Adcon Developments

Building tips for home builders

Tip #1: Plan for perfection
Before starting your project, engage a professional architect or draftsperson. Ask for references, and check out some of their previous work.

Tip #2: Be clear about what you want
Write a full brief to explain to your designer exactly what you want in your new home. Be as detailed as you can. Picture your lifestyle in your future home and describe it.

Tip #3: Involve your builder early
Many homes are over-designed at the drafting stage, and home owners get disappointed when the quote is much higher than planned. This is not only frustrating, but wastes valuable time. Let a professional builder look over your plans to see if you can save money with practical design improvements.

Tip #4: Be realistic on prices
A valuer or builder should be consulted at initial design stage so you know how much your project is likely to cost. Free guides with a rough estimate on building costs can be downloaded from Archicentre.

Tip #5: Check all references
Engage a reliable builder who you have thoroughly checked out. Get recent references. Your builder should be a Registered Building Practitioner and have proof of adequate insurance.

Tip #6: Beware the variations
Some builders will submit a low quote to secure the job, only to make up the difference in additional charges. These are known as variations. Check references to see whether the builder has a history of major unplanned variations.

Tip #7: Time is money
Your building contract will allow for liquidated damages. You will be able to seek compensation for every week your builder is late delivering your project. Make sure the amount agreed at the start will be enough to cover any expenses or losses you will suffer if they are late.

Tip #8: Be super organised
If you're an owner builder you need to be highly organised. Plan to always be running 4-6 weeks ahead of your trades. Order all materials at the start of the project. Don't wait to be asked. (Remember to think about tiles, appliances, plumbing fittings, stone tops, door furniture, paint colours, carpet, blinds, heating and cooling).

Tip #9: Tread your trades with respect
You need to have a good relationship with your trades people and sub contractors. Poor communication and misunderstanding are the causes of almost all problems. If things are going off track, sit down and talk things through. If it gets out of hand, you can always contact Consumer Affairs Victoria for free advice.

Tip #10: Pay on time
Pay your subcontractors as soon as they have completed their works to the Australian Standards. You may need them again in the future, and a happy tradesperson will drop anything for someone who pays on time.