, foundation works, design and cost. Apart from the gradient – flat or hilly – there are factors the untrained eye may not be able to recognise.
Select a block of land which is suitable to build on. If your block is difficult to access, or has problematic soil (rocky or highly-reactive), your site preparation costs will be higher. Likewise, a sloping block is more expensive to prepare. When buying land, get a professional opinion or consider a house and land package.
Select a reputable builder with a proven track record. Building a new home is a major financial and emotional undertaking. Therefore you need to choose an experienced, reliable builder. That’s why more people place their trust in G.J. Gardner Homes – Australia’s number 1 rated new home builder.
Choose your home design carefully. From the architectural plan to floor plans, they are your road map leading to your new house. While you should expect changes in the course of the construction, the plans you present to the builder must be thorough, clear and checked for every possible detail.
A good design is simple, functional and energy-efficient. It also takes into account your future lifestyle needs. Try to avoid impractical or unusual house designs, as they’re harder to sell later on. For sensible and inspiring design ideas, take a look at our Style Diary or our 3D Design Tours.
Read your building contract carefully. By law, you’ll be required to sign a building contract, which sets out the rights and responsibilities of the consumer (you) and the builder. You should consult a solicitor before you sign a building contract. While there are common conditions in the agreement you may be familiar with, like project timelines, terms of payment and insurance, there are many others that are best left to the legal experts to advise you on. It’s a worthwhile expense to be included in your budget.
Reviewing any contract or agreement can be a daunting and intimidating task. We provide our customers with a transparent fixed-priced contract that is transparent and allows you to make the right decision.
Prepare your block of land for building. Once you’ve bought a block, it will need to be flattened, levelled and stabilised. Your builder will usually take care of this activity. Alternatively, you could consider a house and land package, which takes care of the issue for you.
Make sure that you monitor the progress of your home build. To ensure that milestones are being met, maintain an open, respectful dialogue with your builder. At G.J. Gardner Homes, our online Project Tracker keeps you in the loop on a weekly basis.
Have realistic expectations during the building process. Building a home is a major endeavour, and unforeseen delays can occur. Wet weather is the major cause of many delays. The key is to stay positive and communicate with your builder.
Check your new home for any defects. When your home reaches practical completion, you’ll be asked to inspect the property before handover. If you’re satisfied that no major defects exist, your builder will present you with a certificate of practical completion, along with any other certificates of inspection.
So, there you have it! Hopefully we’ve given you some helpful tips. For further information, check out some of our builders tips and don’t hesitate to contact us directly with any questions you may have.