Tips for new home builders: the first steps

Building a new home can be a stressful and time consuming process. Even the most organised of people can face challenges such as budget overruns, weather interruptions and delays in the delivery of key materials. As with many projects, the devil is in the detail, so if you’re in the preliminary stages of house building, read our tips below to get you on track before you break ground.


A large part of your building plans will be determined by your available finances, and you’ll almost always need to have room in the budget for extra, unexpected costs. The major expenditure of course will be the construction itself, but many people forget the other costs that are incurred when building. Landscaping, internet connectivity, metres and demolition or site preparation costs aren’t commonly listed by builders and they do accrue quickly! So expect add-ons and know where the money will come from to fund them. Alternatively, you can consider the best contemporary builders in Melbourne to do the job for you. Changing your mind about aspects of the build once it has begun is also common, but will normally incur additional charges as well.


Knowing where to build is also a major consideration, especially if finances limit your options. If it’s affordable land that you’re after, consider heading further away from Melbourne in almost any direction especially if you are seeking a site that’s suitable to build a large family home. New home builders may consider areas such as Warragul, Kilmore and Ballan as they are established towns with existing infrastructure.  Additionally, you might consider house and land packages that are particularly popular around Geelong and surrounding areas of Melbourne. Fixed price contracts and customisable house designs make the house and land option particularly appealing to those with no experience in construction, or those who want support with financing and customer service along the way.

Assemble a team

In Victoria, to get a house build up and running you will generally need a draftsperson or architect and a builder before your final planning permission is granted. Some companies will offer all of this in house or you may choose to individually engage various professionals that you have selected. Whatever you choose, be sure to check everyone’s credentials (such as licenses and insurance), request examples of their past work, and if possible, obtain online or word of mouth experiences from previous clients. Not only should you get an indication of their style in terms of the house they will produce for you, but also their method of communication, which is vital to avoid costly misunderstandings.


It can be disappointing to find out your vision is too expensive or unsuitable due to constraints such as the site. Therefore a useful exercise to conduct before you finalise your house plans is to define the must haves vs wants. Don’t forget that in the future you may be able to improve your home, so a good tip is to get major structural work in place that can be retrofitted with your ideal finishes and technology at a later stage.

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