The next step on the journey to a dream home after choosing the land development of your choice is to choose your block, figure out the titles and stage your build.
Choosing your Block
To the untrained eye, blocks may look similar, but there’s a number of things to consider when deciding on the perfect block for you. First, consider the style of home you want – sometimes an irregular sized block seems the odd one to buy, but if you want an interesting outdoor aspect it offers advantages for garden design. A corner block has advantages in terms of double access, but also disadvantages to do with placement of street lights or impact of trees on the verge. Each block has its pros and cons, so work with a builder early to determine what kind of block will work best with the home design you have in mind.
What is a Title?
A title – also known as a Torrens Title – is a document showing you own the piece of land and have responsibility for any mortgage you have on it. The bank will hold the title until the mortgage is paid off. New home purchasers don’t always consider that some developments can take up to 12 months before titles will be released and work can begin. At QUAY2, though, the titles are available early – aiming for 7 – 8 months at the most.
You won’t need to pay your builder everything all at once, there are stages of payment along the way to make the process easier. The first stage will be soil tests and site investigation. Once completed, the builder can undertake their detailed design by finalising the floorplans and elevations of your home design. For some people, the fun stage happens next – choosing materials and fittings, colours and the nitty gritty of your new home design. But, for others who find decisions hard, this can be a daunting part of the process. To help, sites such as Pinterest and Houzz can help you create mood-boards for your home, or consider 3D modelling software such as Sketch Up, so you can try things out in virtual reality before committing to the expense. In any case, most project builders will have display sites set up to help and guide you to make the right choices for your new home.
Even though your builder will take care of the big items, any furnishings you need should also be timed and organised well in advance – you don’t want a beautiful home with no sofa to sit on for two months!
The Build Begins
Once you’ve signed off on all the plans with the builder (and paid your 5% deposit to the builder), they will go ahead and get all the permits required for the build, as well as ordering all the building materials, before starting work on the site. Your job is to make sure you have unconditional finance in place. You should receive a step-by-step plan from your builder about the entire build process at this stage.
The base stage involves excavation of the land, installation of under-slab drainage and pouring of the concrete slab. Once the base is ready, it’s time for frame stage, where the timber framed walls are stood up and the roof trusses are installed, followed by the external lock up of the building façade. Once the building is water tight, you are ready for the fixing stage, where services rough-in is completed ready for plaster linings, kitchen and vanities to be installed, as well as cosmetic procedures, such as painting, wall and floor tiling, electrical and plumbing fit-off.
It’s usual to have some unexpected issues in a build, even down to weather affecting the stages, but if anything goes seriously off-plan, refer to the Housing Industry Association’s advice on managing your contract.
Remember, most building contracts will have a 3 month defects liability period following completion of your home. Keep a list of any items you find while living in your home. Just before the 3 months defects liability period is up, get in contact with you builder to come and fix any problems you have found.
Once all the hard work has been done, a final walk-through is then to be booked in with your builder, where you’ll get to give final sign-off. Hopefully you’ll want to pop a bottle of champagne as you celebrate the completion of your dream home.