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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaryGirl View Post
    There is so much I wish I had done! Only said to my DH last night I would love to build this house again ... he on the other hand would rather poke his eyes out than build again ... considering I did everything I don't know what he was whinging about.

    Here's a few things:

    The price listed for the house is usually for bare bones, with basic light and powerpoint in each room on a 'perfect' site. By the time we allowed for site fees and a few changes we were already $50k over the base price without even adding electricals/kitchen upgrades etc.

    You can never have enough powerpoints ... it is heaps cheaper to put them in at build stage than after.

    Really think about window/door openings ... ie we've got a cavity slider in the ensuite, it slides to the right' shower is on the right, towel rails can't go on that wall due to the cavity slider ... no issues in summer, but very chilly in winter!

    Whatever storage the plan has, add more!

    Increase the length of the bath tub ... in our case I didn't think of it and there was room for a full length bath, but they put a shorter with a hob at the end.

    Project builders seem to be reducing the size of double garages ... we increased ours to 6x6 but with two big cars we can't get the kids in/out if both cars are in the garage. Again ok if weather is lovely. We really should have gone 7m wide at least, especially as we have pushbikes in there too.

    Check what paint they offer as well. Alot are dropping to two coals of 'quality' paint, but the undercoat is counted as one ... one topcoat is not enough.

    Think about heating/cooling and have it all added in at build stage, much cheaper! We didn't like air conditioning system the builder offered, so we arranged with the builder for our own sub contractors to supply our preferred system during the build, saved us thousands.

    Look at the way appliances open and their placement in the room ... ie. do you need to swap where the fridge is placed? Front loader washing machine, make sure the door swings the right way in the room.

    They say allow for 10% buffer/contingency ... should really allow 20%+

    Go with a builder that is happy for you to visit the site daily, don't accept it when they say laws don't allow you onsite ... alot of builders supply construction keys now so you can keep any eye on the build.

    Google the builder you are thinking of going with ... you'll come across some great Australian building forums that are a wealth of information.
    Great advise! I would have said exactly the same!

  2. #12
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    Also the bigger companies might look lots cheaper than a smaller independent builder but when you start changing the plan is where they make their money and it can get very expensive, so make sure you shop around.

  3. #13
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    Visit as many display homes as possible. Don't collect brochurs for the sake of it, just take them for houses you like and circle rooms you have a problem with. I find you can forget quite quickly which house is what. It makes it easier when you are going back for second round looks.

    There are so many good deals now that include stone benchtops, aircond etc. Ask for as much as possible to be included without you having to pay for it. Just make sure they are included in your contracts because I have heard this happen more than once (the freebies not included).

    I would put double robes in each room. Have a walk in linen and get as much storage as possible.

    I second the powerpoints. I thought about all the places I would to vacumn and places bedside tables would be placed. We added an extra 13 to what we were offered.

    Make your bedrooms as big as possible. You may plan on staying there forever, however I think most people need to think of resale value or children getting older and wanting more room and we made the rooms as big as possible (the kids bedrooms are queen size).

    Floor to ceiling windows in kids rooms are hard as it limits where you can put a bed and window furnishings are more expensive.

    In your budget include for a Telstra lead in ($500) then Telstra to connect ($300) digital tv points ( around $200 each) crossover (the last 4 meteres of your driveway)Your builder will not include this in the price and you have to organise it yourself generally. We got them to order all the pavers at the same time and organised the paver to finish it off for cash. This still cost us $1500 and we got $200 back from council. Also, budget extra in case your site works go over. Until you get your soil analysis done, it is anybodys guess. We had to pay an extra $10 000 because of our soil type. You will also have power connection, gas, internet etc.

    I would be getting quotes on fencing, patio and sheds now. We were very suprised at some of the prices and ended up doing alot ourselves.

    Approach a retic shop and get prices for soakwells, pipes and if you may need a bore for water runoff. There is alot of work in this part Also, even just getting in grass to stop sand going through your house. We did it ourselves (lawn rolls and a big block) and it cost us about $3000. We still don't have plants.

    If I had the cash, I would have paid for our walls have insulation in them. Our house does maintain a good temperature now but the less you can spend on heating/cooling a house with electricity or gas the better. We don't have natural gas where we are so we had to put in a ducted reverse system. We got 11 outlets and 8 zones. $13000 later and we were set up.

    Try to constantly go over and be sure of your decsisons before you sign contracts. Every change you make afterwards will cost around $350 per change.

    One thing I am annoyed about is our pre start girl asked us if we would like turn our brick around the in the garage. We really didn't understand what that meant and agreed to it We didn't realise that bricks have different sides and now the outside of our garage (only one wall as the rest is rendered) is a different look to the rest of the house. We are going to render it but we were really annoyed!

