Are you thinking of building your first home? Want to understand exactly what’s involved to give you a head start?

Building your first home is a daunting and often confusing process. There are many steps, approvals, meetings and forms that can often lead to you scratching your head, oblivious to what is happening. This guide will help give you a better understanding of the key steps and processes involved in building your first home, and the terms you should understand for each step.

What’s Involved in Building a New Home?

It’s important that you stay in control and keep an eye on every step to ensure your new house is being built to your specifications. Most of the planning and research will be done at the start of the process, however continual research and analysis will need to be done to assess each step once completed.

1. Planning

Work Out Your Budget

Your first point of call should be speaking to lenders and banks about how much you will be able to borrow. It’s important to work out your price ceiling, and then look for land and house designs that will be less than this amount. It’s always a clever idea to leave as much room as possible between what you can borrow what you spend to give you as much financial security as possible.

Research Some Land Opportunities

Have a look at available land in suburbs you are hoping to live in. It’s important to know what kind of home you’re looking to build so that you can look for land that is able to accommodate it.

One of the main reason’s you look for land before a home design is that land is fixed, whereas homes are not. You should be able to, within reason, change the design of a home to fit your block. However, you cannot change your land to fit your home design.

Look for A Builder

Research some good local builders and go through some of the house options they have. Provide them with the dimensions of your block so they can assess what type of home will best fit the block. Then, work with them to decide and plan your new house design.

2. Purchase Land

Once your research and planning phases are finalised, it’s time to purchase the land. Go through all the processes involved in buying land including having a certificate of title issued, before starting construction.

3. Laying the Foundation

Next, it’s time to start the earthworks and lay the foundation for the house. The time involved in earthworks can often depend on the quality of your soil and depends on how flat your block is. If your block is on an incline, it can often lead to a lot more work being required before moving to the next step.

4. Building Commences

Your builders will then begin by attaching structural beams to the earthworks as a base. Once they have installed all the structural beams, they will proceed to build your complete house including the walls and roofing.

5. Fixtures and Fittings

It’s now time to finish off your house with all your fixtures and fittings. It’s important you keep an eye on this process to ensure your builder has included everything you opted for. Once all the fixtures and fittings are installed, you’ll be presented with your completed house.

6. Hand Over

The last step is the handover of your new home. Once all approvals have been completed and you’re happy with your new home, It’s time for your builder to hand over the keys.

Terminology

Important Financial Terms:

Pre-Approval of Finances
Supplied by a lender or broker to show a buyer’s credit is sufficient to make a purchase.

Drawdowns
Invoices supplied by builders to lenders to withdraw money at various stages of the build.

Settlement Agent

An agent who completes the transaction by transferring the money to the seller, and property to the buyer.

Important Land Terms:

Land Titles
Evidence of land ownership.

Land Developer
Land Developers buy and improve land, to make it ready for construction to begin.

Design Guidelines
Guidelines put in place, usually by new developments to ensure the new houses match a specific style and design.

Important Building Terms:

Plate Height
Once the walls have reached the nominated height, roof carpentry tradesmen can install the roof.

Lock Up
You’ve reached the Lock Up stage once all openings to the house are locked off with doors and windows.

Practical Completion
The key to the house will be handed over and you’ll do a final inspection with the building supervisor.

Understanding some of the common finance, construction and building terms will give you a head start when building your new home. Here is a great glossary of building terms with easy navigation. If you ever hear your financial lender or builder use terms you’re not familiar with, you can always refer to this guide.

Author Bio

This article is written by Alex Hamilton, who writes on behalf of DM Civil – Experienced earthworks specialists based in Perth, Western Australia. You can catch him on Google+.

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