Dream home dis­counts

There are many ways to keep cash in your cor­ner when building

Central Telegraph - - HOME - With Jody Allen Jody Allen is the founder of Stay At Home Mum: stay­ath­ome­mum.com.au

BUILDING a home is one of the big­gest in­vest­ments you can make and get­ting it right is the only thing that comes to your mind. Rather than just find­ing a house plan you like and hand­ing over your hard-earned cash for the next 30 or so years, con­sider some of these ways to save money on a house build.

A builder or con­trac­tor may add on things you ac­tu­ally don’t want and here is where you can save a lot of money. You have to know ex­actly what you are spend­ing on, even if you have no idea how to build a house.

◗ GET CHUMMY WITH YOUR LO­CAL COUN­CIL: If you have cho­sen a block you like, be­fore putting in an of­fer grab the de­tails of the block (lot and plan num­ber) and head to your lo­cal coun­cil.

Even though when pur­chas­ing a block or a house there will be a coun­cil check, it is best to check on the big items now to make sure you aren’t wast­ing your money on a prop­erty that isn’t right for you.

Ques­tions to ask in­clude: Is wa­ter or sew­er­age avail­able on the block? Are there any sewer or wa­ter lines run­ning through the block (you aren’t al­lowed to build over the top – this could af­fect where you place your house). Are there any ease­ments over the prop­erty? If there are trees on the block that could get in the way of building, what per­mis­sions or obli­ga­tions are re­quired to re­move them?

◗ MOV­ING DIRT: Will you need mas­sive ex­ca­va­tion and drainage works to make your house sit on the block? Site prepa­ra­tion costs are ex­pen­sive. When­ever you need to re­move dirt to make a house pad it is in­evitable you will have on­go­ing drainage is­sues far into the fu­ture. If you have a block that is slightly el­e­vated, con­sider putting a house on stumps to avoid is­sues like drainage.

◗ PLAN: Draw the plans up your­self be­fore tak­ing them to a drafts­man or ar­chi­tect. When building, you need to con­sider your needs be­fore your wants.

Re­sale value is also a con­sid­er­a­tion. Visit dis­play homes and take pho­tos of what you like and what you don’t. Con­sider all the space, as ev­ery sin­gle square cen­time­tre of house will cost you money – so you want to make sure all space in your home is utilised.

◗ SHOP AROUND: Source ma­te­ri­als your­self. When hir­ing a builder, they will source all the ma­te­ri­als them­selves, with an ap­pro­pri­ate mark-up on each.

If you have the time and a place to store ev­ery­thing, con­sider do­ing some of the sourc­ing your­self. If you are to­tally out of depth with tim­ber and bricks, even get­ting the fit­tings such as lights, car­pets, floor­ing, fans, oven and range hood can save you a bun­dle.

If you tell your builder be­fore you start (and sign) you can re­move these from the over­all cost of the build.

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

◗ Con­sider tak­ing on some of the plan­ning your­self dur­ing a build – you can save a for­tune.

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