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!
PICK A FLAT BLOCK
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.
WORK WITH YOUR BUILDER TO DESIGN YOUR FLOOR PLAN
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!
HAVE A BUDGET IN MIND
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!
MAKE A LIST OF WHAT IS IMPORTANT AND WHAT ISN’T
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.
START IN THE WARMER MONTHS
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?