Building Your First Home and Finding the Right Home Builder
Turning your dream home into a reality is a serious task to undertake. It is truly is a big financial and emotional investment. As much as it is an enjoyable process, building your new home can be one of the most stressful things you will ever do. So take a look at some of the tips we’ve prepared to make the project a lot easier for you.
The Most Important Step – Planning your Budget
A lot of people jump into their new build project with an open-ended budget. Remember that most home constructions tend to go over the budget. So, the first thing you have to do is conduct research and create a list of all the construction expenses. Don’t forget to put some cushion on your budget so that you would have money for unexpected purchases and expenses.
Before Commencing the Project, Make Sure You’ve Sorted the Design
Before you start the project, it is important that you’ve clearly discussed your vision to an engineer, an architect and an interior designer. All of them will work together to come up with the ideal design for your dream home.
What’s important is that you opt for a more timeless look and avoid building trends. You can still do this even when you prefer a contemporary design. Try choosing materials with a neutral look and style. In the future, if you decide to put your house on the market, you will be glad that you chose this look. It would be easier to sell and you wouldn’t have to do a lot of remodelling around your property.
Ask the Contractor to Buy the Materials for You
Contractors typically mark up the cost of construction materials to add to their profit. It is worth noting that home builders in Perth have a good supplier network where they can get materials at an excellent price. This means that even with the markup, they would offer the materials at the same price you would find in the market. Since it wouldn’t make much of a difference in terms of price, just let the contractor buy the materials for you. In this way, you can focus on other important things.
Focus on your Overall Vision
While constructing your home, it is possible that you might want to change a prior decision you’ve made. It is important to remember that whenever you request for changes, you are causing delays. You might think that some changes you make are just small, but they are still considered as added expenses.
Even the time it takes to clearly communicate the change will cost you money since it affects the building schedule. You would have to ensure that everyone in the team is aware of the change so they won’t waste time working on the previous plan. It is alright to make minor changes, but be aware that they cause delays and cost you money out of the budget.
Wisely Spend your Contingency Fund
As we’ve mentioned earlier, a lot of new build projects tend to exceed the initial budget. People rarely spend the exact amount they planned in their budget. That’s why it is important to have a cushion around the budget or what we can refer to as a ‘contingency fund’.
Your contingency fund should only be spent on unexpected expenses. This means that you have to carefully plan when you’re going to use it. So, as much as possible, try to stick to the initial plan and avoid making last minute changes.
Choosing the Right Builder for your New Home
One of the biggest decisions you will make in building your new home is choosing the right builder for your specific needs. There are a lot of builders in Perth and across Western Australia. With the number of options available to you, the selection process can be quite overwhelming. Thankfully, there are some ways you can use to make the research and selection process faster and easier. Take a look at the things you have to consider to be able to find a quality building firm that’s ideal for your construction needs.
What Kind of Construction Quality Can They Promise?
Your first home is your dream project, so it is only fitting that you do your research before you hire a builder. It would not hurt if you personally visit homes under construction as well as completed display units. In this way, you’d have a point of comparison once you search for builders in Perth or across Western Australia.
You are investing your hard-earned money on your first home. So, why would you place your trust on a dodgy business? It goes without saying that you must make sure that the building firm is registered and licensed. Contact the appropriate state authority to check the authenticity of the builder’s license. Remember that choosing a licensed builder helps you avoid poor and unsafe business practices.
It is important to choose a builder with enough qualifications to execute your vision. So, aside from the operating license, you should also check a builder’s credentials. Are they affiliated with organizations such as the Housing Industry Association (HIA) or the Master Builders Association (MBA)? Are they accredited by your state’s Fair Trading and Consumer Affairs?
For your peace of mind, you can also check whether the builder carries the right insurances. These may include Builder’s All Risk Insurance, Home Warranties Insurance, Worker’s Compensation and Public Liability Insurance. You should have the freedom to see the certificates of the insurance they hold.
Does the Builder Have Experience on a Similar Project?
In general, you should opt for a builder who has ample experience in constructing residential properties. However, it is also important that you check whether they’ve experienced building homes that are similar to the style you want. Even though a builder does an excellent job in constructing contemporary homes, they might not be skilled enough to accomplish the French country style you’re aiming for.
If you have specific goals for your new home, make sure you choose a builder that specializes in that area. If you want a timber frame home, consider builders in Perth that have timber frame home expertise. In this way, you will be able to get results exactly the way you want them.
Do They Value Customer Satisfaction?
You will know that a builder takes care of their customers by checking the reviews that their previous clients left online. An excellent builder makes sure that they meet their customer’s expectations. If there is a complaint, the builder would look into it and see if it is reasonable and fair. Even if they initially met the standards laid out by the Building Code of Australia (BCA), they would still make the necessary changes to satisfy the customer.
Even during the initial discussions, you will see if a builder is service-centric. They will accommodate your enquiries and assist you with your needs. During the process, they will make sure that you are kept in the loop and that everything is transparent. From start to finish, an excellent builder will treat you with respect and professionalism.
Are They Familiar with the Building Codes in your Area?
What sets good contractors from great builders apart is the latter’s initiative to keep abreast with the latest building code and local council requirements. Builders who value their customers understand that if they violate local building codes and standards, it would end up as an additional expense. They would have to pull down what they’ve completed and redo the construction according to local building codes and standards.
Will you Get the Best Value for your Money?
One of the biggest factors you should consider when choosing a builder is their price tag. On the other hand, it is important to note that you should not base your decision depending on who offers the highest or the lowest price.
When you consider the prices offered by a potential builder, you have to study the detailed description in the form of a quote. This means that all the materials, the cost of labour and other miscellaneous expenses should clearly be laid out in the quote.
Remember to acquire at a minimum of three quotes before making a decision. Compare the quotes you’ve received and make sure that you are looking at the same materials and the exact scope of works. Make sure that everything is listed in the quote and remember to look out for ones that seem too good to be true. Those that are incredibly priced low typically have hidden costs that will only surface down the line.
On the other hand, do not make a decision based solely on the quote. Remember to consider the other factors we mentioned in this article. It’s always best to weigh the pros and cons when making a decision like this. For instance, you could spend a little more for a builder who specializes in the type of home you want to build.
Building your first home is undeniably stressful. However, with careful planning and research, you will be able to get the results that you want and be satisfied in the end.