    Ask for as much upgrades as possible. The housing industry in W.A. is very quiet at the moment and doing what they can to secure business. Wether it is appliances ugraded or getting landscaping try for it all. Don't go through Ironbridge developments. They are in administration.

    Window furnishings are really quite expensive. We bought everything at Spotlight (block out curtains with a sheer behind them) and not expensive ones with my mum making them. We still spent $3000 and not every window is covered. Take a plan you are looking at for a rough quote to factor in.

    Gallery style kitches have very small bench spaces available and hard to work in for that reason. The house we rented whilst building had one and had no bench space either side of the stove. Terrible! If you do go for one, I would be getting a super long bench. I have seen so many designs lately and the kitchens are tiny with terrible bench space and barely and storgage.

    I also wish I had made the second toilet close to the back door or our laundry door so kids playing don't have to tramp the house to get to the toilet.

    Carpet is frickin expensive even for cheap stuff. We carepted our bedrooms and a theatre and that came to $4500. We had only budgeted to $2000! If you or your DH is handy lay floating floors. It isn't that hard and we only spent $2000. I will be changing it later, but whilst we have young children I don't feel too stressed about it when they do something to it.

    Last of all Do NOT sign of your final payment until you are very happy with everything. When we did our final walkthough we had no hesitation in telling them they had to fix some tiling that wasn't done well.

    Have fun!

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  5. #14
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    This may sound really obvious, but keep in mind what direction your house will be facing in regard to the sun - the house my hubby and I have bought gets heaps of sun in our bedroom but not out in the kitchen or patio where I would prefer it.
    Also after moving in to this house, I have to say, consider the lay of the land and make sure you have your drainage set up accordingly. The people who built our house seem to be under the impression that rain water goes up hill.
    And as has been said - powerpoints, powerpoints, powerpoints!

  6. #15
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    As others have said about the power points! And my parents built with power points in the hallways for vacuuming it was a brilliant idea. Think of how many appliances you have in a room that need power (for a bedroom - tv, lamp, alarm clock, DVD player, mobile phone charger etc)

  7. #16
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    Subscribing

  8. #17
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    I wish we had put more thought into the light switches downstairs. We have to walk into the kitchen to turn the light for the kitchen and dining area on - I'd prefer to have a switch near each entry.

    As pp have said lots of power points - we have 2 double points in each bedroom, and 3 in our room. We forgot to put one in the hallway though, so it's a pain to vacuum.

    We had the plumbing set up so that the toilets and washing machine can run off tank water, even though we don't have a tank right now - much cheaper to do it now.

    If you can only afford to upgrade the carpet or the underlay, do the underlay - it makes cheap carpet feel better underfoot.

    Also be careful about taking just the good reviews on forums into account. We were building with a company who's building arm went into administration, however because they were set up as separate legal entities the main company was able to continue trading. And they contacted the major forums whenever there was a negative post/thread and threatened to sue unless the thread was removed.

    I'm sure there's more. I'll come bak if I think of anything

  9. #18
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    I've never built but as a prospective renter/buyer here's my list

    - as a pp said double closets in bedrooms.

    - our current ensuite has a cavity slide door that we can't always lock, one towel rail which is annoying when there are 2 towels that need to dry.

    - I hate that we have 1 'linen' cupboard. I can barely fit anything in there.

    - agree with PP about the size of the garage. We have a double garage but as there is no shed or anywhere else to put mower, tools etc we can only fit one car in.

    - consider where you put your air con etc. ours is on the wall in the lounge room but really it should have been on the opposite wall and then it would have not been so isolated to one room.

    - ducted air con is great HOWEVER also consider putting ceiling fans in. Unless you are happy to run air con 24/7 sometimes it's only warm enough to require a fan.

    - clotheslines on the side of the house suck and I hate them!! If you have the room go for a hills hoist (or similar) my parents can take theirs out when they are entertaining and it gives them a bit more room. If you do need a side of house one make sure the sun will hit that particular side or it will take hours for stuff to dry!

    Good luck with it all :-)

  10. #19
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    We have just built a house & the things that we made sure we did or didn't forget is no matter if you will use them or not put a Lot of powerpoints all around the house. We also put a dimmer light in the theatre room but now wishing we put one into the main bedroom now we are going to have another baby it would be perfect for those late night feeds

  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by happygrl View Post
    Also be careful about taking just the good reviews on forums into account. We were building with a company who's building arm went into administration, however because they were set up as separate legal entities the main company was able to continue trading. And they contacted the major forums whenever there was a negative post/thread and threatened to sue unless the thread was removed.
    exactly! Join the forums and PM members for honest feedback. If they didn't give a glowing report on the forum, PM them. I did that to get a more rounded opinion on the builder.


 

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