Thinking of building or renovating? What You Need to Do Before Building a Custom Home

Custom built home exterior designWhen you’re considering building or renovating your dream home, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning and realising your dreams. You might be so focused on your design ideas that you don’t really think about what you need to do before building to ensure everything goes smoothly once the project is underway.

In this article we help you and confront things to be aware of or think about, things to look out for and things to consider:


If you're very early in the process, it is likely you could do with some up-to-date advice from experts, before building and learning more about what's involved.

A place to call home - Location and Land

Axial view of a custom designed homeFor those planning to build or renovate their dream home, it all starts with a location and land on which the custom home project can take place. There are so many options available, so to make things easier for you, here are some tips to get started:

  • Do you have your land or home already or not?
  • Start looking around for land opportunities
  • Is the land registered? 
  • Are there services to the property already? Eg, power, water, gas lines
  • If you’re planning to renovate, where will you live throughout the project?

Is it best to build your custom home or renovate and what factors can help you determine which to choose?

Grant PattersonThere are many factors that come into play when making this decision, and the right choice could save you time, money, and headaches in the future. Every situation will come with it’s own pros & cons so the best approach would be to reach out to a trusted builder to get some expert advice.

Here are some things to consider that may help make your decision easier:

  • Consider location… Do you like your neighbourhood, the community, the people there?
  • If choosing to renovate, will this suit you and your family into the future?
  • Are you over capitalising in your area?
  • If you’re renovating, where will you live whilst the build takes place? Have you factored this expense into your budget?
  • Have you considered a knockdown rebuild?
  • What is your budget?
  • If you’re yet to purchase your land/home be sure to contact a builder to come and inspect for you before you go to contract.

Land - What initial choices can impact my custom home budget?

axial view of a custom built homeThere are some very early decisions that people make on their build journey that can have a huge impact on their budget when it comes time to build their dream home. Here’s a few things to consider that can help you select the right land and avoid some nasty surprises down the track…

  • If it’s in an estate, are there restrictions on what finishes you can have? Do they fit with your vision?
  • Are you restricted to a specific building envelope on the property?
  • Is there anything unique about your land? Eg. Dense bushland, sloping block, limited access, off grid?

Timing - How long will my custom build take?

Custom home interior designThis is a little bit like asking ‘how long is a piece of string’? Every single project, especially a custom home project will have a unique schedule built out. However, we will share below a few things to consider when in the early planning stages.

  • Planning & design stage can take months, depending on how clear your vision is.
  • Then there needs to be DA approvals through councils and various other reports etc depending on where your land is located. A custom Builder will handle all of this for you but it does take time.

It’s important to factor this planning stage into your timeline to avoid disappointment. Again, open and honest communication with your Builder from the very start can help to keep everyone on the same page.


Renovating a custom home guide