Did you know that designing and building a new home can require thousands of little decisions to be made?
Often each seemingly small decision can affect a myriad of different areas of your build, from engineering to layout and to cost.
When you are working out the design of your new home, it’s important that you have a team around you.
Like any team they will have different skill sets to bring to the table and ensure that all the details get considered.
The “common” method for designing a new home is to sit down with an architect, largely in isolation from builders, and work to design what you want built.
While this seems like a very sound way to approach, did you know that a lot of architects, while being excellent designers and creative types, don’t actually have a lot of experience in directly managing building projects?
When I say “directly managing” what I mean is being responsible for working out the costs of a project by assessing the plans and the specifications in detail.
Then writing a scope of works and carrying out a builders take off in order to calculate the correct price of the home, then following that through to the onsite coordination and the problem solving that is required to bring a stack of project documentation to fruition?
It’s not the architects fault! It’s just that there speciality is in design and creatively expressing your wants, and that is what they are the experts at.
So who is the expert at calculating costs to build and then all of the coordination and organisation that goes into building?
You guessed it! Your builder!
One of the big grey areas you face as a prospective client is that you are often encouraged to get prices from a number of builders.
Again, this sounds smart, but it’s actually very risky, if all you do is blast 3 or 4 builders with your plans, what time have you put into getting to know the builder you will be working with?
You’re also asking multiple builders to spend upwards of 60 hrs working out a price for your custom home for free.
How much attention would you pay to something you are being asked to do for free…with a small chance of any reward at the end?
There is a better way though, which helps you make sure that you only get a price from a builder you already like and trust. So how do you do this, and when?
Make sure you meet with your shortlist of builders in person as soon as you have your first set of preliminary plans, and spend time hearing them talk about themselves and your plans. You also want to gauge a few things from them;
- Are they interested in your ideas and plans, or are they trying to talk you into one of their standard plans?
- Do they offer any advice about how the plans you have could be altered to better suit your budget?
- What is their experience with working on architect designed projects?
- Do they like working with architects?
- As them our 7 questions (more on this later)
You can then decide which builder you will work with during the design phase to make sure that your new home is designed under the watchful eye of someone with real life, hands on experience costing and building new homes.
This also allows you to really get to know your builder before you commit to a building contract.
It vastly reduces the chance of a situation where you discover that you have a personality clash with your builder which can ruin what should be the fun and exciting experience.
Make sure you don’t spend upwards of $20,000 on design fees, only to discover your dream home can’t be built for the budget you have. Work with a builder from the start, a Professional builder will really know his numbers and be able to offer you and your architect practical, usable advice on how to get your build the way you like, without blowing your budget.
To help you pick the right builder we have put together a guide of the 7 questions to ask your prospective builder before you engage them to work with you through the design process.
Click the link below to download now!