Its all about planning

Date Thursday, 12 November 2015 12:00 AM

Are you looking at building a new home? Avoid dream home disaster.
A new research indicates poor planning was a big issue leading to budget and build time overruns for Australians tackling new home projects.
 
THE FACTS:
In our latest “Building My Home” study, more than one third (37.3%) of Australians who built a home in the past 10 years said they wished they had spent more time planning out their project.  Of the owners of new homes, 55% said their project went over budget and 35% took longer than expected to complete. 
 
It was no surprise that almost two-thirds (62.5%) of owner-builders overshot budget, compared to just half of those who used a commercial builder.  In all cases, the main reasons for additional costs were changing or upgrading fixtures during the project (25.4%) and altering the design midway through construction (22.8%).   
 
HOW TO AVOID DREAM HOME DISASTER?
Whether you’re undertaking the project yourself or with a qualified commercial builder, blowing budget and overrunning the completion date come down to poor planning and changing the scope of the project throughout construction.
 
Finalise all design and style requirements at the start of the project
Most people surveyed said they would spend more time making decisions before the project commenced on items such as fittings, tiles and other design features and allocate their budget more wisely.
 
It’s important, and financially smarter, to finalise all design and style requirements at the start of the project to ensure you avoid unexpected costs that could hurt the back pocket.  If you’re working with a commercial builder, get all the costs up front or seek a fixed price for the project.
 
Balance aesthetic with functionality and practicality
Key areas home design respondents would improve, given the chance to:
> Better storage space (39.9%)
> Bigger kitchen (27.1%) 
> Better living area (24.8%). 
While aesthetic look and feel is extremely important in a home’s design, functionality and practicality are equally critical.  Kitchens and living areas are the most used areas, so these should be given strong consideration, and adequate storage space is an element people often forget about but is important for growing families.
 
Seek inspiration and advice from as many sources as possible
Design inspirations used:
> Display homes (62.1%), coming in as the biggest source of inspiration
> Home and lifestyle magazines (35.3%) 
> Friends and family (34.7%)
When researching to build a new home, it’s important to seek inspiration and advice from as many sources as possible to get a clear idea of what you want in terms of design requirements and style and then speaking with a professional about how to make it all happen.
 
OUR TOP 5 RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Consideration – whether you’re a couple, a young family, a growing family or heading into retirement, consider your current lifestyle requirements and how they might change into the future. Take the time to think it through and don’t rush as it will save you money and time if you do. 
2. Budgeting – one of the biggest problems faced during new build projects is poor planning and surprise costs. Look for builders offering fixed price packages to ensure transparency over project elements and costs. Also, ensure to include a buffer of at least 10per cent to account for changes you may want to make. 
3. Inspiration – seek inspiration from magazines and television shows but don’t underestimate the benefit of being able to walk through a display home and visualising home designs and concepts in their fullness first, to see how it would work for your family situation. 
4. Planning – utilise the expertise of professionals to help plan out the entire project from budget and timeline through to fittings so there is full transparency and no unexpected costs
5. Open communication – building a new home should be enjoyable.  Regular communication with your builder is key to keeping abreast of the project’s process and ensuring you enjoy the experience. 
 

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