A new build can be a daunting task. We’ve pulled together five essential tips for a stress-free start
5 essential first steps to getting a new build off the ground
1. Set your budget. There’s no point buying an expensive piece of land if you can’t afford to build on it. Talk to your bank about how much you can afford to borrow and how they would structure the loan. Some banks offer special construction loans for new builds, which can be drawn down in different stages as the building progresses.
2. Start looking for a section you love. Consider the community, proximity to work, schools and facilities, privacy and sun position. Your build will be much easier if you choose a reasonably level section with easy access and few complications regarding drainage and engineering. If you have an architect or builder lined up, ask them to look at the section and identify any potential hidden costs.
3. Meet with a planner at your local council to find out what sort of development is allowed in that zone, whether any building restrictions exist and what consents are needed. You may also want to get specialist reports, such as engineers’ reports or geo-technical reports.
4. Find an architect, draughtsperson or designer to capture your vision on paper. Think about how you will use the home now and in the future and give them a clear brief and an even clearer budget. Even if you don’t have the money for the luxury items at the bottom of your list, put the infrastructure in now and they’ll be on track for the future.
5. Find a builder or construction company. Ask for recommendations, then check their credentials – previous experience, testimonials, what insurance they have, guarantees they provide and any contingencies. Sign a comprehensive building contract: the builder should provide detailed plans and schedules that set out what’s included in their quote and a deadline for completion.