Building a house that will stand the test of time Most home owners agree on one thing… careful planning beforehand is essential.
Planning is the most important part of the construction process. Make sure you ask yourself these important questions:
What direction will it face on the lot?
What will the layout and flow of the rooms be?
What kind of lighting will you use and you can also keep track of design ideas that inspire you which you’d like to include.
Budget more than you expect
No matter how much you think the building process is going to cost, it’s likely to cost you more.
There could be any number of items that aren’t included in you builder’s estimate. For example, your Builder is unlikely to include costs such as electrical metres, and window coverings. Items such as landscaping and outdoor concreting and gates may not be included in the estimate. These are known as finishing costs and could run anywhere from 15-25 per cent of your budget. You’ll also need to account for site costs, which are the costs associated with preparing the land for construction, and you may have to pay for planning application fees.
Pick the right Builder
This is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the home building process. Whichever Builder you choose, you’re going to be working with them for many months. Careful selection from the outset can help you to avoid future problems.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a Builder:
Credentials: Make sure your Builder is adequately licensed and insured and if he is a member of certified professional body.
References: Check the Builder’s past work. Were previous clients satisfied? Don’t be afraid to ask the Builder for references before you sign a contract. Ensure there are no complaints against the Builder you choose. Also ask what warranty and service they offer.
Past work: Have a close look at some of the houses the Builder has constructed in the past. Make sure the level of quality is high. Also, look into resale data on some of the houses the Builder has previously constructed
Style: In looking into the Builder’s past work, see that it suits your design style. A Builder might be very accomplished at constructing a particular style of home, but if what you want is outside their area of expertise you might be wise to look elsewhere
Personality: As mentioned, you’ll be working with your Builder for a number of months. Make sure you’re comfortable with them and their communication style. If a Builder doesn’t communicate well with you, it’s likely they don’t communicate well with their contractors either
Understand your agreement
Read through the contract with your Builder to make sure you understand the contents in full. Make sure you’re not taken by surprise by what the construction costs cover and what they don’t.
Check the cooling off period specifies a time frame for construction that suits your needs. Ensure it includes detailed plans, warranty and insurance information. Also, pay close attention to the payment schedule.
Finally, it’s wise to have a Solicitor look over the contract before you sign it. Cross out any blank spaces and make sure any variations to the contract are well documented and mutually agreed upon.
Throughout the process, communicate often with your Builder and Tradesmen. Get regular updates on the progress of construction and check in yourself. It’s a good idea to take pictures of the progress on a regular basis so you can document any problem areas.
Don’t be afraid to stick to your guns. If your Builder, Contractor or Tradesmen tell you something can’t be done, push back. It might cost you extra, but odds are with the right amount of effort you can accomplish your vision. It’s worth putting up a fight for details that are important to you. After all, you’re the one who has to live in the completed home.
With good communication you should be able to avoid arguments during the building process. If you’ve clearly laid out what you want and the non-negotiable details, construction will run much smoother.
Look for ways to save
Building a home is going to be an expensive process and it’s likely you’ll end up paying more than you anticipated. That being said, there are ways you can save money. Shop around for the best prices on fittings and fixtures and on the materials your Builder will use. Get multiple quotes for any item needed during the construction process.
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