How to Plan and Build Your Dream Home: A 6-Step Guide

Planning and building your dream home can be one of the most exciting journeys you embark on, with your hard work resulting in a property you can call home for the rest of your life.

However, even if you know where you want to live and what you want your house to look like, there are several steps you need to take to get from start to finish. Know all the steps in an easy-to-read guide below.

Step 1: Consider the Costs

Before you even begin contemplating your new home’s design, start researching how much new homes cost to build. Associated construction costs can vary depending on where you live, the house’s land, construction material quality, house size, and more.

Several other costs are associated with a new build to factor into the equation, such as land costs, stamp duty, land preparation, planning fees, and council approval fees. Once you’ve calculated what your dream home may cost, you can start looking for a financial service provider offering home loans to find out how you may be able to fund the construction of your new home.

Step 2: Decide Where You Want to Build

Around the same time that you start calculating the costs associated with building a house, you may also start thinking about where you want to build and how you want that process to play out.

For example, you might decide to purchase a bare block of land that you will need to have services connected to. Factor these costs to add to the home-building process. Some people also look at house and land packages, or they buy an old home in a desirable location like a city or tourist town and build a new one in its place.

Your preferred option may dictate the loan types you have at your disposal, so consider enlisting the services of a financial expert to find out what you can expect with each building option you consider.

Step 3: Hire Designers and Architects

If you’re opting for a standard home design, you can skip this step. Designers and architects are the experts you need when building an entirely customised home with all the design features you love.

They can take the stress out of the design process and help create a seamless layout, select materials that work in harmony, and ensure the property maximises natural elements like sunshine and shade.

Step 4: Hire a Builder

It’s time to talk to building companies when you’ve worked through your finance options and know what you can afford. How this process plays out can depend on the type of home you’re looking for, whether it’s custom, standard, or a house and land package.

When you have a custom build, you may like to put your building contract out to tender, which means you can meet with several interested builders to learn about their building experience and receive comprehensive quotes.

If you worked with designers and architects to design your dream home, they might have builders they recommend, which may significantly speed up the selection process.

If you’re building a standard home, you might opt to work with a volume building company known for constructing hundreds of standard homes with minimal customisation. With house and land packages, builders and developers are likely already in place to get the process underway.

Step 5: Sign a Building Contract

Your build can’t begin and your finances can’t be organised without a building contract. These contracts are signed legal documents that outline the builder’s and client’s rights and responsibilities.

Both parties sign a standard, fixed-price, cost-plus, or custom contract, and if either party breaches the contract, they can be at risk of being sued for damages. Before work gets underway, your contract should have:

  • Your name and the contractor’s name

  • Builder licence number

  • Description of the work being carried out

  • The price if it’s known

  • Compliance quality clause

  • A progress payment schedule that you and the builder have agreed to

  • Termination clause

  • Actions for variations that may arise

  • Contractor insurance certificate information

  • Five-day cooling-off period for a homeowner to cancel

Step 6: Start Building

With your finances in order and a building contract signed, you can now get your dream home built underway. All that’s left to do now is watch and wait as you start the countdown to put the key in your new front door eventually.

Planning and building your dream home can seem like a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. When you have a team of experts like financial specialists, designers, and builders on your side, it can go much smoother than you may have thought possible.

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