• Ten questions to ask yourself before you start building

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    A display home by Boldmove Homes


    Building your dream house should be an exciting journey in hindsight, but things can go pear-shaped quickly. To ensure your building process is as seamless as possible, we spoke to an expert in the field. 

    Local builder and owner of Boldmove Homes, Ric Maio, said often new buyers will underestimate the level of detail they have to go through designing their home.

    “It’s within this detail that mistakes can happen if you don’t do enough research before making building plans,” he said.

    Further to this, here are 10 questions Mr Maio advises you ask yourself before you consider building the house of your dreams. 

    1. Why am I building?

    First and foremost you need to identify your building goals. Determine exactly what it is you want out of your future building project. Are you building a house to raise a family in? Or are you building for investment purposes?

    Once you can lay down the foundations, you can then go on to figuring out the more specific details, like what features and materials you want in the design. 

    2. What is my budget?

    Mr Maio said it is essential to establish your budget before you make any big decisions for the build.

    “Know your budget and how much you are willing to spend, where the funds are coming from and what are the potential returns from building a home. There are always extra things needed to finish off once you’ve built a new home, so it is a good idea to have savings put aside for this purpose,” Mr Maio said.

    “Expect there will be variation changes and other unforeseen issues that could potentially cost more, so over budgeting and knowing your maximum price is important.”

    3. What are the extra costs?

    Building a house may be one of the largest assets you invest your time and money into, therefore it is important to research all the potential extra costs that come with it. Allowing for a buffer in your budget will help you should something unexpected happen.

    “Consider the costs of site works on your land, which would be separate to the building costs. Make sure you speak with your builder and list the items that would be included or extra costs to your build," Mr Maio said.

    4. Have I checked my options? 

    Put in the time to research different builders so you can find the one that best meets your building needs and goals. Search locally and research other building designs which are similar to what you want - it is worth to not always go for the cheapest, or first option.

    Once you have found a builder, Mr Maio suggests to be clear on the price and options included within your building package. Always lay out your options and ensure you feel satisfied enough to make a headstrong decision. 

    See "Choosing the right builder for you" for more advice.

    builder_with_couple

    5. Have I researched the area and land I want to build on?

    Location, location, location! It’s a driving factor when you buy a home, and it should be just as important when you are buying land to build on. 

    Consider the area you are building in. If the land has been subdivided you might need to look into what utilities need to be installed i.e. phone lines or gas which would not have been set up on the property prior. 

    “Some older areas may have site implications so make sure you get everything checked and approved before you start building, most experienced builders will know this and provide you with direction,” Mr Maio said.

    6. Have I researched the materials I want? 

    Know where your money is going. Sit down with your builder and discuss all available materials and ask questions so that you can be sure you are using the best materials for your design.

    “The materials you choose to use in your build should suit your lifestyle needs. Be conscious of things such as flooring, there are several options you can choose from such as tiles, laminate, wooden, carpets but remember the materials that you choose should be easy to clean and maintained. Remember, just because it looks good in a display home doesn’t mean it would work perfect for your home. Site locations can also play a role into the external design and materials of a home and should be considered before building,” Mr Maio said. 

    7. Does the design match the block?

    Mr Maio said you should have your house designed specifically for your block otherwise there could be problems when it comes to the actual build which will end up costing you time and money.

    Every block is different and unique, as is every house design. Your builder and/or designer should work with you to come up with a design that compliments the block and works with it. 

    8. Have I found an architect that gets my design?

    Just like finding the right builder, it is also important to make sure you find the right architect/designer for your design. Do they understand what your end vision is? Do they communicate with you about your design and do they strive to meet the needs of your final building goals? As mentioned before, research and looking at your options will help you find the most suitable architect.

    “Get the design right with the architect and pass it by the builder who can also provide some insight. This is important to ensure a smooth process from design to build. You can find an architect yourself, or ask the builder to recommend one,” Mr Maio said.

    9. Do I have any specific wants or features for the house?

    On a more specific level, consider the personal needs that you might need to include in your house. If you are planning on having children at the home for most of the time then you might want to ensure some of the materials used are child-safe. Perhaps if you have family members with disabilities, you might want to add a rail somewhere.

    “Having specific needs or wants is great if you communicate them to your designer and builder, almost always they will try to make it possible for you to have what you want,” Mr Maio said.  

    The major advantage of building a home is the fact that you can make it yours. If you want an inside pool and can afford it, then nothing is stopping you. Think about these features early on in the planning stage so you can budget for it. 

    10. Am I forgetting anything?

    If you think you’ve covered it all, think again and again.

    "Sometimes small things can be missed, such as adding an extra power point outlet on both side of the bed or bathroom, or if you're thinking of mounting a television, you might need to lift the power outlets and the antenna up into the centre of the wall rather than typically at the bottom”.

    “Another thing usually not picked up until later is the lack of storage space in the home. Planning ahead for this and maximising the ‘dead’ spaces in the house where storage can be added, this is often forgotten about but great for resell,” Mr Maio said. 

    More information

    To check out some of Mr Maio's work, visit his Facebook page

    Are you thinking of building a new home? See land for sale in Perth