The dos and don’ts of building you own home

For most people, building your own home is a once in a lifetime scenario.

It’s a big decision to build versus buy and you probably decided to build because you want to create your dream home.

Building your own home comes with lots of benefits, but it’s a big financial investment and if this is your opportunity to build your dream home, getting it right can create a lot of pressure.

Here are some simple dos and don’ts of building your own home to help you get it right the first time.

Do choose the right builder

Building a home isn’t just a financial investment it takes time and energy.

There’s lots of decision-making and usually some problem solving along the way.

Working with a building team you can communicate with and trust makes a big difference.

Read more on tips for choosing the right builder.

Don’t underestimate location research

If you’re not one hundred per cent sure on where you want to build, research is everything.

Create a list of things that are important to you when it comes to where you live.

For example, do you prefer a quiet neighbourhood or the bustle of a busy high street? Is access to good public transport links important?

Visit the area at different times of the day and check out the local amenities.

Research upcoming town plans, you might choose to build in a suburb for its large open spaces only to find out there are plans for a high-rise apartment block in the pipeline.

Do maximize your layout space

The size of your house will depend on your needs, budget and block size, but generally speaking, the bigger the house the bigger the bill.

It’s important to remember that a big house doesn’t necessarily ensure a functional floorplan and layout.

Clever design can prevent wasted space and create a home that makes sense for your lifestyle.

Take time to consider your needs and your floorplan. Do you prefer bedrooms at the front or back of the home? Where is the best placement for the kitchen and bathrooms?

Ensure you create a home that will work for you.

Don’t forget about landscaping

Quite often you can be so focused on getting the house right, your budget neglects the outside space.

A lot can be said for curb appeal, that feeling you get when you pull up outside your home.

Remember to put budget aside for basic landscaping so your home feels finished, you’re not walking sand through your new home every day, and so that you can enjoy the outside space as well as the inside.

Do make sure you make a non-negotiable list

Everyone building a new home is working within a budget – there are usually plenty of compromises to make along the way.

Before you get started, make a ‘non-negotiable’ list.

The list should only include items you must have in your new home, for example maybe an en-suite bathroom or double garage is a must – add it to the list that you share with your builder during the planning stages.

Be strict, keep it to those must-have items only, for other features and fittings you’d love, make a separate list and order them by priority.

Don’t overlook energy efficiency

If you’re building your forever home, you want to consider energy efficiency.

Incorporating things like solar panels, energy-efficient windows, good insulation, draught-proofing and rainwater tanks into your budget will help save you money in the long run while protecting the environment.

Even the orientation of your home on your block can make it more energy-efficient. Make sure you plan for living areas (wherever you spend the most time) are on the north side of your home. The orientation of the sun will mean unwanted summer sun is kept out and winter sun that will keep those rooms warm will stream in.

Do ask your builder about government grants

There are plenty of government grants available for people looking to build their own home.

Sifting through the information and eligibility criteria can be time-consuming and confusing.

For the best advice, ask your builder about your eligibility.

At the moment you could gain access to up to $55k in government grants towards the build of your new home.