If you want to make the Great Australian dream a reality and build your custom home from scratch, you’ll need to know how the construction process works. Understanding the basic steps can help you become a part of the process and enjoy it, completely stress-free. Your dream home can become a reality, so if you have a healthy deposit, you can take out a home loan and begin building your future. These easy tips will help you get started:
After Choosing the Block
If you’ve found a house block you love, negotiated to buy it, completed your research at your local council and associated authorities, it’s time to get your architect or designer on the job. Then you need to get building quotes, sort out your documentation and submit your development application (maybe have a battle with the council). You will then get your CC (consent and engineering and construction certificate) plans and you can approach your lender to get your home loan organised, and finally, unconditional approval.
The next step is site preparation. Your block will no doubt need to be site-cleaned first before any building work can begin, so make sure your builder has included vegetation and tree removal. This typically involves clearing the ground, removing or relocating any trees or rocks and demolishing any old buildings if there are any. If you’re demolishing an old building, make sure it’s done before your builder is ready to start, because you don’t want to hold up the process.
Next step? Think about where on your block you want your house built. Ask yourself how you want it to be positioned, should the bedroom windows be facing north or south, is there a fantastic view you want to take advantage of, or is there a beautiful old tree you want to see every time you look through your kitchen window? Once you’ve marked the exact spot, you are ready to move onto the next stage and start building the house.
Setting the Foundation
The first stage of the actual building of your custom home is setting the foundation. Your builders will begin by levelling the ground and marking or pegging out the site to show where the house will sit. During this stage, the builders will also install underground plumbing and the electrical or stormwater systems because these go into the very base of your house (make sure to double-check all the underground plumbing before you go any further). The final step is pouring the concrete slab, which is then levelled and makes a solid foundation for your custom home.
Framing Your House
The first creative stage is erecting the skeleton of your house. The framing stage includes putting up frames and roof trusses that are normally prefabricated and can be erected pretty fast (it might take a day or two). Once this job is done, you can get an idea of the full shape of your custom home and can walk around to get a feeling of the space.
Roofing, Brickwork and the Lock-Up
Now the frame is up, your builder will begin the lock-up phase by installing windows, doors, roof tiles (or metal roofing), fascia (frieze or band under the roof edge) and gutters. Any brickwork and cladding are also done during this stage. Towards the end of this part of the process, your house will start to take shape and give you an idea of the final result.
Installing All the ‘Rough Bits’
Once the lockup is established you can start working on the interior, but there’s more to it than painting and decorating. This part of the building process is called ‘roughing’ because it involves installing all the rough bits such as the plumbing and electrical wiring. In short, this means adding electrical cables, light switches, drainpipes and all other elements you need to have water and electricity in the house. All of this will be done before your builder starts placing internal linings and closing up walls and ceilings.
Internal Fixes and Trims
The builders will then install internal doors, plaster or Gyprock the walls and start adding all the finishing trims. The kitchen and bathrooms will start taking shape too, so you will really get the sense of the entire indoor space during this stage. And even if you’re not sure about some elements of the design at the moment, don’t worry as you can rejig the space any time you like and change pieces you’re not happy with.
The Final Stage
The most exciting part is, of course, painting, decorating, and furnishing the house. Flooring and paintwork should be done first, and then you can start setting up all the furniture, lighting, appliances and decorative pieces. Think also about details like air-conditioning, shelving, building storage spaces, and walk-in wardrobes.
The final stage is the inspection of the completed build. Once the work is done, your builder will schedule a date for a PCI (Practical Completion Inspection) to make sure everything is done properly and that there are no defects. And if everything is OK, you will be handed the keys and will be finally ready to move in and bring warmth to the space with all the beddings, carpets, curtains, blinds and cushions.