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Atlas Paving

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10 Biggest Mistakes When Building a House

Building a house can be a scary process and if you get it wrong in the planning stage it’s often impossible to change later on down the track. After 20 years helping clients build their dream homes here are my top tips on how to make sure building your dream home doesn’t turn into your worst nightmare.

  1. Lack of solar passive principles being incorporated into the home. This means living areas and windows on the north side of your house to let in the winter sun. Shade on the east and west to avoid summer sun. Air flow through the house to allow good ventilation. If you consider these principles during the design phase your home will be a lovely place to be, year round.

Read more on Solar passive design

  1. Visualise the space….. Check the plans and try to picture yourself standing in each room, now do a full 360 viewing the room in your head. It’s surprising how often this helps. If you are a visual person, find a room that’s a similar size to the one you are planning and see how you feel in the space.
  1. Read your paperwork....this means the entire addenda, contract and plans; make sure you understand every line. If you don’t understand it ASK, preferably before the prestart meeting.
  1. Changing selections after contract signing. This is the biggest no no of all. It is totally avoidable, expensive and invites mistakes and delays on your project.
  1. Boring, boring, boring budgets! If your budget is really tight, make sure you spend the money on items you can’t change later. I.e. additional power points, window upgrades or main floor tiling, maybe hold off on your air conditioning until you’ve been in the house for a year or postpone the landscaping for 6 months in order to find the money.

If you need help with your budget print out the eHomeBuilder budget checklist to get a good idea of final costs

  1. Colour consultancy- when you consider the cost of your home getting some help with colours and finishes makes great sense. Some people just have a natural colour flair while others struggle with the overall picture. Get some help, even if it’s only from the local paint shop.   Checkout our You Tube vid on interior selections and colours
  1. Electrical- you need to have all current and future electrical needs catered to. Make sure your wiring will allow for the pool, the workshop you will build next year or the solar panels you want to put on down the track. It’s cheaper to do it now rather than try to retro fit it later.
  1. Think about security- do you need security doors and screens fitted to your home? They won’t be in the contract so get a quote and ensure that the front entry door frame is double rebated so that the security doors can be easily fitted
  1. is imperative you have trades people or a builder that you have great communication with. Building is stressful enough without feeling uninformed and out of control. Ask lots of questions before you sign up. Here are a few to start you off
  • How do you keep me updated?
  • What if I want to change something?
  • How much is your variation fee?
  • Can I get into the house during the build?
  • Who are my contact people?
  • Can I call the supervisor directly?
  1. Make sure you are all on the same page- you, your partner, your kids, your builder, your tradespeople, your rental agency…everyone. If you all have a written copy of what you need to do and when you expect it to be done by, possible frustration and confusion can hopefully be avoided.

Building your new home should be a rewarding experience. Creating a space that is truly your own is something not everyone gets to do.

Good luck and enjoy the ride……

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