Building can often be one of the most exciting times of our lives, whether your first home, an investment or the dream home.

But with all the things to think about, it is nice to have a few reminders.

DO your research

The choice is all yours! The benefit of building is you get to have as little or as much involvement in the process as you like. You can often find out builder’s previous jobs; do a Sunday drive-by or checkout some display homes.

DO read the contract carefully

I get it…there are a lot of pages full of legal mumbo jumbo, but reading your contract before signing may very well save your bacon in the long run! It is always recommended you seek legal advice before signing a building contract.

Things to check for are:

  1. Is there a cooling off period? You may sign the contract then see something you missed 2 days later, the only way you can go back is if there is a cooling off period in place. Aim for minimum of 5 days.
  2. Are you using a registered builder with a good history? You can complete a free QBCC check here
  3. Read the plans carefully and ensure you understand them.
  4. Go through the specifications (all your fixtures and fittings) and double check they are installed during your inspections.
  5. Carefully check the contract Price, including GST and understand your liabilities, including your payment terms, sunset clauses and delays.
  6. Check the progress claim schedule, if worried run it past your solicitor or broker.
  7. Check the number of days allowed for delays – you want to know where you stand should this occur.
  8. Ensure you discuss with your builder what ‘reasonable access’ to the site means to both of you
  9. Always sign off on any variations made to the contract
  10. Check all Terms and Conditions


DO put extra aside – we call it a contingency

So, you have spoken to your builder and locked in the final details…that means you know exactly how much you are spending right?

Not quite…keep in mind that the dollars you are spending on the build may change slightly as you go. You might decide to change the benchtops or move the toilet to another area…or maybe your builder hits water when digging…either way its good to have back up!

We suggest a minimum of 10% of the build contract and remember not to rely on the bank for it.

DON’T go to big

If you are not sure if this is going to be your forever home, then try not to overcompensate, it’s easy to choose all the expensive items to create your perfect home, but if you are putting the Taj Mahal next to a small country shack you may find that the valuations do not stack up.

Remember this isn’t the SIMS!


DON’T overspend

This unfortunately is easy to do.

Emotional spending when building your home can send you right over budget. It may look a lot nicer to have the Marble bench tops in the kitchen, but did you know there is a laminate version that looks similar but is a fraction of the price?

Make sure you do your research on those big-ticket items before agreeing, and keep an eye on the budget at every chance.


DON’T let someone tell you what you want or need

We are always open to suggestions, and let’s face it; builders do this a lot more often than we do, but it’s important not to let someone else dictate what your new home will look like.

Make sure you go in there with a clear idea of what you have in mind – visiting Display homes will help make some challenging decisions.