Firstly congratulations! It’s a big commitment embarking on building your new home or investment.
Whilst the land purchase is straightforward, the choices on how to get the house designed and built can be a bit daunting.
Firstly let’s define the parameters by dividing you into one of two groups based on your expectations and you’re budget.
Option 1 – The Project Home Builder (also known as spec home)
If your house building budget is modest and your expectations are maximum floor area and modest features for your dollar, then a one stop ‘Project Home Builder’ is probably your first choice.
Custom Built homes
Should your budget be mIore generous and you would like a more unique home customised to your particular needs, then you should be considering a Custom Builder.
Now a Custom Builder can be either only a builder who will construct someone else’s documented design , or a Designer & Builder, who will have design capabilities and who will not only document the design but in turn can take you through the permit and construction phases.
Option 2 – Custom Builder (separate architect and separate builder)
For the Custom Builder only approach , you will need to firstly find a design professional – Architect or Building Designer – whom you will engage for a fee, to conceptualise, document, permit approval and assist with the appointment of a Custom Builder. Here there can be a definite line between the Designer and the Builder, so the choice of each is important to ensuring a trouble free process.
Option 3 – Designer & Builder in one (the same person designs and builds)
Alternatively a Design/Builder can offer the one stop shop experience which can come with significant cost and communication advantages. The important choice in deciding which Design/Builder will come down to your relationship with that representative and how well they interpret your design and budget expectations.
The Design/Builder should present a concept based on your brief that meets your architectural, functional and most importantly your budget expectations. They should conceptualise ‘ buildability ‘ into the proposal and will have an accurate idea on cost from the onset. As the design evolves through consultation, so too should the projected budget. When the build commences there in turn should be no cost surprises.
So your relationship with the Design/Builder or any professional in designing or building is key to ensuring a smooth , enjoyable journey from that empty block of land to a completed house which should exceed your expectations. Importantly you will be putting a lot of trust in your professional of choice, so take the time to ensure they are right for you.
Kieran Gibson enjoys the building design phase as much, if not more, than the actual execution of the design. He provided us with expert advice including issues relating to climate conditions when helping us design our dream beach home.
Owners, Lot 44, Sunrise, Agnes Water, QLD, Australia
Kieran Gibson, principal at Gibson Building is a multi-award winning Design / Builder giving his clients a functional custom built with an affordable price.