Top tips for building your own home

SIXTEEN top tips from the experts for successfully building your own home.

1. Estimate your budget.

2. Always allow for costs not outlined in the base price. There can always be unforeseen things under the soil when they prepare the base, changes you wish to make during the processes etc.

3. Research projects in your area to ensure before you commence building you will have minimal delays with council.

4. Before you purchase a block of land you will need to check for potential problems such as easements, proneness to flooding and if the council has any restrictions on style of home built

5. It is ideal for you to have found a home that can be built on the block if a spec home.

6. Ideally the builder you have selected will have completed homes within your local council and will understand what regulations apply to the building of a house. It's imperative that you understand the regulations prior to submitting a development application to your local council.

7. Find out how long it takes for a development application to be processed by the local council (by asking the council) and factor this time into your plans.

8. If you know people who have recently built a home, ask them how long it took to build. Also ask the builder how long they take and when negotiating ensure the builder confirms in the contract the duration and explains what penalties are paid if they don't meet the time line.

9. Display homes will generally have two prices quoted - (i) the base price and (ii) "as displayed" price. So check the specs to see the difference between the base and display home.

10. If you believe the plans don't fully suite you and changes may occur later on, consider doing it now. This will ultimately save you down the track.

11. With display homes ask if you can change either internal walls or modify part of the design. Some builders will make modifications and others will not.

12. Continually keep tabs on what has been done by the builder and check this against their schedule - they should provide you with one.

13. During the building process visit the site on a regular basis to see the progress and take note of any possible problems. If you discover any problems raise it with your builder ASAP.

14. When visiting the site take as many photos as you can. It's great for nostalgic reasons and practical ones such as finding locations of pipes, wires etc if needed.

15. Always ask questions to find out as much as you can about what your options are, what will happen and when.

16. After handover, record any problems that come up and send the document to your builder before the end of the defect rectification period.

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