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Building your first home? Follow these 7 tips to get you started

Building your own home is a dream many have … and for good reason. It can, however, turn into a nightmare if you are not properly prepared and haven’t done your homework in putting together a solid plan, team and budget for the big undertaking. 

With these seven tips, you should get started on right track and have everything in place to ensure a smooth building process: 

  • Start with a clear plan

Ensure that your architectural and structural plans are completed before construction begins to minimise design changes during the build. Design your entire house comprehensively from the start, including crucial areas like the kitchen and bathroom, consulting with specialists or designers early in the process to avoid complications with layouts and plumbing points. 

  • Be careful with your budget 

Determine the total cost of your project before starting. Gather quotes from builders or enlist the help of a quantity surveyor or architect to establish a cost structure. Breaking the budget when building a home can happen very quickly, so make sure to stick to your budget to avoid unexpected expenses that can quickly multiply.

  • Put together a team of recommended professionals
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Select experienced professionals, including architects and builders, with a solid track record of success. Consider a competitive bidding process to select a builder, ensuring you get the best value for your project. If building within an estate, communicate with the Home-owners’ Association for guidance and insights into common mistakes, best practices and recommended contractors.   

Image for illustration purposes only. Source: Unsplash

  • Navigate the legal and financial process

Do thorough research and seek advice from professionals and industry experts before signing any agreements or making key decisions. Understand the legal and financial aspects, including the land sales agreement, deposit payments, and securing the balance of the purchase price before embarking on the project.

  • Sign a fair contract

Sign a well-structured contract with your builder, making sure it’s beneficial to both parties, and filled in correctly to avoid future complications. Seek advice from professionals, such as conveyancing attorneys, real estate agents and industry experts before signing any agreements or making key decisions.

  • Get your timing right

Be aware of the timeframes involved, as it can take several months for plans to be approved, a builder to start, and the construction process to conclude. 

  • Comprehensive snagging

Prioritise snagging to resolve any issues before moving into your new home. Make a comprehensive list of snags to ensure everything is addressed.

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