There are hundreds of mistakes that can be made during the home building process – each one potentially impacting on budgets & timeframes.

A lot of these mistakes are avoidable, if only those looking to build knew what to look out for.

We share 5 of the most common mistakes here, so you don’t make them.

1. Not speaking to a builder early in the process

We recommend you consult with a builder before you even buy your block of land. Failing that, speak with a builder as soon as possible, and definitely before you get plans drawn up.

There’s nothing more disheartening or more damaging for the building industry’s reputation than seeing beautifully prepared architectural drawings that will never be built because they’re so over budget.

While architects are invaluable for design considerations, builders are better equipped to provide an estimate on pricing.  If both aspects are important, having a more collaborative effort from the outset should provide the best of both worlds.

Your builder should be happy to either help you find an appropriate architect for your project, or to work with your preferred architect. A well-established builder with strong industry links will also be able to save you money on the development of your plans.

2. Not doing due diligence before making their land purchase

It pays to invest in due diligence before you buy your block of land in order to avoid unexpected cost blow outs later.

If you speak with a builder before you buy a lot they’ll be able to give you tips on how to purchase it and give yourself time to run the proper checks. They’ll also advise you about what you need to look out for to avoid costly building expenses.

3. Not getting a full and detailed quote

An estimate is not a quote. It’s a rough guide or price range based on one builder’s experience.  Since different builders have varying experience, building estimates can differ significantly making it hard for you to compare like with like.

When creating an estimate, some builders prefer to stick to the lower end of the range to prolong discussions. They may then keep bumping up the estimate as each discussion reveals preferred inclusions. Other builders will provide a more realistic estimate from the outset, but risk being turned away because their estimate appears far higher than others.

Either way, those looking to build a home must understand that an estimate is not an accurate or final figure, and has minimal detail to support the pricing.

Estimates may be written casually on the backs of napkins or business cards, or made to look more official, presented on letterhead with very specific dollar sums giving the appearance of accurate final amounts.

Neither approach can be considered a final quotation, which is what you need before entering into any contract to build a home. Unless you have all the details necessary to collate a full & accurate quote, such as final engineering reports & sufficient documentation outlining the schedule of finishes & client selections, it’s a mistake to compare builders pricing based on any estimates.

A full and detailed quote should be part of a fixed-price contract and will normally take a couple of weeks to write up. Full quotes require detailed drawings to be sent to all suppliers and tradespeople for their individual pricing. Only once this has been finalised by all parties can the builder collate everything to calculate the final fixed pricing for the whole build.

In order for a quote to contain the necessary detail, it needs to be at least eight to ten pages long. In fact, home building quotes are often 20 or 30 pages long pages if accompanied by cabinetry drawings and brochures for specified plumbing and electrical items.

4. Not choosing an appropriately skilled builder

There are a huge range of builders to choose from, each normally servicing a particular niche in the market or price range.

Builders of homes in the $200,000 to $400,000 range will generally have a lower expectation placed on them than those more typically engaged with million-dollar homes.

Builders who specialise in the construction of higher value homes typically have the higher skill set required to deliver on the finer detailing involved. Luxury home building costs more as it usually involves more expensive & higher quality materials and the additional time of more highly skilled tradespeople to achieve the required outcome.

If you want the finish expected of a million-dollar home, you need to engage an appropriately skilled builder who specialises in luxury, quality homes.

5. Having unrealistic expectations

Your dreams and aspirations need to be tempered with the reality of your building location and budget.

An experienced builder will be happy to help you go through your wish list and work out exactly what can be achieved to match your budget and location.

While some builders will prefer to sweet talk you and promise you the earth, the best builders will work closely with you to make sure your expectations can be delivered.

Got a building project in mind?

Contact us today for a no obligation chat and advice on how to:

  • Choose the right block;
  • Save money on plans and building;
  • Get your dream home built with as little stress as possible.