Building Homes: Tips for Newbies

Interested in building your own home? Read below for an introduction to the things you’ll want to consider before you shop for those bespoke fixtures from Pintrest.

If you’re building a new home with modern features and technology, it’s worthwhile visiting some display homes in Melbourne, Geelong or wherever you’re check out the latest designs. Once you get a feel for floorplans and outdoor configurations, you might be ready to narrow down where to build. Of course, it can be difficult to find vacant land if you want to build in a well-established area. If this is you, look for older homes that are unrenovated or even deceased estate auctions. Don’t forget to check for applicable heritage overlays if you are want to knock down and rebuild. This is because local planning laws may prevent you from erecting a completely new home. Drawings wise, you can engage the services of a draftsperson or architect to design your home. In Australia plans will need to meet a number of building requirements such as energy efficiency.

Further out from city centres, land is more plentiful and it’s easier to buy a vacant block. Do your research if you’re buying in a new estate – do you want to be on a busy street or the high end of a court? Will you always have a view, or will various stages of the development mean your landscape will become cluttered with other homes? In many instances, vacant land in newer estates will be priced accordingly, so if the budget is tight, maybe there is an awkward shaped block that you can negotiate on price. The other factor to consider if you want to build in a new estate especially, is whether you wish to purchase a house and land package. For the complete novice or first home buyer, this type of contract takes the hassle out of building – all the trades will be organised on your behalf and build times tend to experience less delays. But, if you have set ideas on the design or fixtures, a house and land package might not offer the flexibility for bespoke touches, or will do so for a much higher price. Investigating these factors before you commit to any purchase is essential.
If you decide that you want to build on your own, you can become an owner builder or outsource the building process to a licensed general contractor. As an owner builder, you’re responsible for contracting your project, the schedule and the liability should any issues arise. Unless it’s a small renovation, in certain Australian states like Victoria you will also need to get a certificate of consent from the Victorian Building Authority. This certificate allows you to obtain a building permit and carry out the construction work. Being an owner builder can be cost effective for people with the knowledge and time on their hands, otherwise its best to stick with professionals who have the industry connections, experience and insurance to build your home.

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