So we have seriously started looking at building a house but I'm interested to hear of anything you wish you had of thought of or known before hand? Anything you would of done differently or wish you could change?
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07-05-2012 09:18 #1
Building a house, what did you wish you had of thought of or known?
07-05-2012 09:24 #2
Don't use painters provided by the big companies. My dp is a painter who works for himself. He is currently painting the interior of a house and the owner got the outside done by sovereign homes painters cause he wanted it done ASAP. The painter is painting in thongs while drinking beer all day. I'm tempted to ring sovereign but I'm hoping the neighbours dob. Find a word of mouth painter. Dp has fixed up so many dodgy jobs it's not funny. Specially new houses cause its empty it's a quick easy job.
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07-05-2012 09:25 #3
A gf of mine has just finished a house, it's amazing but not so practical. They have the double sinks and double shower heads in the bath room and a giant bath in the centre looking out to the water and although it looks amazing it's stupid because you have to close the curtains or people can see you.
My suggestion is to think practical not just about the look
07-05-2012 09:41 #4
I have. Ever done it but I know someone who did the best advise she gives is don't for get a linen closet
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07-05-2012 09:49 #5
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.
07-05-2012 09:53 #6
We move a lot, and have lived in 7 houses in the last 7 years so I have quite a list of things I will look for if we were to build.
Check the layout of the kitchen and the dishwasher in particular. The house we are living in at the moment, the position of the dishwasher and the main drawers where the crockery goes is insane, as you can't open the drawers while the dishwasher is open, so you can't empty the dishwasher straight into the drawers you have to put them on the bench first
Check the sizes of the cupboards. We are in a 5 bedroom house at the moment, and the linen cupboard and pantry are far too small for a 5 bedroom house. Same as showers, we have lived in houses where the shower was a teeny tiny little square.
Make sure there are lights over the main kitchen bench, not just in the middle of the room otherwise you will be working in a shadow all of the time.
In the laundry we will make sure there is one wall long enough to leave the ironing board set up all of the time, one house we had to move it every time to open and shut the door which was annoying
And powerpoints. Many many more powerpoints then they have on the plan.
Kids climbing all over me at the moment be back when I remember some more.
Last edited by Pina Colada; 07-05-2012 at 09:56.
07-05-2012 10:12 #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
We are in a brand new house (rental) and agree totally with the garage- way too small for anything aside from 2 cars- do either make it deeper or wider. We also do not have access from garage into house but that is because of the sloping block.
Kitchen- our drawers bang on the open pantry door- so check thR layout and because I
Of the open plan all our appliances are along the wall with the stove- no room for prep next to stove. We also cannot get out of the kitchen when the fridge door is open.
Agree about power points though ours isn't that bad. Also where the light switches are located, in our bathroom and one bedroom they are in the middle of the wall so you walk in blind at night.
Can't think of anything else right now!
07-05-2012 10:13 #8
My parents built when I was a teen and we've renovated our house and here are a few thoughts:
1. Get a fixed price for the build and a fixed time/deadline with penalities for the builder if it goes overtime.
2. Get lots of powerpoints (as the others have said).
3. As already mentioned about cavity sliders, they seem great in theory giving you more floor space, but there are issues - you can't have plumbing or electrical in the wall that the door slides into and so that limits the options of the inside layout. For us it meant things like light switches for the bathroom OUTSIDE the door (there are also rules about light switches & proximity to taps/etc). And cavity sliders don't always slide straight and stay straight, meaning that it's nearly impossible for us to lock our bathroom cavity slider as it doesn't line up with the lock hole in the door frame any more. AND, the CAVITY may be open to the roof/wall space allowing a nice little space for mice to come in & out of (we recently had that issue!!!).
4. Make sure you get blockout curtains on all bedroom windows (at least just the bedrooms).
5. Try & find a plan that allows you to walk from the laundry to the outside to hang up the washing (my mums biggest regret with the house we built is not having this option).
6. Storage, storage & more storage!
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07-05-2012 10:29 #9
Thanks for the replies everyone! This is the house we are thinking about buying, we want to turn the home office into a store room and make it part of the garage but leaving the dividing wall there, which would mean moving the exterior door so it opens into the dinning area??? I'm not sure about how that will look now.
07-05-2012 10:31 #10Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2007
Think carefully about what you put in and how/if it will make any difference to resale value. For example things like floor to ceiling tiles - looks great (and is admittedly something I will probably go for if we build) but it is so much more expensive to have done and at the end of the day it's not going to make any difference to the price when you sell it.
Also obviously when you build you build what you want in a house but make sure it is practical/will appeal to someone else if/when you sell it. I've seen some umm... Rather interesting houses that have been built exactly to the owners tastes/wants (which is fine) BUT when the time comes to sell they struggle enormously because it only appeals to very small handful of people.
And things like pp. have mentioned like lots of power points and storage.
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