24 June 2016 6 min read

A builder will help to guide you through the home-building journey and become your trusted partner along the way. But how do you make an informed choice?

The foundation – deciding what you want in your new home

First, you need to have an idea of what you want. If you have no idea where to start or you’ve hit a roadblock with design inspiration, the best way to get the creative process moving again is to visit a Stockland Display Village. You can walk through every home and inspect a number of different designs by a range of builders in one convenient location.

With a display home to inspire you, or images from a builder website, you’ll be able to gain inspiration and clarity for the creation of your dream home. Before contacting a builder, make a list of the things you need in your home and decide which items you would be willing to compromise on to stay within your budget.

This list can include anything from the number of bedrooms and whether you’ll have a home office right down to the kind of finish you’d like on your kitchen appliances. Would you prefer a small home or a larger space? Are you downsizing or looking to start a family? It sounds like a daunting task, but having all this information at hand will make the consultation process a lot easier.

How do you know if they’re the right builder?

Once you’re clear on your overall design and budget, it’s time to approach a builder that understands your ideas and can start creating a home that you’ll love. Do as much research as you can to find a reputable builder who you’re willing to trust with building your new home.

Some people look good on paper and don’t quite stack up in person. It’s important to make sure that they’re licensed from the relevant authority in your state. And don’t be afraid to ask for information about past customers or jobs. See if they have a display home or previous build that you could visit to get an idea of their work. Find out as much as you can before teaming up with a builder to ensure that you’re in the right hands. A visit to a Stockland Display Village can help you choose a builder with the right design for you.

Questions to ask your builder
Now that you’ve done all the research, chosen a community and are ready to build, there might be some questions you haven’t yet considered. Now’s the time to ask - here’s a list of questions to help you out:

  • Is this the optimal orientation of my home on the block?
  • Can the design be flipped or rotated?
  • What size house do I really need?
  • Would an extra room be better than a bigger garage?
  • Are wet areas close together to minimise plumbing costs?
  • Have I chosen the right size windows to take advantage of the sun and breezes?
  • Do I want to save on air-conditioning by having ceiling fans instead?

Having answers to these questions will help you come to a decision that suits you. Don’t be afraid to ask your builder to clarify any unfamiliar terminology – they’re the expert, after all! The best option for your home might be one you’ve never considered so ask as much as you can and make sure every potential avenue is explored.

The building process
Building starts with site preparation and the “set out” of your home on the block. You can’t start building without a solid foundation, so digging and pouring of footings will come very early on in the process. From there, initial plumbing is put in place and the concrete slab is laid. The build has been started.

Your home will start to take shape when frames and roof trusses are installed. These are prepared off-site and delivered for a speedy installation. Now that the roof is going on and the brickwork is completed, the plumber and electrician will begin working on the interior. The internal structure will start to take shape and doors and windows will soon appear. Not long to go now!

Fit-out and handover
The next phase is building the finer details of the interior. This means you now have a kitchen, bathrooms, taps, mirrors, appliances, power outlets and light fittings. You’ll be getting close and closer to moving in. Just before your home is complete, the builder will give you a tour. This walkthrough is important as this is the final time for you to point out anything that might look incomplete or different from how you imagined it. After some finishing touches, it’s handover time. Congratulations on your new home!

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