Building a house is exciting, especially if you understand what’s involved in the process. But no matter how excited you are about your new home plans, a level-headed approach is crucial in the lead-up to construction. This is a step-by-step guide of things to do, consider and complete so you won’t lose hair, sleep or your sanity.
Nailing down the budget
Ah, everybody’s favourite part. No one likes to think about what they can’t afford now, let alone in the future, but unless you have a whole lot of cash upfront, you’ll need to figure out how much money you have to spend and what you can afford to repay. Talk to mortgage brokers and look into pre-approvals from your bank. Ideally, your mortgage repayments will be no more than 25% of your take-home pay and the land cost will be included in the mortgage amount.
Factor the following expenses into your construction budget: plans, fees, permits and utility services. And don’t forget about the garden – leave some budget for landscaping to make sure your new house makes the best first impression. Decide early on whether you plan to rent out or live in the property. This will hold major significance with how you proceed.
Planning is important when building a new house
Select a neighbourhood, a block and a new home builder. Investigate any council guidelines or building restrictions in your new ‘hood. These may determine the type and style of home you build, which may in turn affect the house plans.
Ask your new home builder to provide detailed overviews of their specific policies and procedures in writing, to safe-guard you against any mishaps later on.
There is a huge selection of new house designs out there, so look for plans that offer the space and features you want in your home.. Be decisive about the type of house you want from the outset, or you may end up being swayed by every new house design you see.
A clear brief is essential when building a house
Think about your current and future lifestyle, and make a list of negotiable and non-negotiable requirements. Tag each item as ‘essential’ or ‘nice-to-have’. Be ruthless – this process will prove difficult but rewarding.
Inspect your site with a new home designer or architect to assess the potential opportunities you might be able to exploit, as well as any difficulties you might face. Request a fixed-price quote from your house builder and make sure that they include any upgraded inclusions that you want in your home.
‘Request a fixed-price quote from your new home builder and make sure that they include any upgraded inclusions.’
Signing off the paperwork
Once you’ve been finance approved, you can sign the building contract and pay your deposit or commencement fee. The commencement fee will typically cover soil tests, contour surveys, site inspection, slab design and working drawings. To save time and money, maintain good communication with your new home builder and make sure you’re happy with the house design and specifications before the actual build begins. As well as arranging regular site visits, ask if they’ll provide progress photos during the different stages of construction. Building a house is complex project and communication between everyone evolved is essential to keep the process as stress free as possible.
Sign off any plans that need to be submitted to council, get out your hard hat and pop some champagne. Once all permits have been issues, building your new house can commence!