Building a home is one of the biggest projects you’ll undertake in your lifetime. But unless you’ve done it before, you may be unsure what to expect from the whole process. In this article, we’re having an in-depth look at the stages you’ll go through in your building journey. While every builder has their process, all of them will follow the steps outlined in this article. We’re going to run through each of the building stages in the construction process.
What are the key stages of the house construction process in Australia?
Before you can start building, you’re going to need a builder. However, when you type builder into Google, you’ll soon discover there’s a huge list of options out there.
Step 1: Get a shortlist of reputable builders
Finding the right builder can be the difference between a successful build and one that will haunt you for years to come.
Some of the key factors you need to consider when screening potential builders includes
- Price and how it works with your budget
- The reputation of the builder and the references they provide
- The financial stability of the building company
- The types of homes the builder specialises in
- Locations they usually build
- Personality and whether you connect with them.
Having an idea of what you want to build will be a huge help in narrowing down your list of candidates. For example, say you want to build an acreage-style home. Boom. You can already rule out all builders who don’t offer or specialise in this type of home design. The more specifications you have, the better idea you’ll have as to what you need from a builder.
Step 2: Ask for quotes from each of the builders
Once you have a few potential builders you’re considering, you’ll need to get quotes. It’s important to know these will differ a lot from the prices you see in advertisements, for example, anything that says something like ‘starting from $400,000’.
When comparing quotes, make sure that the quotes are all covering the same thing. Chances are different builders will offer different inclusions, extras and deals, so you’ll need to weigh up what the best deal for you and your family is.
Step 3: Finalise the contract with the builder
During this important stage of building, you need to be sure you completely understand your contract, including timeframes, inclusions, and features. Just as importantly, you need to know what isn’t included in your contract. For example, landscaping and driveways are usually not a part of your quoted price and you’ll need to factor this into your budget.
We highly recommend having a third party, like your solicitor or building broker look over any building contract to ensure everything is above board and that there aren’t any discrepancies.
At Buildi, we help you find the right builder, save time, reduce stress and stay on budget.
How We Can Help You
Building a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. At Buildi, we’ll be there throughout the entire building process, guiding you step by step so you can avoid any pitfalls. We will help you by following these steps.
- Free Consultation – We will sit with you to understand what you are looking to accomplish.
- Due Diligence – We work with you to ensure you’re buying the right block of land at the right price without hidden problems.
- Builders tender – We will take your requirements out to the market of builders and they will bid to win your business.
- Present solutions – We will compile the top 3 options and present you with a comprehensive proposal on builders’ strengths & weaknesses along with prices and specifications.
- Contract Signing – We will work with you and your selected builder to ensure there is full transparency in what you are entering into.
- Building your home – We work closely with the builder to ensure all service levels are met and your project is on schedule.
House construction phases
This is the part you’ve been waiting for. After all your hard work preparing, researching and financing, your home is finally built.
When it comes to time frames, a house can take anywhere between 4-18 months complete depending on a variety of factors including size, type of house, complexity of the design process and whether
Below is an outline of what you can expect during the home construction process.
Step 1: Base stage & foundations
Though it may not seem it, the base stage is one of the most important parts of the build as it is where you’re setting the foundations for your project. It’s important to get this stage right, as it is very difficult to fix foundational issues in the later stages (not to mention, quite expensive).
This is where your block of land will be prepared for further construction. Things that will be taken care of during this part of the process include:
- any necessary site surveys
- soil tests
- Hiring and setting up portable toilets for the crew
- site clearance.
- temporary fencing
- Cut and fill – outlining the foundation of your building
- Organising power supply
- Install silt barriers and peg out
- If necessary, build retaining walls
Once all of these necessities are taken care of the base of your home will be poured. Once this concrete slab is completed, most builders will expect payment of 15% of the agreed price.
Step 2: Frame stage
This next stage is where your house really starts to take shape and actually begin looking like a house. The frame will be erected according to your drawings. The builder will construct the framework for your walls, roof trusses, internal and external walls, cladding and floor joists (if a double-storey home). You’ll also be expected to pay a 20% progress payment.
Step 3: Lock up stage
This is when homeowners start to get excited as their home is really starting to take shape.
The lock-up stage is a significant milestone in the building process as it is when your house can be literally “locked up”. It will be when temporary external doors, windows, brickwork, cladding and roofing, garage doors and gutters will be installed.
Step 4: Fixing Stage
The fixing stage will involve the installation and completion of cabinets, carpentry, skirting boards, internal plaster, insulation and stone bench tops.
After completing this stage, your builder will expect a 20% progress payment.
Step 5: Practical completion inspection stage
You’re so close to moving into your new home, there are just a couple more steps to go.
The practical completion stage is where the final touches to your home will be made. The fit-out stage is where the painter, tilers and other fixtures such as plumbing, electrical fixtures (powerpoints, lights etc), shower screens, door handles, floor covering and mirrors will be installed inside your home. A final site clean will be conducted to remove all debris from your home.
About two weeks from your handover date, your site supervisor will take you for a tour of your house to show you the fixture and features of the home. This gives you a chance to inspect your home before handover. If you have a building broker, they can accompany you through this stage to provide a neutral set of eyes to make sure everything in the contract has been met. Try to catch as many issues as possible during this stage as it is much easier to get the builder to fix things now than after the handover phase.
Finally, all your hard work has paid off and you can live in your brand-new home.
Step 1: Handover
To avoid theft or damage, many builders will install appliances like your oven, hob, dishwasher and washing machine on the day of your handover.
Your home is now completed and you’ll receive your keys and you’re ready to move into your home.
Builders will offer between a 3-12 month maintenance period to fix any issues your find in your house. Your builder will offer a structural warranty that can last anywhere between five and fifty years, depending on the builder in question.
So that’s all the stages you can expect when building a new home. It’s a big journey from start to finish, but the good news is that you don’t need to go it alone. Buildi is here to guide you through every step. We’ve got the expertise to know the best builders, which mistakes to avoid and what contracts look good and which look shifty. Want to find out more? Why not get in touch for a free consultation?