Looking back at March 2020 when we were entering our first pandemic lockdown who could have foreseen the building challenges the industry would be facing 2 years on.

A property boom paired with material delays, labour shortages; and shipping inflation has seen the news report on huge delays in project completions, consumers having to pay more on top of their agreed contracts and some builds even coming to a complete standstill.

Fair to say confidence in the building industry is at an all time low. So what does this mean for consumers looking to start their build in the next 24 months?  Here are our 3 top planning tips to see you through a successful build.

1. Do your due diligence when choosing a builder!

This is one we can not stress enough. Too often then not, we see consumers choose builders over price rather than expertise and suffer the shortfalls when it is too late.

All residential builders in WA are required to be registered, so first stop is checking they have the correct licence to carry out the project. www.builders.wa.gov.au

When choosing a building you should consider these factors;

  1. Price; are they within your budget?
  2. Experience; how long have they been in the industry for? Have they won any awards?
  3. Structure; are you looking for a boutique experience with a custom builder, or looking for a standard design and deliver build.
  4. Always read the contract terms and conditions. They differ from builder to builder.

We recommend you meet with 3-4 builders before making a decision. When selecting these building make sure they are all on level playing ground within the industry.

It is very common in some larger companies for you to meet and get sold a great experience by a professional sales person, to then be handed over to a junior supervisor who doesn’t deliver on that promise.

So, some helpful questions you should be asking each builder:

  • How many building projects do you take on a year?
  • Who will be managing my build throughout the process?
  • Can I speak with one of your clients who have built with you?
  • What sets you apart from other builders?

If you re looking for a custom building experience, choose a builder who will be there from the start to handing over your keys, taking you personally through the building process.

2. Budget for blind costs!

No one can predict the future and if the last 24 months has taught us anything, it is to plan for the unexpected.

We always recommend clients to budget for some discretionary funds. This could be towards unforeseen increases from materials to products. Australia imports majority of our building materials and interior selections for new homes, so something happening on the other side of the world can impact prices here.

It is always better to have this budgeted for, rather than be caught out mid build. We recommend clients have a discretionary budget of $x amount. Remember this is a safety net, so if it isn’t required you can always throw one hell of a housewarming when the build is complete.

3. Expectations versus reality.

This is one where many consumers get caught out, whether it be price or time.

Don’t get me wrong it would be amazing to live in a Kardasian world where you can have anything for the right price. However for most of us, in a world of Pinterest and Instagram inspiration, it is difficult to marry our expectations with a realistic budget.

Your builder should always manage your expectations and help you design a home within your realistic budget. Delays are sometimes an uncontrollable part of building a new home but I think sometimes the most important part of the process is communication. Any delays should be immediately communicated to you by your builder and with good reasoning.

This is the same for pricing. You should always be given a choice on how to handle unforeseen costs, whether that be interchanging a product or material for a cheaper option or changing the build to suit the current market.

Our best advice for expectations is that not everything will go according to plan, but having a builder who communicates changes well and updates you throughout the entire building process is essential.

All in all remember when you choose the right builders budget for unforeseen costs and have realistic expectation – building your new home will be so enjoyable you will want to do it all over again. Well at least that is what our clients tell us!