Home Construction Tips

What are the most important things when building a house?

Building your first home can seem seriously overwhelming, but with proper research and planning, you’ll feel more prepared to take on the challenge.  

It’s no surprise that many first home buyers nominate stress as a major barrier to building. It certainly seems like there are too many decisions – and too many potential mistakes – to make, particularly if it’s your first time.

But while building can involve a lot of decision making, it doesn’t have to be a minefield. Looking for the best home constructions? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has the ultimate list of home designs for you to choose from.

Most Important Things to Consider When Building a New House

There are essential things to consider when building a house. We’re going to take a look at some of these things and features to consider when building a new home.

Establish a budget for home building

Before heading out to choose a plan for your house and a builder, you need to establish how much you can afford to pay for your new house. These costs will include the price for the block of land you want, the associated stamp duty, potential loan settlements, site preparation costs, planning fees, finishing costs (which tend to be in the area of 15-25% of the entire budget), and the building cost.

Fees and Your Budget

Getting realistic calculations is essential for a financially secure house building process. Get multiple quotes based on your house plans for comparison, and make sure that the same things are included. It would be wise to get a fixed price because the items that aren’t fixed can change and become expensive in the future. Other costs in building a new home also include soil and contour tests, site costs, flooring, landscaping, modifications and add-ons, and land registration. Once you know all the fees and costs, you can then prepare yourself financially for all the fees, costs, and expenses that come with home building. If you would like to compare home loan options, you can talk to any that offers Home Loans who are able to allow you compare up to 25 different loan options to find one that will work for you.

Get a suitable plan in place

Your builder or architect will handle the making of your desired house plans, which is part of the building contract. They also require a building certifier’s approval, and possibly council approval. To see if you need both for your new home house plans, check with your local council or with a building certifier. Ensure that all aspects involved are clear and within the law by discussing your plans with your builder or architect during the drawing and designing stage.

Now that you’ve got a rough idea of what you think you can pay for your new home let’s consider the house plans. You can never get enough help where the house plan is concerned, and tools such as Floorplanner and RoomSketcher will give you a head start to creating potential mock floor plans. In addition, you can get inspiration from picture-based social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.

The Laws for Building a House and Your Rights

There are laws and standards to follow when building a new house. Make sure everything you do is within your rights and are legal to avoid complications during the whole process. These laws apply to the new house itself, your builder or trade contractor, the garage or shed fencing, pools, landscaping, and renovations or repairs.

Builders and Contractors

First, if your builder or trade contractor’s work costs more than $3,300, they must be licensed. Associated tradesmen, such as gasfitters and plumbers, must be licensed as well. For your information and peace of mind, you can search online to see if the people you are planning to hire have a license.

Home Construction Tips

You will also have to sign a contract with your builder, which must include an estimate of when the building work will be completely done. To make sure things go smoothly and for your protection, talk to a lawyer for legal advice before signing anything. You have the right to acquire a copy of the contract as well. In the event that you want to withdraw from the contract, you need to let the builder know in writing and check if you have to pay a fee. If you are unsure about what your contract should include to protect you and your family, make sure you talk to an expert. 

The right builder makes all the difference

The builder you choose is probably the most important element in this entire deal. The right home builder can make your dream come true, and the wrong one can turn your project into a nightmare.

When selecting a new house builder, criteria you need to consider the builder’s experience, their professional accreditation (a member of the Housing Industry Association/Master Builders), their reputation with previous clients, and also their expertise. Additionally, establish whether you’re buying a land and home package from the builder or are simply engaging them for home building only.

Now, this, we can say, is the most, but not the least important thing you need to think of when building your dream house.

Choosing the builder that’ll work on your dream house must be able to guide you throughout the construction process. You should be able to communicate with them from start to finish openly.

Your builder selection is critical in the success rate of your plans. Choose a reliable and reputable builder who will not leave you in the middle of the project. They should also be open to your ideas and your budget.

Check the builder’s record, past and current client’s review, and their expertise on your project. Will they be able to handle a sloping block or are they just expert on flat sites? Your builder shouldn’t be your stressor but your trustworthy partner in building your home. At HP Constructions, we have the best home constructions selection to make your house a dream come true.

