The decision to build a house from scratch in favour of renovating or buying a renovated house is one not to take lightly. In our case, it was three years in the making and what clinched the deal was the romantic albeit naive idea that we would end up with a brand spanking new home that we designed for our family.
Before handing over any of our hard-earned cash, I immersed myself in cyberspace reading all the building blogs and forum threads I could get my little hands on! I wanted to learn as much as I could from other people’s experiences. Naturally I was biased towards Metricon blogs and suffice to say I picked up a lot of knowledge and tips that I hoped to emulate or avoid. Building with a volume builder is probably more regimented than building a custom house and most project home builders have an established set of processes that they adhere to.
Now that the admin phase of our building odyssey is done and dusted, I thought I would reflect on the last few months and share my tips for a relatively stress free pre-construction phase. It might be useful for those thinking of building with Metricon to understand the admin process so here’s a basic overview of the different stages of pre-construction.
Here are my top 5 tips to happy pre-building😄
1. Put a list together of what your dream home looks like. What are your must have’s and nice to have’s? When you find the home design to start from, sit down with the sales consultant to get an estimate of the build cost.
2. Make sure you get a siting of the design you want to build on your block before you handover any money. You want to be pretty confident that the house suits your block. You don’t want to be paying $1,000 – $2,000 for a soil test and site survey only to find out that you couldn’t build the dream home.
3. Ask the sales consultant to give you a walkthrough of the display home to find out which are standard and non-standard inclusions. Most display homes are built to a very high finish so chances are what you see and fall in love with are decked out in super expensive upgrades that cost an arm and a leg.
4. At the initial meeting with the sales consultant, ask for everything you want priced in the tender including structural changes and internal colour upgrades. This is our biggest oversight and in hindsight I wouldn’t have let the consultant talk us into deferring some of the upgrades until colour selection. The kitchen and butler’s pantry redesign was most definitely the bane of our build. If only we had worked with the consultant to customise the layout, it would have been drawn and priced up for the tender and saved us a lot of stress!
5. Check, double check, triple check everything. Attention to detail is imperative. Don’t sign off on anything until you are 100% sure that every plan, drawing and document is correct. Keep correspondence with the builder in writing.
Hope that helps!