Stay calm and keep building

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Building your dream home is a rewarding project but, as with any big undertaking in life, there are times in the process that will be scary, frustrating and challenging. To help make things as easy and enjoyable as possible use these tips to help prepare yourself for an exciting adventure into home building.

Trust your builder

The relationship you forge with your builder is one of the most vital aspects of the building process. You want to feel comfortable with them from the very start so make sure you meet them in person. Make sure you’re going to be able to communicate well; you want to choose a builder who you know you can ring up with any questions with no hesitation. Ask for references. A good builder will be able to show you examples of their work; even better, if they have a good relationship with the homeowner, they will introduce you to them so you can hear for yourself. 

Be honest and blunt about your budget

Decisions need to be made all the time during a build so make sure expectations around costs and approving changes are set in stone from the start. At the same time though, always remember your builder is the expert and their advice should guide you.

Select all your materials before you build

A sure-fire way to ensure your project goes smoothly is to select as many of the fittings, fixtures, materials and appliances etc, before the build begins. Using our online home building tool gives you that control. From a builder’s perspective, having these decisions set beforehand makes all the difference when it comes to keeping the project on time, on budget, and stress-free for you. 

Accept what you cannot control

Bad weather happens. There’s nothing that can be done to change it so try and focus on what you can control. Before you begin construction, ask your builder if they have a bad weather plan. Often, once the roof is on and the building is weathertight, inside fit out jobs can take place when outside work cannot. 

Communicate regularly

The relationship you have with your builder is just like any other, it will thrive on great communication. If you don’t have a dedicated project manager, make sure you agree between you who will take responsibility for what jobs and how communication will happen.

Arrange visits to your site

Not only will it be exciting to see how things are progressing, visiting the site is a great for getting any questions answered face to face and for putting your mind at ease. Visit on a regular basis so you feel involved throughout each stage of the construction process, just remember to arrange it with your builder first so you’re on site when it’s safe to be.

Be in it together as a family

If times get testing, we might be tempted to lash out at those closest to us. From the start, have a plan on how decisions are going to be made and what the desired outcome is. What are you willing to compromise on? What are deal breakers? Agreeing on these things together upfront will make challenges much easier to deal with. Also, remember to get away from it sometimes. Make sure it doesn’t consume you all, all the time. Take a break every once in a while.

Get to know your neighbours

If there are homes already around your site, introduce yourself early on. Making that personal connection isn’t just the neighbourly thing to do, it could offer an extra level of security when there’s no one on site.

Put stuff in writing

Keeping good records is a way of ensuring accountability because all parties are on the same page and can refer back to communications. And, dare we say it, should anything go wrong, having written records could help with any legal or insurance matters down the track.

Published:  30 April 2018
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