1. BUDGET:  This is the start of your building process. Have a concise budget which will be determined by either your current financial position or by your borrowing capacity. Be realistic – does this figure include all your wants and needs, ie: fencing, landscaping, pool, etc?  Maybe these extras could be added later on when you have some equity in the home?   

2. BROKER:  Using a professional consultant or building broker can save you time, money and stress.  They know what to look for, what questions to ask and will make sure that nothing is overlooked from start to finish.

3. DESIGN:  Keep your design simple.  Be prepared to compromise and upgrade later if necessary. The simpler the external shape, the lower the cost to build.  For example, a rectangle can retain the same floor area with less wall surface area, meaning a cheaper build.

4. RESEARCH:  Do your homework. Get referrals and testimonials from other clients if possible.

5. COMMUNICATION is key.  Make sure that you are clear on what you need and/or want from your new home.  The builder can only quote on what they are given, so by ensuring that you communicate everything at the beginning, before going to contract, will minimise extra costs due to variations.

6. QUOTES:  The quotes should be extensive – the more detailed, the better.  Triple check the quotes you received and make sure that, if you get several quotes, that they are quoting on the same things.  Make sure you are comparing exactly the same build, finishes, time frame and inclusions.

7. TIME FRAME:  Ask the builders to specify a job schedule or activity plan, time frames, allowances for bad/wet weather, co-ordination with different trades, etc.  Unexpected hold ups can add to your costs as you may need to allow for extra rent or living arrangements to cater for this.  Allowing a buffer for unexpected events is important.

8. PROVISIONAL SUMS:  These are allowances that allow for work that can’t be priced by the builder at the time of quoting/entering into a contract.   This is where your budget could blow out, as these costs can vary out of your control.  Hidden issues with excavation, drainage, etc can be very expensive.

9. PRIME COSTS:  These are items which you choose and can range considerably in price, depending on quality, ie: taps, benchtops, floor coverings, etc.  Be sure of what you want specified, including model numbers and quantities of all inclusions and appliances.

10. CONTRACT:  Read and understand every word of your building contract.  Ask what is NOT included.  Make sure ALL inclusions are listed in the Contract.

Drake Home Consultants act as your building broker, ensuring that all the pre-build plans, documentation and approvals are in place before asking suitably qualified and experienced builders to tender for the work.  We make sure that everything has been covered and that each builder is quoting on the same work.  This way, you can be confident of receiving the most cost-effective and competitive quote.  Call us on 1300 711 985 or email us at enquiries@drakehomeconsultants.com.au for more information or to discuss how we can help you maximise your budget.