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Elderton Homes Blog

The First Home Builder Checklist: 6 Questions You Must Ask

Building your first home can seem like a daunting process. There is much to consider, from the suburb where you want to live right through to the type of materials you want to use.

Yet, it’s also an exciting time. Deciding to build your first home is a step towards building your future, one for you and your family for years to come.

When embarking on building your first home, here are six questions you must consider.

Your answers will help you tackle one of life’s biggest and most rewarding projects with confidence:

Where do I want to live?

This is perhaps the simplest question, yet the one most commonly overlooked by first home builders. While it’s important to consider your budget, it shouldn’t necessarily come at the expense of the lifestyle you want to create for you and your family. When it comes to building a home, where do you truly want to live? An established area, or a new release suburb? Are schools, parks, transport options, walking tracks, medical services, shops and childcare centres important to you? How far are you willing to commute to work? Or do you want to find a job close to home? If so, is there likely to be anything suitable nearby? Do you want to entertain family and friends on warm summer nights? Does your design allow enough space for us to create the life you really want?

Yes, you may be building a house, but you’re also creating a home and lifestyle that has to suit your needs now and into the future.

What type of home do I want to build?

When it comes to designing a home, first time builders are spoilt for choice. Single or double-storey, brick veneer or fully rendered, timber frame or steel frame — the list goes on. Each type of home will have its own unique benefits and you can work with your builder to choose materials and styles that suit your specific needs. However, it is important to have a clear plan for the type of home you want to build from the outset and stick to it where possible. Changes to design, layout or materials mid-project will add costs and delay construction.

What is my timeframe?

Building a home can be a lengthy process, subject to a builder’s schedule, council approvals, land registration, plan amendments and the weather. Having a realistic construction timeframe in mind is essential in planning your home build, particularly if you are renting during the construction period, or paying to store your possessions until your new home is finished.

What is my budget?

Do you know how much the whole project will cost you? Have you prepared a detailed budget? If so, are you pre-approved for the finance you require for the full cost of the home? Have you factored in some contingency funds in the event of cost blow outs of unforeseen problems? Are you prepared for legal fees and stamp duty?

Having a handle on the financial side of building a home is essential. Not only are there many common costs that go beyond the actual construction of the home like those listed above, there are many other additional items that you will need to budget for. These include fencing, letterboxes, landscaping, blinds and curtains, clotheslines and common household appliances and furniture.

What kind of builder should I choose?

Choosing the right builder can be a challenge, especially when there are so many to choose from. There are many offering similar products but it’s important to find the builder that is the best fit for you. Do your research into what exactly they are offering and for what price – always ask for the ‘real’ final price, the one with no ‘hidden extras’.

Decide what is of most importance to you; Price, quality, good service or flexibility. Prioritising these four key attributes will help you select the builder that’s right for you.

Have I visited a display home?

Many home builders have Display Homes that can give you a great sense of the finished product. When viewing a display home in a design you may like, don’t necessarily look at the furniture or styling – think more about the overall home design and layout. Also get a sense of the floor plan so you can see what it would be like to live in that space.

Then ask yourself, do you need more of less space? Is there enough living space? Are the bedrooms big enough? Does my kitchen function the way I need it to?

Find out more about the Elderton Homes display homes

Build the future of your dreams

There are so many things to consider when building a home – it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available. Our free guide The Ultimate First Home Builder Checklist is the perfect companion in navigating the daunting world of building your first home. 

download my checklist