Congratulations on making the decision to build your new home. You’re at the beginning of an exciting and rewarding journey… both emotionally, and financially.
Maybe you’ve made this decision because you prefer living in newer-style homes, maybe you’ve found the perfect area or block of land, or maybe you just think it makes more sense financially to build. Whatever your motivation, building a new home is a chance to build something perfectly suited for your (and your family’s) needs, rather than having to adapt another home to suit you.
There’s a few stages to the process of building a new home and plenty of things you need to consider along the journey, so we’ve put together this guide for the most important things to remember along the way.
Step One: Before You Start Your Home Building Journey
Research and collecting ideas
It’s critical that you spending some time researching, collecting ideas, and refining your vision of what you want your finished home to look like. It’s important to look at as many homes – new and old – as possible… and decide what you like and don’t like about them. You may find that what you thought you wanted at the beginning of the process evolves and changes over time.
Some other suggestions for researching the look and feel of your new home include:
- Buying design magazines to view a range of styles you may not have considered before.
- Watching lifestyle television programs to get inspiration for ideas you’d like to incorporate into your new home (or ideas you’d like to avoid altogether).
- Starting a Pinterest board and saving every photo and idea you like.
- Talking to friends and family who’ve built from scratch or renovated before about what they got wrong and right and what they’d do differently if they had their time over.
- Browsing our website for dozens of new home designs that can be customized exactly to your tastes.
- Asking the Territory Homes team to show you through some of our design resources and ideas.
Think about what you want this home to be
A home is much more than four walls and a roof. We all attach different meanings and expectations to our homes and it’s important to consider this before you start building. For example, if your plan is to make this home is your ‘forever home’ and the place you will raise your family, it may not make sense to skimp on interior space.
On the other hand, if you’re hoping you’ll be able to move interstate and rent the home out in a few years, it’s important to make design and floor-plan choices that will suit the largest number of potential renters.
Step Two: Creating High-Level Concepts For Your New Home
Now, it’s time to get down to a little more detail. Step two involves creating a checklist of features you want, need and can’t live without. This is your chance to make sure your new home is really built to suit YOU. Each home builder has a different list, so it’s important to really think about what’s really important to you – and what you can probably live without.
Questions to ask yourself include:
- How many bedrooms, bathrooms, and living areas will you need?
- Do you need a garage or will a carport be enough?
- Which room/s should be at the front of your new home as you walk through the entrance? Would you prefer to have the master bedroom, living area, or secondary bedroom/s at the front of your home?
- Do you like larger living areas, or bigger bedrooms?
- Do you need a bath tub, bigger vanities, or larger showers?
- Is an internal laundry required, or are you happy to have your laundry located in the garage?
- Do you need extra storage space?
- Would you like to have a workshop area in the garage?
- Will you have a boat, caravan, or trailer that you’ll need to keep secured inside your property?
- How much covered outdoor space would you like?
- How much lawn area will you need?
- Does your kitchen need a larger pantry cabinet or even a walk-in pantry?
- Do you prefer the oven under the cooktop, or would you prefer a wall oven?
- Where will your microwave go? Will you put it under a bench, above your wall oven, or sit it on a bench top?
- What kind of wardrobe space would you like in the bedrooms?
- Would you like to have a walk-in robe in the master bedroom?
- How about a swimming pool or a garden shed?
Divide these features into lists according to whether they’re essential, desirable or not all that important to you, and plan accordingly. Talking through this list with your builder will give you a chance to get a rough price of what your home will cost.
Step Three: Working out how to fund your new home
Now you have a ballpark figure in your head, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty – working out how you’re going to fund it. It’s a good idea to arrange pre-approval for the cost of the build and land.
Work out the approximate cost of land and building and take this to a good mortgage broker. You can also do research online, but make sure you use reputable, independent websites (for example, Canstar) as some other websites are just cleverly-disguised advertisements and won’t necessarily land you the best deal. We work with an incredible mortgage broker and would be happy to arrange an introduction.
Many Territorians are also eligible for some of the best home-owner incentives in Australia (even if you’re not a first home buyer), so it pays to do your research or speak to the team at Territory Homes for advice.
