KEY PHASES OF BUILDING A CUSTOM HOME
Building a custom home is different than working with a volume builder. The process might be a little bit more detailed and longer, but it is absolutely rewarding. By deciding to build custom, you have the possibility to create a home that delivers absolutely everything you need- You will build a place that is like no other and will cater for your very unique needs and lifestyle for many years to come!
Because of all the aspects involved in building custom homes, the journey might seem a bit daunting. To get you on the right track and help you prepare for and understand your new home’s construction process, we have prepared a list of things you should know about building custom, outlining the key stages that you will typically go through in this journey:
1 - IDENTIFY THE BLOCK OF LAND YOU WOULD LIKE TO BUY
This is, without a doubt, one of the most essential steps in the whole process. Make sure you don’t rush it as you will need to find a block of land that can fit and work with the home design you have in mind, and that is suitable for your family needs not only structurally but in terms of lifestyle too. When you find a desirable location, and then identify and assess the blocks available, you can find and consider any issues about the land that can impact the design and construction of your home and represent you any additional costs.
Because all of the variables you need to take into account when buying a block of land for your new home (shape and size, slope, orientation, soil, etc.) it is highly recommended that you involve a builder early on this stage. With their expertise, a builder can guide you to ensure the block of land you buy will allow you to build what you want in a cost-effective manner.
2 - BUDGET AND FINANCIAL FEASABILITY
Before you start the journey of building a custom home, you should have a rough idea of how much you are willing to pay for it– with that in mind, it is time to speak to your accountant, lender or bank to discuss the financial feasibility of your project and put together a final budget.
Remember that what the bank is willing to lend you is not always what you can comfortably pay. Make sure you are realistic with your budget to build a custom home that you can actually afford. Additional to this, you should also include a contingency budget for any extra costs that might arise during the process.
3 - SELECT YOUR BUILDER
There are many ways to look for a professional that can design and build your home:
- Internet: Search in Google for custom home builders in the local area and explore their websites. This will help you form a first opinion about their business and learn more about their services and process.
- Social Media: Check their social profiles too, do you like what you see? That's also a good indicator.
- Location: Look around in the location you are looking to buy land for home designs, and if there's something you particularly fancy, contact the owners and ask them who built their house.
Once you have narrowed a few builders, then you can do your research to find out which one is the right builder for you: have a look at their portfolios, check their qualifications and experience, have a chat over the phone or meet in person, ask for references, and very important: ask lots of questions.
If your potential builder is willing to guide you and support through these early stages of the process and is happy to answer all your questions and work based on your requirements, then it is a good indicator that they genuinely care about your needs and that your building journey with them will be smooth and stress-free. Creating a good relationship with your builder not only will make your experience a lot more enjoyable but also will have a massive impact on the outcome of your new home.
Most people will make the price on the quotes an important factor when choosing who to work with on the construction of their new home. If that's the case, remember: the lowest price not necessarily means the best. Analyse your quotes carefully to ensure that the scope of the services to be provided are similar in nature when comparing prices.
4 - CUSTOM HOME DESIGN
Now that you have your site, budget and team in place, you can move forward full speed ahead with the design of your new custom home!
Our best advice here is not to take step lightly as the design process is crucial to guarantee a perfect outcome for your new home. Take the time and effort to get it right from the beginning will save you multiple headaches down the road.
One of the most significant advantages of building custom is that, rather than adapting to the layout of an existing design, you will have the opportunity to create a space specific to your family lifestyle. You will get to choose all the features: from the number of rooms to kitchen fixtures, every single detail in your home will be up to you! Have fun with this process, but make sure you think ahead and include everything you need now and in the future. Here are a few of the most important aspects you should consider and need to let your builder/ designer know at the moment of creating the design of your custom home:
- Specify your needs, dreams, wants and don’t wants
- Determine the size of your home and the number of rooms and stories
- Define your design and style preferences
- Are there any particular features/ products you’d love to include?
- What aspects of your lifestyle do you want to be included in your home?
