It’s certainly an exciting prospect to build a new home that you and your family will enjoy for many years to come. Especially when you get to call the shots on exactly what it will look like so it suits your individual requirements. Using a building broker will give you the best opportunity to maximise your new home investment.
But you probably have many questions in your mind, one of which might be:
What actually happens during the building process?
Like most people, you probably don’t have time to visit your building site every day or even every week to see first-hand exactly what’s going on. Here is give a brief run-down on the various stages of building.
Stage 1 – Site Survey
A land surveyor will prepare a comprehensive report detailing the contours, services, orientation and neighbouring property positions (if relevant) for your block. Depending on your surveyor, this stage will usually take around two weeks.
Stage 2 – Home Design
This is the fun part! You meet with your house designer to work out the design requirements for your new custom home. An initial sketch is created, including elevations (external appearance) and floor plans. This will be modified until you’re happy, then a final sketch is prepared.
Stage 3 – Builder Tender
At this stage you will experience the real advantage of using a building broker. Several trusted builders are invited to tender based on your design and usually within a month you’ll receive the tenders for consideration, which will include prices and specifications. At this point you can nominate your preferred builder and they will begin with the next stage.
Stage 4 – Preparation of Plans & Contracts
Now you can begin to select colours and finishes for your home. In the meantime, in conjunction with your chosen builder, your planning drawings are created and submitted to the local council for approval. During this assessment phase the structural engineers will create their drawings and all required changes from the planners and engineers will be incorporated into your final working drawings. Now you’re ready to sign your building contracts.
Stage 5 – Pay Building Deposit
Once signing your building contract you will be required to pay your building deposit. The builder will also submit the final working drawings, engineering plans, specification and addendum along with the energy efficiency report back to local council for building license approval.
Stage 6 – Siteworks
You may have heard the term “slab down”. Before the foundation is poured, there is a lot of work to do including the excavation of the site and installation of the plumbing pre-lay. For you though, it’s an exciting time as your home is now underway and you can start to see the progress. You’ll also see a site toilet, builders sign and site shed appear on site along with a temporary power pole.
Stage 7 – Brickwork
This is when your house really starts to take shape. The interior walls, exterior walls and any stairs are built. All your window and door frames will be bricked in along with the steel lintels. If you’ve had certain energy efficiency upgrades you might also see cavity wall insulation installed at this point too. It’s quite common for owners to think their rooms feel smaller than they thought at this point, as the brickwork is generally dark in colour. However, after the plaster is applied later on, the house will feel bigger again.
Stage 8 – Roof Framing and Roof Cover
This phase will be dominated by the roof carpenters who will pitch your new roof frame. They’ll start with the ceiling framing then lift up the hips, valleys and ridge beams of the roof followed by your many rafters. Shortly after this your roof plumbing is completed and your roof cover will go on, generally colorbond or tiles. Various other tradespeople will now also install the essential services – plumbing, electrical wiring, air conditioning ducting (if specified).
Stage 9 – Plastering & Lockup
It’s here that your walls are plastered and the ceilings are installed. Shortly after they’re completed the home is locked up where all the glass for the windows is installed and the entry doors. This makes your new home secure for the final fitout. You’ll also see the painter on site doing preparation work and spraying the internal door frames as well as painting the ceilings.
Stage 10 – Exterior and Interior Finish
This is when all of the finishing of the internal rooms are completed. Your cabinets will be installed along with all the ceramic tiling in the wet areas quickly followed by plumbing fixtures and fittings. Finally finishing touches like shower screens, sliding robe doors and all the internal doors and door furniture is installed. Your robe and linen shelving will be completed along with hidden items such as ceiling insulation. The painters will also continue to work here to bring your home even neared to completion.
Stage 11 – Finishing Items
Your external works will be completed such as driveway and alfresco paving, any reticulation and landscaping. Swimming pools will be finished and fencing installed before the water is added to the swimming pool. TV Aerial installed and electrical fit off with switches. Your appliances will also arrive and be installed by a licensed electrician and plumber.
Stage 12 – Handover
You are invited to inspect your home a couple of weeks before “handover,” to ensure that any outstanding items are listed and finalised. You’ll be making the final payment now and once the builder receives the final funds you’ll be handed your house keys making the house officially your new home! If you haven’t already, you can now organise window treatments, additional floor coverings, letterbox, clothes line and any other items to complete your new home.