New home builder’s checklist

New home builder’s checklist - They're called "milestones" for a reason: Your graduation, your wedding, the birth of your first child. These occasions are a big deal! Other than being celebratory events, though, what do all of these moments have in common? They require a huge amount of planning

Building your first home, another major event, is no exception. It seems that there's no end of bases to cover, and a limitless number of details for which you must account.  

Fear not: We're here to help! We've put together some key items to include in your builder's checklist as you prepare to construct your new home. Grab your hammers and saws, and let's begin.

Dollars and Cents

Naturally, budget is a major factor in determining the details of your new home build. It's important to determine what, exactly, you can afford, and make sure that figure includes all costs, beyond general construction. 

The NSW Government has published an extremely helpful and detailed guide to Buying Land and Building a Home, where it notes to include in your overall budget "the cost of the land, land valuation, legal fees, duty, settlement agents' fees, rates and taxes (including land tax), site works, building costs, furnishing costs, landscaping and moving expenses."

Of course, the fun of designing and building a home shouldn't be discounted, but it should be included in the cost of the entire project, down to every specific aspect. When commissioning a home builder or designer, make sure these items are factored into the price of your contract! The aforementioned NSW guide lists these home aspects, which include:

  • The number of rooms required
  • What style of house will fit on your land
  • How it can be best oriented to use the sun.
  • The roof style
  • The types of windows and doors
  • Access to the house and
  • Whether the overall effect is 'you'

That last bullet point? That's the "fun" part we mentioned earlier! Creativity can certainly play a role in determining the budget for your aesthetic home design, as well.

Don't forget: You're only human, and, sometimes, human beings change their minds, especially when it comes to a life event as crucial as building a home. A change of heart, however, can come at a cost, so make sure your budget can be maintained throughout the modification process.

If By Land

It's always important to consider context when planning anything significant. When it comes to your new home, that context is the land upon which it is built, which always comes with its own assemblage of items to consider.

For example, in constructing your new home, what are you seeking for yourself and your loved ones? Be sure to think about the neighborhood and local government of the land you choose. What kind of access will you need to access public transportation, healthcare facilities, schools, and other businesses?

It's also worth researching the history of development on the land and its surrounding area. Australia's landscape has evolved a great deal over the past several years; how will this locale continue to change?

Consider nature, too. Why did you choose this particular piece of land, and did it have anything to do with its landscape? 

That physical composition could factor into your home's construction, as the NSW guide notes, to "consider any trees and whether they can remain or have to be removed before building. 

The cost of removing trees is likely to be expensive and council permission is usually required. Also consider whether any rocks need to be removed." In fact, the entire "Buying Land" section of the NSW guide can help home builders assess the land they are considering for use.

Of equal importance is the land's energy potential, and its capacity for eco-friendly design. First, back to the fun part: Incorporating energy efficiency into the aesthetics of your home! 

Windows, once again, are the unsung hero, as the NSW Government's building guide recommends, leveraging "the site's natural features for maximum energy efficiency. For example, if possible, have the main living areas facing north for maximum exposure to the sun."

Of course, check the basics off your list, too, as the NSW guide notes, and verify the land's availability of:

  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Telephone
  • Sewerage
  • Fire control
  • Additional Resources

It might seem like vast, scary territory to navigate, but again: You're not alone! We're here to answer any home-building questions you might have, and we're not alone. Check out these helpful resources:

BUILD’s Checklist Database

NSW Government Family & Community Services' "Buying Land and Building a Home" guide

What are some imperative items on your builder's checklist? We want to hear from you!

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