7 Common Building Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Couple holding hands
Before you start your build, make sure you don’t make these common mistakes

Building a new home is a big project. If it’s not managed correctly, it can become stressful and expensive.

If you’re looking for a new home, but you’re just not finding what you need at the right price, building can be an attractive option. With house and land packages that offer great value for money, it’s easier than ever to create the home of your dreams. 

This isn’t without its challenges though. Building a new home is a big project afterall, and you want to make sure everything stays on track. Here are a few common mistakes people make when building a new home, and how you can avoid them to help ensure a positive building experience.

Underestimating costs

House and land packages provide great value for money. They allow all buyers, from first timers to investors, to move up the property ladder with relative ease. However, when it comes to estimating costs, you don’t want to be stung with a surprise bill before your construction gets started. 

If you’re working with a sales rep, make sure you ask for a full breakdown of all costs, including the site works provisional sum to ensure you have a good idea of how much you’re going to end up paying for your package. Bear in mind that initial quotes are just that — a quote. But you want to make sure it’s as close to the actual cost as possible. 

Underestimating timeframes 

When you’ve decided on a package or a builder, you’ll likely get an estimate on the amount of time it will take to build your property. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate, and your build could run a month or two over. This can be disastrous if you’re arranging moving dates or the sale of your existing property.  

To help you get a better idea of how long your property will take, it’s important to discuss this with your builder and ask the right questions. Talk about timelines in detail. Find out how many other projects your builder is managing. You can also ask for client references to see if previous projects have been delivered on time. 

Finally, it’s always a good idea to prepare for delays. From weather to unforeseen building issues, there are any number of factors that can blow out a build timeline. If you give yourself extra time, you’ll be able to accommodate any delays, or be pleasantly surprised by an on-time finish.   

Not shopping around for finance

When you’re preparing to build a new home, it can be tempting to settle on your first finance option just to get things underway. Though, you shouldn’t be too hasty when it comes to money — there are plenty of options available. Choosing the right financing can save you thousands in interest over the lifetime of your loan. 

You should always speak to your bank and a couple of other lenders to get an idea of what’s available to you. If you’d like a little extra help, shop around for a mortgage broker. This property specialist focuses on finding the right finance for their clients, and can help you secure a loan that will help you meet your property goals. 

Misunderstanding inclusions 

When you’re walking through a property display village, it’s easy to get caught up in the style and quality of each home. It’s important to keep in mind that these displays are designed to showcase the very best that each developer has to offer, and all of those fixtures and finishes are almost certainly not included in standard packages. 

When you’re choosing your house and land package, make sure you fully understand what is included before sign the bottom line. Some common inclusions to review are:

  • internal paint
  • floor coverings
  • appliances
  • window coverings
  • landscaping and paving
  • sitework costs (electricity, water and sewage).

It’s worth shopping around as different developers will have different inclusions. You should also ask about upgrades to see how much it will cost to add inclusions if you need to. You want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck here, so choose a developer that provides the most inclusions while meeting your property needs. 

Not researching the local area

Building a new home is an exciting prospect, and it’s easy to get caught up in the process without really thinking about some of the finer details. You may be getting a great price on your new home, but do you know much about where the property is located? 

Most developers build house and land packages in certain areas, which tend to be in the suburbs rather than the inner city. Before you sign off on the deal, think about the location and what it means for your everyday life. If you’re used to living in the inner city where everything is at your fingertips, a move to the ‘burbs will be a big lifestyle change. A few important details to consider include:

  • How far is the property from your work, and how will you commute if you need to?
  • Is there public transport or will you need to drive everywhere? 
  • Are there local schools and daycare centres nearby?
  • Are there other family-friendly amenities nearby such as parks?
  • Is there a shopping centre close by? 
  • What is the local entertainment like? 
  • What is the neighbourhood like — are there a lot of families with children?

It’s worth spending the day around the local area to ensure you have an idea of what it will be like to live there. Make sure you’re happy with the overall feel of the area and any lifestyle changes that come with it. 

Missing out on bonuses

Finding the right property developer can quickly become an overwhelming process. Each one offers multiple designs, each one with a full list of pros and cons. It’s easy to settle on the first one that you feel meets all of your property needs without doing much research into what you can get elsewhere. This is a surefire way to miss out on better deals and bonuses. 

Property developers often run promotions to make their properties more appealing to prospective buyers. This can include anything from discounted prices to added inclusions at no extra cost. 

When you’re looking for a house and land package, make sure you check out more than one developer. Not only will this give you a better idea of what your money can get you, you may also be able to secure free landscaping or a driveway at no charge! 

Putting cost before quality 

When you’re researching building a new home, you’re sure to be met with plenty of experts talking about how easy it is to run your budget off the rails. While it’s true that you’ll need to be extra vigilant about costs when building, you don’t want to sacrifice the quality of your new home to save a few bucks. 

When comparing quotes, make sure you understand what you’re getting. It’s worth paying a little more for a solid, quality home that will be able to stand up to the tests of time. The same can be said for inclusions and interior details. 

By all means, save where you can, but it’s worth adding a little extra to the budget on spaces or items that will get a lot of use such as flooring or appliances. This will help ensure you’re not replacing them at additional cost in a year’s time. 

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