How to build right the first time
Learn from the mistakes of others and eliminate the trial and error that comes with building for the first time, writes Erin Reilly.
You dream of buying the perfect home, but nothing you visit quite ticks all your boxes. The solution? Build your own!
Unfortunately, building isn’t quite as simple as raising your hand at an auction. A lot of time, planning and, of course, money goes into building a house, and with that comes a bit of trial and error – and inevitable mistakes.
Here are a handful of common mistakes first-time builders make, and how to avoid making them yourself.
TRYING TO DO IT ALL YOURSELF
Despite New Zealanders’ predisposition to spend Saturdays at DIY stores, we’re not all DIYminded. Jennian Homes hosts regular free building information sessions that help first-time builders with things like how to find the best site, how to build sustainably, and (most importantly) sticking to budget. Find out more at jennianinfo.com.
SAVING MONEY THE RIGHT WAY
It’s not uncommon for building projects to go over budget. Talk to your team about saving money without compromising your plans. If you want four bedrooms but really can only afford three right now, build in a way that allows for an extension in a few years’ time. Use mainstream appliance brands so you’ve got more budget for fittings, lighting and joinery. Don’t sacrifice quality just so you come under budget; look at the overall project and figure out what parts of the puzzle are most important.
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A CHEAP DEAL
On that note, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A fast sale will normally come back to bite a client with cost overruns, construction delays and avoidable PC sums (provisional allowances for specific items that haven’t been chosen or priced yet). Jennian Homes works to slow the sales and design process down and provide greater certainty over pricing. It’ll take longer, but it’ll save you money and sleepless nights, and give you certainty in the long run.
NOT THINKING ABOUT LIVEABILITY
Don’t base your decisions on what you want a home to look like; think about how you want to live. If entertaining is important to you, focus your energies on your living and outdoor areas. If creating a luxurious escape is your dream, think about what textiles, colours and fabrics will achieve this. If kid-friendly design is top of your list, talk to your architect about stairs, windows and glass.
CHOOSING THE WRONG LOCATION
Do your research about the neighbourhood before committing to the area. Are there good schools and handy bus stops? What’s the traffic like? What are your neighbours like? While you can’t join a specific neighbourhood until you’re address-verified, you can use Neighbourly to find out more about your neighbourhood-to-be by searching surrounding areas.
Talk to your building team about how you can save money in ways that’s right for your home.