Comparing Builders' Quotes
Are the same big ticket items included in the quote? How do they charge on variations?Learn what to ask and when with our handy guide.
If you’re thinking of building a new home, you may be tossing up what to do first – choose a builder or find the land? It’s a bit like the chicken or egg scenario, really. One solution is to find a block of land in the right location, and then choose a builder who can build your dream home on that block. But remember, the type of block you choose will impact on the home design and cost. For example, a steep block will probably be more expensive to build on.
The first thing most people do when they start thinking about building a new home is hit the display villages, find a house plan they love, and then the builder refers them to new estates with suitable blocks. While in most cases it’s fairly easy to find a block to suit, there are some important factors to consider. Here, we look at five points to think about if you’re embarking on the search for land and a home builder.
Chances are, you already have a specific area where you’d like to live – near family, close to schools, work, shops, hospitals, etc. The problem with choosing your home design before your land is that the design you’ve chosen might require a specific block of land. It may need to be a certain width, size, etc. So while it’s certainly OK to choose a builder you like before you buy land, you may not want to commit to a specific home design at this early stage.
The condition of your land can impact on the cost of your build, especially when it comes to the slab and structural design. You also need to check if there are any building covenants that will impact material choices. The soil type, wind ratings and existing vegetation will all affect how the home is designed and positioned, and, in turn, impact the cost. And remember, if you’ve got a fixed budget and you choose the home design first, and then start looking for your land – variable costs can prove to be a nasty surprise!
It’s no good choosing a home design with a wide frontage when you’ve found the perfectly located block of land with a narrow frontage! The home design you choose needs to be suitable for the width of the block of land you buy. So unless you’re planning on buying acreage, it is vital that your home and land width suit each other. Most home builders clearly display the block width required for their each of their home designs. So if there is one you’ve got your heart set on, make sure you take this into account when you’re looking for land.
This is something that many new buyers overlook at first. It’s important to understand the sun’s movement across your block of land and then choose a home design that suits. It’s recommended that service areas like the garage, bathrooms and storage rooms are positioned on the western side of the home. This is because you don’t use these rooms for long periods of time, and the west is the hottest part of the house. If possible, living areas should be on the north/north-east of the site, while bedrooms work best to the east, so they can catch the morning sun, but then cool down at night. If you stick to these basic rules, you’ll create a home that’s cooler in summer and warmer in winter, which will also help to reduce your power bill.
Until you find the land, you don’t know what its outlook will be. Is there a view you’d like to take advantage of, or an area that would be great for a pool or entertainment area? Do you need to consider privacy at the front and/or sides of the block? If you buy your land first, you can address all of these points with your builder to ensure you choose the best design.
The simple fact is that if you have an actual block of land to work with, there’s no guesswork required, as you’re working inside real parameters. But by no means should this stop you from checking out builders before you buy your land. And if you find one that’s the perfect fit for you, most of the time they’re more than happy to help you find the right block of land to suit you.
With over 35 years experience building quality homes, Hallmark Homes make the whole process easy and enjoyable. Whether you’ve already chosen a block of land or not, our experienced team can help you create your dream home. In fact, around 70% of our business comes from repeat customers and referrals – probably because we go to great lengths to understand your individual needs, delivering a high level of personal service.
So if you’re thinking of building a new home in South-East Queensland, our friendly team is ready to help. Come and check out one of our display centres for yourself. If you have any questions about our home designs or house and land packages, please contact us today.