PUBLISHED 15/11/2021

Home building tips ... let’s talk about the essentials. The ideas and concepts that you bring to a completely blank slate when you make the decision to build a new home. Before you get distracted by options, details, material and colour choices, it’s always a good idea to step back, take a deep breath and look at the fundamentals before you go any further. It’s the same common-sense principle that applies to other big purchases such as buying a car – make sure it has all the features and functionality you need first, before concerning yourself with that paint colour. Let’s look at some rock-solid fundamentals and straightforward home building tips.

It starts with a compass…

Aspect. It sounds like something your mum and dad might have talked about, but getting it right is absolutely vital. The way your home is situated on the block can have a huge impact on its livability, energy efficiency, even the life of paint finishes and furnishings. So checking correct aspect is about as fundamental as home building tips can get.

If you’ve ever visited a home and found yourself reaching for your sunglasses as you walk into a room, or on the flip side, wondering why it’s so dark inside on a bright sunny day, you’ve experienced bad aspect choices first hand. Down through the decades, a lot about building a home has changed, but the importance of correct positioning and aspect relative to the path of the sun remains the same. It also dictates the size and placement of windows, verandahs and patios. So when you’re looking at a block and considering a home plan, don’t just think about whether it will fit – think about the direction in which it will face. Any good builder will be onto this right away, and happy to advise you.


Lock in those ‘must-haves’.

These are often the issues that have prompted you to build a new home in the first place – so don’t let negotiations and compromises derail the really important points. A good home building tip is that the vital features that are absolutely non-negotiable should guide your choice of the basic plan as a starting point. If they’re not already in there…is it really the right plan? And if you need your builder to incorporate a certain feature as an ‘extra’, how much more expense will this lead to? A good builder will have custom design capability so that you can easily incorporate all the features that you want. And if you absolutely must have something included that’s not part of the standard plan, the right builder should also be able to show you how it can be incorporated without costing the earth.


Power up.

There are few things more frustrating than living in a home that has too few power points, or power points in poorly thought-out places. Searching for a place to plug in, and running extension cords for appliances, is bad enough. But it’s even worse when poorly positioned power points begin to dictate where you place your TV, your stereo, perhaps even your washer and dryer.

This is another one of those home building tips that will really add to the livability of your design. Talk to your builder and ask for details on exactly how many power points your plan includes, and where they are. Power points can be difficult and expensive to add after a home is completed, so be sure to make this clear to your builder, who should be happy to accommodate your requests early in the process.


Find out about the fittings.

There’s a certain satisfaction that comes through fittings that are just right – components like tap ware, door handles and the like, all the way to ovens and range hoods. These are the things you’ll be working with every day, yet despite the familiar nature of these details, home building tips often fail to mention the quality of standard fittings.

Check carefully on the fittings that come standard with the home design you’re considering. Are they ‘entry level’ banal, or something of real quality that you’d be happy to live with? Good builders are all about details like this, and the best builders to deal with are those who incorporate premium fittings and finishes right from the start, rather than offering only the basics to begin with and charging more for ‘upgrades’ that merely bring you up to the quality standard you were expecting all along.


What can be changed – and when?

This is another good conversation to have with your builder early in the process of planning. Many builders will allow you to make changes when the initial working drawings are made, but after you’ve signed off and the plan is final, it becomes concrete.

Talk to your builder about when changes can be made by you, and at what stage changes can no longer happen. Bear in mind that this is a balancing act – a good builder will be your partner in creating a home that’s perfect for you, but will always have an eye on the timely delivery of your home, too. Changes once the build is underway invariably create delays that can add extra expense and push back the finishing date.


Make a Mood Board

Our constant reference to photos on our phones has led to this being one of the most popular home building tips. Building a new home means making dozens of choices, and at times this can make it hard to hold on to the vision you started with. That’s why it’s good to have a visual reference point. Whether this takes the form of a cork board full of inspiring pictures or a Pinterest account on your phone is up to you, but having this material to go back to and reference where you started can be a handy way of reminding yourself about what the destination should be.

Be realistic as the process continues – there will always be a degree of compromise involved in building a home, but for your own satisfaction, make sure that you hold on to the big things that inspired you to get started in the first place.


Plan…and enjoy!

When you’ve taken the time to identify your lead building priorities and get clear answers on them, building a home becomes a more relaxing process. Invest plenty of thought into getting these foundational points right. Remember, too, that any good builder will be happy to spend time discussing these points with you. Give us a call.

Details are important, but don’t let them distract you from the big issues. Get the fundamentals right first, and you’ll be well on your way to building your home with more certainty and less stress.