As one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime, the home-building process can be incredibly stressful for first-timers when proper planning and considerations are lacking. Thankfully, building a new home doesn’t have to be a gruelling process. There are numerous things to consider when building a house, and eliminating some of the uncertainty can help to remove the stress from this life-changing experience.

To help get the ball rolling, we’ll be sharing 7 important things to consider before building your own home, so read on to find out more.

1. Get Your Budget & Financing In Order

One of the most important considerations when building your own home is, of course, your budget and financing. Having a clear understanding of your budget and borrowing capacity will help to make sure that you don’t run into any nasty financial surprises. Thankfully, there are many free tools available online such as a borrowing power calculator that help you get an upfront estimate of how much you could borrow before you make any commitments.

Aside from the obvious upfront costs, it is important to factor in costs such as stamp duty, planning and approval fees, settlement fees and other associated costs when figuring out a comfortable budget that works for you. In most cases, it’s definitely better to over-budget than under-budget. Besides your budget, getting your financing in order is just as crucial. While you may have an idea of what your intended budget is, your plans can quickly go awry if your lender doesn’t agree. To help increase your chances of success, make sure you have a detailed plan in place before seeking out a loan agreement.

2. Pick The Right Builder

Choosing the right builder for your home is a critical decision, and one that can truly make or break your home building dreams. The builder you choose will have a significant impact on the quality, cost, and overall success of your project. This is why it is important to research potential builders carefully, considering factors such as their credentials, experience, reputation, price, style and references.

You should also consider their communication style and ability to work within your budget and timeline. The truth is that your dream home simply cannot become a reality without the help of a reputable contractor. By thoroughly researching local builders before making your final decision, you can be confident that your home is in good hands.

3. Future-Proof Your Design

Once you’ve chosen your builder, it’s time to start thinking about your home design. For starters, go through all the designs offered by your builder, and visit as many display homes as possible. As a general rule, we recommend choosing a home design that is future-proof and able to stand the test of time.

Of course, you’ll want to choose a design that is suitable for your block of land, but you’ll also need to ensure your home meets both current and future needs. Future-proof design means creating a home that can adapt to changing needs and technologies over time, without requiring major renovations or redesigns. Do you plan on starting or growing a family in the near future? If so, you may want to maximise storage space and ensure that there are enough bedrooms for your little ones as they grow older.

Additionally, a future-proof home can also be more sustainable, both environmentally and financially. For example, by incorporating energy-efficient features like solar panels or insulation, you can reduce your home’s energy consumption and save on utility bills.

4. Understand Your Timeline

Building a home can be a time-consuming process, and it is essential to have a clear understanding of your timeline before starting the project. According to industry experts, the average house takes between four and 12 months to build in Australia, depending on the scope of the home and variables such as weather and the soil quality of your land plot.

However, it is important to consider factors such as the time required for planning, design, and construction, as well as any potential delays that may arise. Construction delays are often a normal part of the home building process, but that doesn’t make them any less frustrating. Factors such as labour shortages, material shortages, permitting and approvals may also cause delays in the building process, which is something to always keep in mind.

5. Get An Independent Inspector

Generally, most homes go through 6 stages in the building process — base, frame, lock-up, fixing, fit-off and practical completion. As the progress of your build gains momentum, homeowners are recommended to get each stage of construction inspected by an independent consultant or building inspector. A reputable building inspector will ensure that the work being done meets the required standards, codes and regulations. This includes ensuring that the materials being used are of good quality and that they are installed correctly.

If there are any issues identified, the builder will need to rectify them before moving on to the next stage. By having an inspector on-site at each stage of the construction process, you can be confident that the work is being done to a high standard.

Although hiring a building inspector is indeed an additional cost to factor in your budget, it is one that could save you a significant amount down the track if they pick something up that you might have missed. Moreover, it can often be a difficult and time-consuming process to get builders to rectify issues after final settlement, so your best bet is identifying issues before you even get to that stage.

6. Keep Communication Lines Open

Throughout the building process, it is vital to communicate often with your builder to ensure that you are kept informed every step of the way. We recommend being proactive by getting regular updates on the status of your build, and paying frequent visits to the site if and when it is safe to do so.

It’s also a great idea to take photographs of the progress on a regular basis, as this will allow you to document any issues or problem areas. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to speak up if you have any concerns or dissatisfaction about the build — at the end of the day, it is your home that you are paying good money for, and it’s worth putting up a fight for details that are important to you.

Simply put, keeping communication lines open with your home builder allows you to build a relationship with them. This can help to foster a positive working relationship and ensure that any issues that may arise are addressed quickly and efficiently.

7. Know Your Rights

Last but not least, knowing your rights if something goes awry during the building process is absolutely vital. If you’ve chosen a reputable builder and have planned the building process well, it is highly unlikely that you’re going to face any insurmountable problems. However, it is always important to plan for the worst, and knowing your rights will make all the difference should you encounter difficulty along the way.

Australian consumer laws provide homeowners with various protections when it comes to building complaints. These laws prohibit false or misleading advertising, require builders to provide consumers with clear and accurate information about their services, and provide remedies for consumers who have been misled or treated unfairly.

Thankfully, there are a number of channels you can go through in the event of building disputes, defects and delays. Depending on the nature of your problem and which state you are in, there are different organisations who can help you with your issue. You know what they say — better safe than sorry.

And there you have it — everything you need to know before building your new home, to ensure the smoothest and most pain-free experience possible. We hope that this article has provided you with some valuable insight into all the considerations you should take on board when embarking on your upcoming home building journey.

Image: Supplied.

This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Digital Next.