Building a house is a big deal for most Aussies, and can be a very costly, time consuming and complicated process. If you’re going to embark on such a project, it’s important to know the ins and outs of the building process and to be well informed.
While some elements of home building are pretty straightforward, there are several aspects which are often overlooked or simply not well known if you’re not involved in the industry. To help you be better prepared for building, we’ve put together some of the most overlooked facts for your research.
Earthworks and Footing Excavation
When building a new home or choosing land, owners often overlook the foundation. There can be a considerable increase in the cost of building if the land is very steep or the foundations are unstable. You’ll need to have a contour survey and soil test conducted by a registered engineer before you can have an accurate quote calculated. Always make sure your quote includes a fixed total price for all earthworks before signing a building contract.
Exclusive Copyright of House Plans
Australian copyright laws also apply to building plans, so make sure that any building plans you wish to use for your house are able to be legally used in accordance with these laws.
Contractor Past Performance and Dispute History
When looking for a builder to trust with your project, it’s important to be well informed about a builder’s job history and track record before finalizing any decisions. Many people don’t realize that it’s possible to obtain information about a contractor’s past performance and any history of disputes lodged. It’s a free service through the Building Services Authority (BSA) which you can access by phone or on the web.
Allowances for Delays
It’s important to know that your builder has to, by law, make allowances for delays to construction as part of your contract if any delays are reasonably likely to affect the completion of work. Make sure these allowances are included in your contract and also keep this in mind before pushing too hard for a tight deadline.
Queensland Home Warranty Protection
In Queensland, your residential construction is covered under a home warranty scheme which provides up to $200,000 cover for unforseen events like non-completion, defective construction, theft and vandalism and additional cover for fire and storm. However, it’s sometimes overlooked that if you’re an owner-builder you are not eligible for this cover.
Sustainability Increases Resale Value
The more eco-friendly and sustainable a property is constructed to be, the higher the resale value. While building an environmentally friendly house is better for the environment, it’s also going to mean your property is actually more valuable. It also has the ability to greatly reduce the cost of maintenance and operation, so if you’re living in the house you’re building it’s going to save you money on your day-to-day expenses.
Project Home Quotes
If you choose to opt for a project home design, or a “kit home”, it’s very important to check what is included in your quote. There will often be different models of that home available, from the most basic configurations and fittings to the “deluxe” versions. If you’ve been sold on a design based on a display example or pictures, make sure that the quote you’ve got is for that same model before you sign the contract. You may end up, unknowingly, purchasing a more basic model with less of the features you want.
These are a few basics which often fall into the unknown for many owners, but which will help immensely if you’re informed about them. There’s a lot more information on the BSA website, and a trusted and reputable builder should be able to help guide you through the process, too. As long as you’re prepared with knowledge and research, you’ll be ready to tackle your building project head-on.
Corey is a new home builder from the Gold Coast, Australia. He says that these are the five most common points that are overlooked when building a new home. He recommends looking at house and land packages to simplify the process.
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