Building a custom home checklist - 7 things to consider
Building a luxury home custom designed for you is a special experience. It’s a chance to realise your vision for how you and your family want to live – now and in the years to come.
The journey from first idea to finally moving in has many stages, and you’ll face important decisions along the way. Settling on a location; choosing your builder and architect; setting and managing your budget. Strong foundations are as important to this process as they are to your dream home itself. Preparation and planning can smooth the way and build positive memories even before your home is complete.
Building a Custom Home? Here's a checklist of things to consider.
1. Consider your block
You know where you want to build and live. You may have purchased your land already – many of our clients have. Start by considering the features of that land and how you can build a home which works with them.
A feature can be both a challenge and an opportunity. Sloping blocks often have stunning views, but they can make the building process more complex and expensive. Low land near the water may need extra attention to drainage. Even if your block seems ‘ordinary’, assess the type of soil you’re building on and the ideal orientation of your home in relation to sunlight and prevailing winds.
2. Develop your vision
Start by understanding what you want in a home. It’s not just the style of the building or the choice of finishes. How will you live in it? How big is your family? Do you need large entertainment spaces? A pool or a home theatre? Or maybe you want an ensuite for every child so you won’t have to deal with teenagers fighting over or messing up the bathroom.
Your home has to fit your lifestyle now and your changing needs in the future. Understanding how you want to live is the foundation of your vision. Once you have that clarity, you’re ready to explore design options, special features and finishes. A great way to do this is by creating a mood board which documents your ideas visually.
3. Balance vision and budget
70-80% of homes designed by architects are never built.
Why? Unchecked vision can lead to uncontrolled costs. Your dream home has to be achievable within your budget.
It’s tempting to believe every estimate for building costs which your architect gives you, but it can be dangerous. Architects are visionaries who design homes. Builders – the people who turn that vision into reality – are more aware of the cost of materials and the challenges of construction. This is especially true if you have a sloping block, difficult access or a complex or unusual design.
As builders, we love to be involved as early as possible in the design process. It helps to have a fresh pair of eyes assess likely costs and areas of potential blow-out. Working through these with your architect may drive more creative solutions to help you achieve your vision within budget. You might need to consider man-made stone rather than natural stone. Or it may be that you build 80% of your vision now, but design in a way which means you can extend easily later.
4. Build your team
Every custom home is built by a team collaborating. As the client, you have a vision. Your architect turns your vision into plans and your builder turns those plans into reality. Bringing your builder into the process as early as possible improves the teamwork.
If you have your own architect already, we’d love to work with them at the concept stage, to avoid unpleasant surprises later. If you haven’t selected an architect yet, we can introduce you to some of those within our network. We actually offer a service where we work through pricing with you and your architect at the design stage. This ensures costs stay on or close to budget so your home can actually be built.
5. Build for your future
Your home is a major investment, and a custom home is an investment designed just for you. It makes sense to build a home to last.
That means designs which can adapt to your changing needs. A clever design might allow you to close off areas when they are not in use to minimise heating or cooling costs, or to repurpose areas as children grow. If you’re considering solar or grey water systems, it’s far more effective to build them into your original plans than to retrofit later.
A quality initial build is also an investment in your future. High grade insulation can help control your operating costs for years or even decades. And in all parts of your home, quality materials installed with care and attention to detail mean lower maintenance needs in the years to come.
6. Paperwork and formalities
Construction of your new home cannot begin until you have been through the process of development approval and obtained all the required insurances. Submission requirements and assessment times vary between councils and depending on how land is zoned, or the cost of your build. The right builder will be up-to-date with the latest requirements and have experience liaising with council. They are able to handle all the legal paperwork on your behalf.
7. Build and enjoy
Building your own home is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. At Patterson Built, we believe it should be a wonderful experience. From the moment we start work, we welcome you on-site. You can see your home grow. You can bring your friends to see it – in fact, we want you to. You should enjoy the whole building process so much that you want to share it with your friends and family.
We are working with you as a team to deliver on your vision, and you should enjoy that journey.
With 20 years of experience in the industry, Patterson Built believe passionately in working together as a team to design and build quality homes which last. We work with you from start to finish – concept, design, construction and completion. We pride ourselves on helping you realise your vision for your home.
Whether you’re just starting on the journey of building your home or you’ve already taken some steps, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to help you create the home of your dreams.