Julia Pannett

Home Insurance

05 Apr 2015

Top 5 things to remember when building a new house

Building a new house, whether you’re doing it for the first or fifth time, is always going to be a daunting task. It’s a huge life decision that requires a great deal of time, planning, money and faith.

While there are many things you’ll need to keep in mind before, during and after the building process, we’ve narrowed it down to the big five that we think are particularly important to help you get started. We’ve compiled a list of handy tips and suggestions that will hopefully help to make the process of building of your home as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.

Do your research

It sounds straightforward enough, but this can actually be one of the most taxing and time-consuming stages of building your dream home. Finding the right builder and designer or architect who you can trust and who can deliver exactly what you are looking for is absolutely crucial. The same goes for any other professionals who will be working on your home. Make sure you request multiple quotes for any work you may need.  Ask friends and family for recommendations, and use home building or design forums to tap into the expertise of others who have also built recently. Be savvy with your hard-earned money and shop around for deals or discounts on materials and other items you want in your new home.  Remember that it’s always best to know all your options –understand what each option offers and how they differ.

Plan, plan, plan

Building a house means you have to commit fully to the project, and that inevitably involves a certain level of attention to detail and organisation. Floor plans, calendars and checklists will become your best friends during this time, and for good reason! The home building process can be a complicated one, so it’s a good idea to figure out how you’re going to stay on top of all the different elements of the build and design phases.

Consider the following aspects:

  • External space – What is the total size of your block? It is important to know the dimensions of your block and build to make best use of the land you have. How much of your land do you want to build on and how much outdoor space do you want? How wide your block is could also determine the type of house you can build on it. Council regulations may also need to be considered here.
  • Internal space – How much space do you need for all your household members? Is a one-storey or two-storey home more suitable? What kind of layout best serves you? How many bedrooms do you need and do you need a study area or multiple living areas?
  • Storage – Will you have built-in wardrobes or invest in free-standing ones? Will you have sufficient pantry space in the kitchen or enough cabinets in the bathroom(s)? Have you planned storage solutions to keep your linen?
  • Lighting – Which way should your home be facing to take full advantage of natural lighting? What’s the most energy efficient form of lighting for each room? Will you have feature lights? Planning your lighting in a two storey home is very important to do early on.
  • Heating and cooling – How will your home design help to keep your house warm in winter and cool in summer? What are the best heating and cooling solutions for you and your family?
  • Flooring – What type of flooring is best for each living area? Do you need different flooring options for different living areas?

It’s easy to get carried away with inspirational mood boards and decor ideas but keep in mind that functionality and practicality is just as vital, if not more so, than the aesthetic design. The pay-off for being thorough is that your home will hopefully be everything you ever dreamed of both practically and aesthetically.

Communication is the key

It’s impossible to stress how important it is to be honest with your builder, and any other home building professional or expert you employ. Communicating regularly will help prevent any tricky communication mix-ups down the line. Always read your contract carefully and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Ensuring that you understand what’s happening every step of the way should be a top priority.

Take a deep breath

Building a home can be stressful, so remind yourself to stay calm, be flexible, and take a step back now and then from the details of the whole process. While you can save yourself any additional and unnecessary stress by thinking ahead, it’s difficult to plan for absolutely everything. You may hit some speed bumps along the way; this is natural and happens to almost everyone, and you’ll learn to gather your bearings and find ways to work around these obstacles.

Protect yourself

Once your new home has been completed, or even while it’s being built, protecting this investment should be high on your to-do list. Property investors will require building insurance, which insures against a wide range of natural disasters, theft and other damages, while building and contents insurance offers great protection for your new home as well as the possessions you choose to fill it. Having the right cover for your home will allow you great peace of mind for any eventualities.

In addition to the information above, make sure that you always consider and talk to your builder and architect about building regulations relevant to the area you are building in.  Building your new home can be exciting and ultimately satisfying. We hope you enjoy the process of creating something from nothing.

 

Cover is issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd AFSL 241436. Consider the PDS available at woolworthsinsurance.com.au to decide if the product is right for you.