Author: Kunal Sayal

8 Aug

Tips to avoid traps when building your Dream Home!

How avoid traps when building your dream home?

Building a house can be a great experience. It can be an amazing experience if you think of these few tips before you start. It may save you a few bucks and some headaches down the track.

How to choose the right builder?

The market is full of builders with great track record and many years of experience. You can choose one with great reviews, word of mouth or how many years they have been in the business. There can be plenty of shortlist criterias.

I will divide this into 4 part process.

Part 1 (Shop around)

  • Check for reviews.
  • Ask around by trying to find an existing customer.
  • Check how many years of servicebility they have.
  • Try to find out an on going build project and check the finish.
  • Approximate timeframe to build

TIP: Display houses are great and a good way to choose a builder, however, I would give only 20 out of 100 points when we make a decision since display houses are made especially for sales purposes and to attract customers.

Part 2 (Into the details)

  • How much flexible a builder is during a build process?
  • Can I change a few things during the build process?
  • Is the builder comfortable about me bringing in a private certifier to check the quality?
  • Is there a Variation cost?
  • If yes to the above question, what are the conditions for imposing a variation fees?

TIP: If you change the structure of the house (for example: add or remove a window) during a build process because you thought it could be better, expect a hefty variation cost and that is understandable.
If you get charged after changing simple floor colour/material or adding a few things like bulkheads, I will sound my alarm. You should be only charged with the additional material costs and not any other admin fees.

Part 3 (Inclusions)

  • How much allowance is provided for different part of the house, for example, appliances, joinery etc.
  • Shop around and see if that allowance will satisfy your requirements.
  • Check the brands (if you are specific to any).
  • Check for building material (read a bit if you do not have the knowledge).

TIP: It is quite hard to get it all right in the contract, and that is why you will expect some flexibility and understanding from the builder.

Part 4 (Contract)

  • Check the milestone payments and breakdown.
  • How long will it take to build according to contract and what is the penalty if this is not satisfied?
  • Read the contract in detail and request changes if you are not happy.

TIP: Milestone payments are made when the build process reaches a certain stage. I would recomend to personally visit the site when the invoice is being sent.

Getting the right builder can solve most of your problems if not all. As I have mentioned earlier, building a home can be a great experience, however, it can easily turn into a nightmare if one is not careful.

If you are reading this, it means that you are in the middle of a build of thinking about building. I wish all of you good luck in your amazing journey.

1 Aug

Approximate cost to build a house

How much does it costs to build a house in Australia?

Short answer: use our calculator to get an approx cost for building. For a detailed experience, read on.

Welcome on board.

When I made a decision to build a house, it was a big decision for us. After going to numerous auctions, I had realised that there is always someone with more money in the bank. For the right house, unless we were willing to go all the way through, we never won.

There there were things to consider such as:

  • How old was the house?
  • How much stamp duty am I willing to pay?
  • Do I need to rennovate the house after I buy it? My choices are different to the previous owners.
  • Was there some un-approved modifications done to the house by the previous owners?

After looking for our dream house in a desired neighbourhood for about 1.5 years, we gave up and started looking to build a house. And then came this real question. HOW MUCH WILL IT COST ME??

I really hoped that I won’t end up paying more than buying an existing house.

Change of plans

We started looking for a land near to where we want to buy. After lots of research we shortlisted 2 suburbs and some blocks we were interested in.

TIP: You also save on the stamp duty by the way which you can add to the build cost to get the most out of it.

How much will it cost us to build a house?

Two options really (ummmm, unless you want to build yourself):

  • Project Builders
  • Custom Builders

Project Builders

There are some good project builders out there who will build your house for a reasonable price. But then it comes to your requirements. Some things to consider when you go for project builders are:
  • You will have to pick from their existing designs.
  • If the land is of awkward shape, normally they will not agree to build on it.
  • You will have to pick the inclusions for your house from their exsting stock (which is quite extensive) but might not always fit your needs.
  • The biggest one if you are fussy: Your neighbour can pick the same design and build beside you.

  • The Price:
    Depending on the design, and the size of the build the cost varies from $1,500/m2 to $1,800/m2 (or more) It will never fit the $1,500 mark because it is basically a house as a box. No matter what they sell you, in the current market it won’t cut it. Once the build starts, you will be locked down to the contract. From there on, please make sure you do not change your mind as they will charge you with a hefty variation fees, and the price of change will be unresonable. Therefore, make sure you know what you are signing in the contract.
    Custom Builders
    The way this works is, you go to an Architect or Draftsman and get your dream house designed. Once you are happy with the design, you shop around for builders. I went to draftsman myself. I paid around $5,000 to get my design done, it took around 3 weeks. Good draftsmen will understand your needs and create a unique home design that suits.

    TIP: A contemporary (flat) facade design will cost you more than traditional or modern designs. Check here.

    Once the design was done, I went shopping for various custom home builders. When you meet these builders, some important questions you need to ask:
    • Will I need to deposit any money before I sign the final contract? (never agree to this)
    • Will there be any admin cost for variation (if any)?
    • How long will it take to build my house?
    • What happens if it takes longer than estimated? (because I will be paying mortgage)
    • Can you give me some reference to a project you have recently finished?
    • Can I talk to the owners myself?
    I found Taz Building Group after talking to 5 different builders and after asking all those questions.
    The Price
    They told me that variations upto 3k will not cost any admin fees. the build will be finished in 9 months and a fine will be paid on a weekly basis if not completed on time. They also took me to some of his recent builds and introduced me to the owners. They have a straight forward open policy. The way they calculate and provide the pricing is very transparent and open to everyone to see on the website here. So the build price ranges from $1,500/m2 to $2,000/m2 (and up) based on the design you have got done by the draftsman. It also depends on the:
    • Facade design
    • Upgrades on the inclusions
    • Choice of your flooring
    • Build area
    • Number of floors

    So it starts
    I found the following key factors so far which I was not able to get with any other builder.
    • They are quite transparent with the invoice, they show you everything. (almost like you are paying directly to the vendor.This means that if you think that their guys are expensive, you can find your own.)
    • Allows you with a resonable amount of variation, free of admin cost (trust me, you never get it right in the contract).
    • Their base inclusions are high end.
    • They have one on one meetings on every milestone delivery.
    • They also help you with price negotiations with the suppliers (electricians, joinery etc)
    • Great at project management, meaning everything is lined up without any delays resulting in lightening fast build process.
    • I personally hired a private certifier to check the quality of the build and they gave the build quality a 5 star rating on every milestone delivery.
    You can already tell that I am a happy customer. Mind you, the build is not finished yet. I would like to share with you the timeline of the build process of my current house.

    So far so good, if you are looking to build, absolutely give these guys a shot and make your own decision.

    I hope article has helped you to make the right decision. Everyone has a different situation and this may not be the right choice for them.

    -This article was published by an on-going customer on a special request