Define the structural features you want to be included in each room.
And finally, rank your desired features in order of importance. Prices can vary greatly on custom homes, so defining your priorities will help you stay on track with your budget and make any difficult choices later in the process!
5 - SORT OUT YOUR FINANCE AND GOVERNMENT GRANTS
When you are building a new property, you will need a construction home loan to finance the process. This loan is structured differently than a regular home loan as the lender won’t release all the bunds at once, but instead, will decide how much you need for the project, and then will release the funds in periodic payments to your builder.
Once you have your signed building contract and your prestart variations are finalised, both your building and land contracts are lodged with your bank or broker to arrange unconditional finance approval for your home loan. This generally takes 2-6 weeks to be processed.
If you have found on the financial feasibility process that you are eligible for any government grants, this is the time to start sorting them out too. Check with your local authorities about the terms and conditions that these grants have in your area.
6 - CONTRACT PREPARATION
At this point, your dream home starts to become a reality! Once the design process is completed and you are happy with the layout and selections, your builder will prepare a comprehensive contract outlining every detail of the project: costs, insurances, timing and the specific personal requests you have made for your custom home.
Upon signing the contract, the total of the deposit needs to be paid. The % required as a deposit usually varies from builder to builder- this will be communicated to you by your builder in advance.
7 - COUNCIL APPROVALS
At this step, most designers/ builders will arrange all the necessary documentation to obtain a construction certificate for your site. They also will keep you updated on how this process works. Once your development application DA / Complying Development Certificate is submitted to the council or private certifier, it can take roughly between 6 to 12 weeks.
8 - CONSTRUCTION
The construction of your new project can begin as soon as your builder has obtained a construction certificate from Council or the certifier, and finance and proof of land title are sorted. An additional detailed work schedule for your custom home is planned to be adhered to, streamlining the process and outlining updated time frames. You will be notified regularly with photos, and descriptive updates of your home build and site meetings and walkthroughs will be organised at different stages of the project so the builder can keep you up to date and you can see the progress of your dream home.
9 - COMPLETION AND HANDOVER
Your builder will do a final walkthrough with you to ensure everything is completed and educate you about the systems in your new home. Make sure you’ve received all warranties from your builder and understand what is covered under warranty. In the unlikely event that something in your home needs attention, it is helpful to know the process for contacting the builder and verifying that the item has been completed. The more details that you have in writing, the more peace of mind you’ll have after you move in.
Once you’ve received a Certificate of Occupancy, you can start moving in. We all know that moving can sometimes be stressful, but we encourage you to take the time to enjoy all the little things on every milestone of this incredible journey!
WHAT A CUSTOM HOME BUILD TIMELINE CAN LOOK LIKE:
It depends on the scope of the project as every custom home is unique, but generally speaking:
- Excavation- Site preparation
- Foundation- The slab or base stage
- Framing stage
- Exterior Finishes
- Insulation and plasterboard
- Appliance Installation
- Final touch-ups
Keep in mind that the home building process may be different from builder to builder, especially when building custom homes. Be sure to ask your builder about his/her specific policies and procedures and communicate open and diligently throughout every step of the journey.
At Evolution Building Group, our clients' dreams and visions are at the heart of everything we do. We understand that designing and building a new custom home is the ultimate form of self-expression, and because we are all different, a custom home needs to be designed to reflect our own personality.
This is the reason why when you work with us, we take the time to really listen and understand the type of home that you would like to live in and then work with our talented team to bring your vision to life. Working closely with you at each stage of the process, we will take you on a journey to custom build a home that is entirely unique to you. Every aspect of your home will be meticulously planned using the latest materials, fittings and finishes and will be built to the highest standard to ensure your home stands the test of time.
If you are ready to start the journey of building the home of your dreams, contact us today, and we will be happy to guide you and support you from the very initial stages right to completion!
Words can't really describe how stunning this home is, you have to see it for yourself!
Watch Darrin walk you through a custom home in construction.
Hear from our home owners about their experience building with us.