Sustainable housing laws

Australian building regulations enforce an eco-friendly home, one that isn’t just comfortable to live in, but also uses less energy and water, and helps reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Make sure that your house design utilises energy-efficient fixtures and more.

LOCATION AND LAND TYPE

After evaluating your budget, the next thing you need to assess is the location and land type where you’ll build your home. 

You need to check if the location suits your lifestyle. Is it the type of neighbourhood you want to live in, or is it a good place to settle down? You also need to consider things such as it’s proximity to the schools, market, hospitals, and/or shopping retails.

Aside from the location, you also to check the type of land where you plan to build your home. Is it a flat or sloping site? Are there any boulders to work on? 

These are important questions to ask because your dream house’s construction process is very much dependent on these.

DESIGN AND DECORATION

This can either be FUN or DAUNTING, depending on your personality. But these are some of the things you need to think of:

  • Exterior and interior wall finish
  • Colours in each room
  • Type of flooring
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Furniture
  • Windows and doors
  • Size of the rooms

You may have many ideas in mind. Thus, it is best to list it down and show it to your builder. 

Never sign a contract until you’re sure what everything means

This seems obvious, but you’ll be surprised at the number of people who sign a contract without reading all the fine print. When engaging in projects of this magnitude, you must work with a solicitor so that they can explain everything you don’t understand in layman terms.

Make sure that payment terms, due dates, as well as warranty and insurance details, are all clear. You don’t want to be taken by surprise by any unexpected costs or discover that some inclusion is not in agreement. Whatever you’ve agreed upon with your builder should be stated in black and white in your contract.

Keep in regular contact with your contractor

With papers signed and the deposit paid, your contractor is likely to get to work on the first phase of homebuilding. You must keep in touch with your builder on a regular basis. Schedule a time to meet with the project director to ensure that everything is on track and going according to plan. At times, contractors may need to ask your opinion about certain finishings and features. If you’re available to make these decisions, it will make their work easier. Check out our extensive range of home designs at Hitch Constructions.

The Neighbourhood and Your Long-Term Goals

Assess the amenities and opportunities around your chosen location. After all, you’ll be living in this place for many years to come, and being comfortable in your new home also means that the neighbourhood suits your lifestyle and future goals, such as having a family or developing your career. Do your research and see if you like transportation, education, shopping district, jobs available, recreation and entertainment facilities, and local services for your contentment and satisfaction.

Things that usually forget when building a house

Here are some things people commonly forget when they’re building a home.

A/C Intake Vents

Ask about the size of the air conditioning intake vents. If it’s possible to have them all be the same size, you’ll be able to stock a single size of air filters. If it’s not possible, at least try to get commonly sold sizes. If you’re not sure what sizes are common, just go to a local home improvement centre and see what they have. After all, that’s where you’re going to stock up from time to time anyway.

Add an extra layer of security

All homeowners will consider security when building a house, but how far have you delved into it? Installing more than just your standard deadbolts on entry points is imperative. Additional security features, like adding security screens to windows and doors, offer a better level of safety. They’re also great for encouraging extra natural light into the home, and circulating fresh air without jeopardising security, views and decorative appeal.

Alarm systems, motion-activated and automated lighting, and utilising quality materials for doors and windows all provide an extra layer of security too. Whilst many of these can be added down the track, it’s better to get them sorted as early on in the process as possible.

Create a budget buffer

The first step when it comes to working out your budget is to be realistic. There’s no point in looking at extravagant homes and being sold on all the extra trappings if it’s going to put you too much out of pocket and under financial strain. You have to be prepared for any hidden or additional costs that can arise in the process. The best way to avoid these is to ask as many questions as possible before signing the contract.

Talk to your builder about what hidden costs there are and if there’s anything that may be added on top of the house price (i.e. site costs, fencing, stamp duty etc.). For comparison and clarity, when possible, get a fixed price and an itemised quote instead of a single figure estimate. Avoid contracts that have a list of TBAs. Once you’ve determined your savings, create a budget buffer which can be used for any unexpected additional costs that crop up. This is a vital part of protecting your finances and being prepared.

