Building a new home is an exciting and often challenging experience, particularly if you decide to manage all of the practical aspects of this sometimes convoluted process. Getting all your ducks in a row is therefore crucial to ensuring it all goes according to schedule and results in the construction of your dream home.
Here are 5 tips aimed at ensuring your build gets off on a solid footing:
This is perhaps the most crucial phase of any build and typically involves obtaining a construction loan and/or mortgage. Having an idea of what you can borrow or afford will determine what style of home you can afford. Besides the initial consultation with your bank or financial adviser you will need to determine the total cost of engaging an architect
and any other professional services that you may require. You also need to plan for hidden costs and cost overruns, which involves developing a contingency budget. This can be anywhere from ten to 15 per cent of the total cost of your project.
House plans should take into consideration your lifestyle and how your family will interact with this space. This aspect should also consider the needs of you and your family for the foreseeable future. Be aware that there is also a significant cost difference to using a stock house plan as opposed to an custom-designed version. Architects and building designers
typically carry a cost premium for accessing their professional skills and experience, but you will have the advantage of a home designed to your specific needs.
Entrusting a builder to construct your new home is not a process that should be rushed. Builders should be in possession of the appropriate qualifications and be licensed for the proposed job. They also need to have builders warranty insurance and be in a financial position to take your project on. Establishing the track record of a builder is therefore crucial – so ensure you review a selection of their work prior to signing on the dotted line. Ideally meet with a number of builders who work in your area and obtain a range of quotes from them.
Once you have decided on your builder and/or architect getting a written contract is perhaps the most important aspect of any building project. This details the obligations of all parties, including your own. Besides obvious details such as the registered address of the builder, a contract should also detail the scope of works, materials, timeframes, payment schedules and labour cost amongst others. Contracts need to be read in full before they are signed and any issues highlighted prior to this. If you are unfamiliar with these aspects it is strongly recommended you consult a legal profession who can help cover all the relevant bases.
- Consider a Project Manager
A dedicated project manager
is well worth considering for any building project of significant scope and scale. Project managers are typically involved from the initial design stage right through actual construction to completion. They are responsible for the planning and coordination of all elements of a construction project – and should have the required industry knowledge and experience for this task. Even though they are an additional project cost, the time and hassle they will save you make them well worth considering.