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10 Tips For Building Your Own Home

Building your own home is an exciting process, but it can also be stressful for first-timers. That’s why it’s important to understand what your journey will look like before you take the first steps. There are plenty of things to consider when building a house, and removing some of the uncertainty can help you have a smoother experience.

So, what do you need to keep in mind when building a new house? Here are 10 tips that can help you prepare, and go into your home building journey with confidence.

1. Have a plan in place

The absolute most important step you can take is to have a plan in place. But planning is more than just blueprints and development applications.  It means deciding on realistic timeframes, the right budget and the right builder (both points we’ll explore in more detail ahead). But it also means planning the actual physical orientation of your home.

Planning ahead can help you decide exactly where your home should sit on your lot, how it should be oriented and what challenges you might face due to your lot size or dimensions. It can help you head off these challenges before they become problems. 

2. Do your research

To plan properly, you need to put in the time to research all the factors that go into building your own house. This starts with where you want to build. Before you buy a lot, you need to research the suburb you plan to build in. Find out about local schools, services and amenities. Look into house price trends in the area, and try to learn a bit about local council development processes.

This may sound overwhelming, but choosing the right builder can relieve a lot of the research burden. For example, Better Built Homes has more than 25 years of experience building new homes all across the Sydney region. This means we’re experts in planning and approval processes in local councils all over Sydney. We’ve already done the research, so you don’t have to.

3. Pick the right builder

That leads us into our next tip: choosing the right builder for your new home construction. The right builder for you will come down to a number of factors, including:

  • Your preferred home designs
  • The area you’re building in
  • Your budget
  • Your service expectations

When you’re researching builders, pay close attention to their reputations. Look at some of the homes they’ve built in the past to see if they match your needs and expectations. Read online reviews, and check their licensing and accreditation. At Better Built Homes, we take service very seriously. It’s why we won the Product Review Award in 2018, 2019 and 2020 for the Home Builders Sydney & NSW category. You should expect nothing less from your builder.

4. Choose a design you can grow with 

Adriana Double Storey Double Garage Facade Design

Once you’ve chosen your builder, it’s time to choose a home design. Have a thorough look at all the designs by your chosen builder, and visit as many of their display homes as you can. You’ll need to make sure the design suits your block of land, but you’ll also need to make sure it suits your needs, both now and in the future. This means making sure there are enough bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas to suit your family, and to make room in case that family grows. It’s a tricky thing to design your own house, but having beautiful home designs to choose from helps you pick a design that will work now, and years from now.

5. Make sure you budget well

construction loan calculator

Knowing your budget makes sure you don’t run into any nasty surprises. Remember, it’s likely you’ll need to factor in costs like stamp duty, planning and approval fees, settlement fees and other associated costs. It’s definitely better to over-budget than under-budget.

One factor that can significantly impact your budget is choosing a builder that isn’t transparent about their costs. That’s why Better Built Homes is completely upfront about all the costs involved in building your home. We offer a fixed price up front, we’re transparent about all the inclusions and you can feel confident your building budget won’t blow out.

6. Understand what’s included

Following on having your budget in order, it’s vital to understand what that budget actually includes. Some builders don’t include features that you’d assume go along with the home building process. That’s why you need to have a thorough understanding of what your builder’s price includes.

At Better Built Homes, we try to make it easy to understand all the inclusions that come with our new home building packages. We’re transparent about every material, fixture and fitting that comes along with your home, and the upgrades on offer to help personalise your home and add a touch of luxury.

7. Have your financing in order

Getting your financing in order is crucial. While you may know what your intended budget is, your plans could be thrown into disarray if your lender doesn’t agree. 

You’ll also need to understand a bit about building and construction loans. They function differently than standard home loans, with funds released in stages rather than in a lump sum at settlement. Having your home loan sorted means those stages can be completed in a timely and efficient manner, and you can have peace of mind that your home building project will have the money it needs to bring your dream house to fruition.

You should also understand what help is available for financing your home. For example, you’ll want to check your eligibility for the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder grant. It can go a long way towards your deposit! – Grant Ends 31st March 2021* 

8. Get your head around the process

Remember we said construction home loans are released in stages? Those stages have a lot to do with the stages of building a house in Australia. 

We could go into great detail about the stages of building a house (and will in a future blog post), but it basically breaks down into the base stage, which starts with preparing your block of land for building and ends with your foundation being poured; the framing stage, which essentially gives your house the bones it will be built on; the lock-up stage, which adds windows, doors and walls to that skeleton; the fixing and fit-off stage, which turns your house into a home, with its plasterboard, painting, skirting boards, cabinetry and more; and the practical completion stage, where you and your builder sign off that your home is ready for you to move in.

It’s also important to understand the process your builder follows. At Better Built Homes, we have an 8 step process that we’ve developed to help all our home builds go smoothly and efficiently, from the time of your first consultation to the time you move in.

9. Keep the communication lines open

Throughout all these stages, you’ll want to keep communicating with your builder. Make sure to write down any questions that pop into your head throughout the process, and don’t be shy about asking them.

At Better Built Homes, we’re committed to two-way communication. We’ll always be there to pick up the phone or promptly reply to an email, and we also proactively reach out to keep you informed about the building process. It’s our goal to answer questions before you ask them, and that’s what you should expect from your builder.

10. Get started as soon as you can!  

From planning, to budgeting, to research to choosing the right builder, there’s a lot to do to make your newly built home a reality. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be moving into a custom built home. You can start your planning and research while you’re still saving your deposit.

Let us help you put a plan in place that sets you up for success. Call 1300 100 922 to speak with a Better Built Homes New Home Specialist now, or book online to meet with a Sales Specialist in our display home at Oran Park.