The home building process starts well before a tradesperson sets foot on your site. There are multiple pre-construction decisions that can make a huge difference to the overall project experience, including your final spend and timeline.

To ensure your building experience is as positive as possible, we’ve put together a list of the key things you need to think about when starting a building project.

1. Set a budget

A budget is one of the most important decisions you make when building your dream home. Understanding exactly how much you can, and are willing, to spend will ensure you can make decisions easily and without too much stress.  

It will guide both small and large choices, ranging from materials and techniques to fixtures and finishes, so it’s essential you have a clear number before moving forward.

2. Choose a builder

Once you have a budget in mind, it’s time to think about a builder. This is the most important part of the process, so it’s essential to do your research. Start with recommendations from family and friends or look for signage around your local area. When first communicating with potential builders, be sure to ask for examples of past projects, testimonials, reviews, licences and any other relevant documentation. This will also allow you to get a feel for their communication style and methods.

It’s important to chat to a few builders to see how they work, how they respond to initial ideas and plans and what their early estimates are in terms of budget and timelines.

3. Select an architect, designer or use design and construct 

There are a number of ways to approach the design phase of your build so it’s important to understand all your options before making a decision. The first is opting for an inclusive design and construct service with your builder – this will ensure a singular point of contact and accountability throughout the entire process, as well as the most accurate costings, as the builder should be able to present the latest industry prices. Generally, any design costs will be included as part of your final contract price, should you go ahead with a design and construct build.

The second option is an architect – they can assist if you’re looking for a complex or detailed design as they often have the most experience. To legally practice as an architect, you must have completed a formal degree (usually five years), be registered with the relevant state authority and have the necessary liability insurances. Working with an architect can also pay off in the long run, as “architecturally-designed homes”tend to attract a higher resale value, but the initial cost will be higher – they generally charge a fee of 7-15% of the build cost.

The third option is a building designer, who can come from a range of backgrounds, but doesn’t have the formal qualification of a registered architect. They can often help with smaller, less complex projects and their fee is reflective of this – they generally charge 3-7% of the build cost.

4. Have your selections ready

Selections are a huge part of the design process –they include everything from the exterior materials, to the countertops, hardware, flooring, cabinet design and paint. The sheer number of them means they are often one of the more time-consuming elements but can also be the cause behind large discrepancies in quoting and end budgets.

Therefore, to save you time and money, it’s worth having as many selections as you can finalised prior to construction. This also means you can minimise delays down the line, as well as work with the most accurate quotes, so there are no budget blowouts at the end of the project.

5. Know what’s included (and excluded) in your quote

Building quotes don’t take a one-size-fits all approach – in fact, every single one will be different, with varying inclusions and exclusions. Therefore, before starting your build, it’s essential to understand exactly what is covered iny our quote and therefore, what you can expect at the end of the build.  

Common exclusions are landscaping, security and fencing, but in some cases, window treatments, paint and floor coverings can also be left off. Highlighting these before the building process begins will help to avoid surprises down the line and any unnecessary additional costs.


If you’re thinking about building your dream home in Hobart, get in touch with our expert team today. We’d be happy to advise you on your first steps.

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