Feature lighting

Lighting is an important safety feature for homes, but it also plays a big role in creating the right mood. One of the best parts about building a home is you can design your own unique lighting scheme. You can be as creative as you want from room-to-room with different lighting features. Dimmer switches are a fantastic addition to truly craft the right vibe and don’t forget spots you may not normally illuminate – like under kitchen cabinets which can be super handy.

Irrigation system

If you’re going to install an irrigation system after the house is built, and have grass on both sides of the driveway, make sure to install a large PVC conduit (3” in diameter) under the driveway. Your main water supply will likely be on one side or the other, so the water main for the irrigation system will need to traverse the driveway. Your irrigation installer will hug you if you tell him you’ve already got a large conduit pipe under the driveway.

Additionally, make sure to get a diagram of how the system was laid out, including indicators for zone control valves and other key system components. You’ll be glad you did in the future when you decide you want to plant some big trees, install a pool or do anything that involves serious digging in your yard. It’s also a good idea to take a video of your yard while it is trenched for the irrigation pipes. Sometimes the crew that installs the system doesn’t exactly follow the plans.

Lights, Switches and Power Outlets

Check the location of lights & switches. You might find some places like the pantry or other places where the planned placement of the light switch is inconvenient. As for power outlets, also take note of their planned location outside the house. Specific examples include the following:

  • In the front part of the garage, near the driveway. This is helpful if you are installing an irrigation system and want the master controller in the front part of the garage. This is also ideal for vacuuming the cars while parked in the driveway or doing construction projects in the driveway.
  • If you have (or might have) a second refrigerator or freezer that you put in the garage, think about where it might be placed and add a power outlet.
  • Think about where your flowerbeds and trees will be planted. You might also want some landscape lighting. If you decide to go with low-voltage landscaping, then at least run conduit with wires from some power circuit to various places in the yard. If you go with regular 110V landscaping, then have the builder stub up a power box in strategic places from which you can run the landscape wiring.
  • Don’t forget about holidays like Halloween and Christmas. If you plan to put a powered mummy rising from the grave during Halloween or want to wrap all of your front trees with lights, you’ll really benefit from a stubbed-up power outlet nearby. Similarly, if you’re interested in putting Christmas lights along your roofline, it might make sense to put a couple of external power outlet there too. If possible, put all front “holiday” power outlets on a light switch for easy on/off or timer installation. And you might want the landscape lighting to be on a different switch. So think about all of this.
  • Space limitations and poor planning can lead to power outlets being in the silliest spots. When you’re trying to enjoy living in your new home, there’s nothing more frustrating than not having enough power outlets in the right places. Outlet placement in every room is important to plan carefully – especially with most of us relying on electronic devices regularly. You don’t want to be tripping over multiple cords or having extension cords and power boards plugged in everywhere.
  • It’s also cheaper to install multiple power and TV points during the building process than having to do it later. So, it’s better to have a few extra than not enough. Don’t forget to add power outlets to the garage, outside entertaining area and other key locations where you may need to the plugin. Consider double power points too, and adding a couple to the hallway to make life easier.

Securing the Sub-Floor

Insist that the builder use screws (or nail screws) and Liquid Nail secure the sub-floor (2nd story) and the stairs. Using regular nails allows sub-floor movement over time, which leads to floor creaks when people walk on it. This is an item you can easily inspect after the upstairs flooring is laid and the stairs are constructed. If you see that a nail gun was used, talk to the building supervisor. He might have used nail screws, which emulate a screw due to coiled grooves that cause them to screw in slightly as they enter the wood. I have no issues with those.

Smart storage solutions

Extra storage is a feature that’s usually underrated until you’ve built your home, moved in and realise how much you actually need it. Plan ahead with ample amounts of storage space and opt for more than you think you need – trust me, it’ll get used eventually! Take the time in the design process to map out each room and area to determine where you want the storage to be located. Consider garage storage space too.

When you set out to build a new home, there are so many things to think about! The list of some things not to forget when building a new house may help you build your dream house. We love to hear about the tips and tricks people discover to make their lives easier!

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