5 Tips Before You Start Building!

While I wait for my slab to be poured, I thought I would share some tips with you – some things to think about before you start to build, before you sign the contract and before you design your floor plan. These are a few things I have learnt along the way that I thought might be useful to you!


Simple really! The more slope on your block the more excavation and site cut you will need. Not only that, designing a floor plan that has everything you want, suits the block and is in budget is difficult. Believe me. We have a block with quite a bit of downward slope. Our first plan was too expensive and our second plan suits the block and our budget better but there are compromises. But I guess there are compromises in all plans! In hindsight, we probably wouldn’t have bought the block, but there are reasons why we did – location the major one.

Builders know what they are doing and know how design a home in the best way. We bought our block
from a different builder than we are building with. We started designing our floor plan with them, but
when the quote came back a little more than expected, we put it off to save money. In the meantime I    unexpectedly got a job with another builder. While we were saving money The Mr and I kept working with the engineer on our floor plan without help – silly I know!! But we weren’t sure who were going to build with. When we decided to build with my employer rather than the first builder, we had designed the Taj Mahal! Oops! It was way out of budget again and we really got carried away with it. In the end my boss came up with a brilliant solution on how to build a good size home on our sloping block in our budget. Lesson LEARNT!

It is so easy to get carried away with the excitement of building. I know – we did it. We were like “oh do this, this is a great idea, add this – yeah lets do that!” All those little actions added extra $$ to the bottom line. While we had a budget to begin with, we just got carried away. When we went to design our second plan, we spoke to our builder about our budget and stuck to it!TIPS_BEFORE_YOU_BUILD

But be realistic. I see a lot of first home buyers come into work who want to build a home with all the bells and whistles but those ‘needs’ really are wants and can be saved for the next build. We got most of of needs and wants, and compromised on some things as well. It has been a fantastic result.

Look if you live in the tropics where a cold, wet winter doesn’t happen then by all means, start as soon as you can. But in Wagga, our winters are cold and wet for weeks. The rain has delayed our job by about 4 weeks so far. Its just too wet to get the slab down!

Have you built a house before? What would your pre-build tip be?



  1. Nicole @ The Builder's Wife

    July 7, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Great tips Fleur, I have shared them on our business page, always helps for clients to hear these from someone other than myself 🙂 xx

  2. Michelle

    July 26, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Great tips we have never built only renovated but I have watched my husband and close friends go through the building process. That prioritising really helps the budget stay reigned in and I think being very sure about inclusions and what the contract covers is super important to prevent any horror stories.

  3. Abélia

    August 6, 2016 at 1:12 am

    I’m pretty nervous about starting the home building process. I appreciate your 5 tips before you start building. I think sticking to a budget will be the hardest, but I agree that your builder should be able to keep you on track in that regard. Thanks for sharing advice about your home building experience.

  4. Laurie

    August 13, 2016 at 1:16 am

    I think it is important to find a great piece of land that doesn’t need a whole lot of work in order to build upon. And to have an idea of what you would like to do and how much ideally you would like to spend. There is a lot of research that goes into this process for sure. Great tips, thanks for sharing!

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    September 20, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Building your home requires the right people, contractor. They should be very good at what they do.

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    September 28, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    A good looking house usually has a landscape in front and back that complements it’s exterior.

  7. Christina

    October 20, 2016 at 1:49 am

    Your experience really solidifies the point that people need to stick to their budgets. You had many great ideas and getting carried away was likely an easy thing to do at the start.

  8. Kaitlyn

    November 8, 2016 at 3:59 am

    These are all excellent tips!
    I really like #4 of prioritizing what’s important. It also comes in handy when things get hectic or fiances become too much.

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    November 29, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Always check for past works of your contractors to see if they are good. You will see the quality and will make better decision.

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    January 3, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    Be always cooperative with your contractors. It is also your responsibility to check with them your suggestions and they should consider.

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    February 2, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    A good contractor will take your suggestions in building the perfect home for you.

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    March 1, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Find the right people to do your home. Don’t be cheap and go for contractors with good standing performance.

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    March 15, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Building your home requires the right people, contractor. They should be very good at what they do.

  14. Doris

    March 22, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Five tips are very useful for those who need to narrow down budget to build. It’s very kind of you to share your experience with us.

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    March 29, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    There are contractors that will provide a good quality home for you. You just have to be patient in looking for them.

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    June 14, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    The right contractors may come cheap or expensive. Don’t rely on the price but check their previous projects and reviews.

  17. Precious Leyva

    June 17, 2017 at 5:49 am

    My husband and I have talked about the idea of building a custom home. It’s the first time either of us have done something like this. I’m glad that you mentioned putting our needs first by stating what is most important. We want to stay within a budget, and meeting our needs and eliminating the less important things can help us maintain our budget for the home.

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