Step Four: Choosing A New Home Builder To Partner With
Choosing the right home builder is an important part of the process. You need to find someone who is reputable and experienced and comes with good reviews and recommendations. It’s also important that the builder you choose specialises in the style of home you’re envisioning and is used to working at your budget level.
When choosing a builder, some other things to look for include:
- Can they show you through any project homes?
- Do they offer an extended warranty on fittings and fixtures?
- Do they have any negative reviews on Google (or other review sites?)
- Do they use quality Australian products, or do they import from lower quality overseas manufacturers?
- Do they include or exclude their eaves in their square metre count? (This is an important one – speak to us if you’re not sure what this means)
- Do they have any customer testimonials on their site?
- Are they a registered builder (check here)
Step Five: Choosing your land
Let’s recap: You’ve picked your builder, your Pinterest board is positively humming with your design ideas and your financer-of-choice has given you pre-approval to proceed with your build.
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to pick your block of land. There’s a range of things you’ll need to consider when deciding which block to buy:
- How close is the land to schools and childcare, shopping centres, parks, public transport, medical facilities/hospital etc.?
- Are there any encumbrances or easements to consider?
- Is the block flat, or is it sloping? Does it require retaining walls or earthworks?
- Is there any existing vegetation that may require clearing?
- Do you have a preference for a corner allotment or a standard allotment?
- Lastly, will your dream home fit on your block of land? (Speak to us if you’d like guidance on this).
It’s a good idea to talk with your home builder before choosing your land. Different home styles work better on different blocks, so your builder will be a useful source of information.
Your Territory Homes specialist will help you choose the land that’s perfect for you.
Step Six: Finalising your design
Now’s the time to pick out all the finishing touches for your new home. This part of the process often takes longer than expected (maybe because we tend to leave making the decisions we’ll find toughest until the end).
This part of the process might include choosing:
- The colours and style of your home’s exterior
- Tiling and internal colour scheme
- Fixtures and fittings (tapware, light fittings, etc.)
- Kitchen appliances
- Your cabinetry and benchtops
- Your landscaping requirements
- Your outdoor surfaces including driveway and paths
Make sure you allow a good amount of time for this part of the process to ensure you’re not rushed. It’s also worth making the time to speak with an expert about any choices you’re having a difficult time with.
At Territory Homes, we offer a range of no-more-to-pay premium customisations with our Signature Select package. It’s our way of giving you access to premium home fittings without breaking the bank.
Our design team can happily explain these fittings to you as part of your design finalisation.
Step Seven: During The Build
If you’ve ever watched The Block, Grand Designs or any one of the many other renovating and building shows around, you may be expecting this part of the process to be a little stressful…
Luckily, if you’ve decided to build with Territory Homes, you’re in for a nice surprise! Our four-stage process is designed to take all the stress and uncertainty out of building your home. Once your home build has started, there’s not much you need to do apart from work out which pieces of furniture you’re going to put where and connecting utilities and services.
You’ll also need to arrange connection of sewerage, power and water. We’ve included a few points of what to remember at the start of the building process:
- Your sewerage service is payable once you take ownership of your land.
- Contact Power and Water Corporation to arrange your water supply. To arrange a new water meter and supply, you can apply online at www.powerwater.com.au or visit one of their Customer Service Centres. Check their website for locations.
- Contact Jacana Energy to arrange your electricity supply. To arrange a new electricity service, you can apply online at www.jacanaenergy.com.au or visit one of their Customer Service Centres. Check their website for locations.
Once your build is nearing completion, you should think about the following:
- Arranging your NBN or internet connection
- Gas bottles, if you selected a gas cooktop
- Land-line phone service
- Cable TV (Austar, Foxtel etc)
- Home and contents insurance
- Contacting the council to organise your rubbish bins
- Organise mail redirection from your old address
- Book your removalists
From there, it’s time to get excited! Your final task – if you haven’t already done it – is to organise yourself a housewarming party! It’s the perfect way to celebrate the completion of the seven step process to building your new home.
If you’d like to speak to Territory Homes about the process outlined above, or how we could help you bring your vision to life, please contact us.