Live Space Architects

Top Tips When From Scratch

Whether you’re building your very first home or your tenth, it won’t come as a surprise when we say the process is quite complicated. Consider the following top 5 tips when building a Home From Scratch.

You are building a delicate structural system after all, which needs to be safe, secure, and meet a long list of local and national regulations. Though, with the right team by your side and some fantastic tips, like the ones we’ve listed below, you’ll be on your way to a smooth new-home build.

Off the top, you’re going to want to ensure you have all of the details and construction sheets handy and to go from there. It’s imperative not to kick off any home build project without all of your architectural and engineering drawings on hand, and so once you have these you’re on the right track.

However, for those starting without a plan and looking to kick things off from the design phase, we have some great tips for you below too.

Take a look at our top tips when building a home from scratch.

Get Planning, and Do It Well

To get the ball rolling and to ensure the building process is as smooth as possible, you’ll want to make sure you have your plan in place, and implemented correctly.

With this tip we suggest you engage a designer, architect and engineering teams to make the process a little simpler and more thoroughly complete.

You don’t need to have these professionals on your team full-time, though a contractor an architect and engineer are imperative to making sure you’re designing within regulation and also creating a home that can be built — without falling down mid-way through construction.

On top of this, consider things such as the direction of the home’s key living spaces. You want bedrooms and the living room to be away from high-heat zones such as the Western sun, and so directional planning is important too.

One final thing to note is the home’s program (or floor plan) and how you are expecting to make use of the home. Without a good idea in your mind about how occupants will get from one side to the other, you’re running the risk of creating a design and building a home that doesn’t work so well for those who live inside of it.

Finally, be sure to take a look at local guidelines and building regulations prior to kicking off construction.

Create a Realistic Budget

When we say realistic, we mean plan for emergencies and also be ready for spending a little extra on key elements of the home.

One key cost that a lot of first-time and from-scratch builders forget about are things such as essential utility connections, such as electric metres, gas metres and in recent years – an NBN connection too.

On top of these costs, also make sure that you’re factoring in materials beyond your trusses, noggins, studs and other household construction materials. By this we mean keeping tabs on the costs of fencing, decking, garage concreting as well as letter boxes and other smaller essentials.

A key tip we always suggest when budgeting is to have a cost overrun protection fund or account. In this account, you’ll want to have anywhere between 15 to 25 percent of your household’s cost saved for an emergency.

You should always hope to not need to dig into this account, though, it’s important that it’s there. Otherwise, your construction could stall.

Contractors, Tools and Suppliers

If you’re building the home on your own, or delegating to builders and other professionals, you’re going to want to make sure you make a lot of executive decisions.

Of course, for those building a home on their own, you’ll be put to the task of investing in all of your own tools. For this tip, we suggest looking to quality retailers like Stonex to help you out here, as they’ll stock a tonne of essential home-building tools for you.

However, when it comes to contractors, these experts will typically come with all of their own supplies and tools.

This in mind, however, you’re going to want to do a lot of digging when it comes to choosing the right contractors. Take a look at things such as their portfolio, credentials, their personality as well as their style of home builds.

A lot of new-home builders don’t recognise the difference between a builder’s construction style, and so lead themselves into a trap where a home can’t be completed to the right calibre.

For vetting your contractors, take a look at their past work and determine if the home’s they’ve built in the past match yours. If they do, you’re in luck! If they don’t, it might be worth looking to another contractor.

Prepare Financing Early

To one of our last tips, it’s always important to have your financing ready as early as possible and tied well into your construction plan.

A lot of banks offer construction home loans designed for the rocky construction route, and so you’re in good hands when it comes to financing a new home build. However, keep in mind that these home loans are staggered and funding is released on a timeline, rather than all at once.

This in mind, you will need to have the discipline, as will your builders, to work well with your plan and to follow it step by step to ensure your loan payments line up perfectly with your construction stage.

Assess Avenues to Save Money

On to our final tip; there is always a tonne of avenues to save money when building a home from scratch, and so we suggest you look toward these.

When you can, or when a material isn’t visible, work to find a cheaper alternative, for example. This method allows you to only invest heavily in the materials in the home that you’re going to see and gives you the chance to save a tonne when you switch to cheaper alternatives that are otherwise hidden from view.

On top of this, bargaining in the construction industry is not frowned upon, and so you can talk to sales agents at homeware stores, for example, and ask for the best prices on materials that you need. And if they don’t give you a good price — go somewhere else!

The Takeaway

With our tips above in mind, we’re sure you’ll have some more clarity and a little more direction when it comes to building a home from scratch.

Keep in mind that the process can be, and often is very stressful, though with a solid plan in place and a team you can trust — and financing is taken care of — you’re on the way to a far more streamlined, stress-free, and enjoyable new home build!

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