Tip 1. Pricing & Quality
As the cost of construction lowers, the quality of the build gets closer to the bare minimum standards required by the BCA (Building Code of Australia).
For a first home buyer looking to get a roof over their heads – price is everything. Building to that minimum standard is reasonably expected. However, the majority of our clients are looking to build a higher quality home, and that’s why we encourage you to compare our standard inclusions against other builders.
As the old saying goes ‘You get what you pay for’.
Tip 2. Inclusions
One of the best ways to clarify what is included in the quote is to ask the builder to confirm what is excluded from the quote. A bit like reverse engineering, it is a great way to unearth any of those items that may have been assumed by either party are either included or excluded.
Brick infills over all window and door openings, for example, is a standard inclusion that we provide with all of our homes, however it is common for builders to provide fibre cement sheet infills instead.
It’s the finer details like this that are important to pay attention to.
Tip 3. Home Orientation
Throughout the Greater Geelong, Surf Coast and Bellarine regions your main living areas should ideally face north, or as close to north as possible, allowing maximum exposure to the sun, and easy shading of walls and windows in summer.
Window location needs to be carefully considered to maximise cross ventilation throughout your home. This will allow you to take advantage of the sea breeze in areas such as Torquay, Ocean Grove and Point Lonsdale to assist in passively cooling your home.
Good orientation reduces the need for auxiliary heating and cooling and improves solar access to panels for solar photovoltaics and hot water. Your home is thus more comfortable to live in and cheaper to run.
Tip 4. Facade & Roofing Considerations
When selecting your facade and roof design it is important to consider your heating and cooling requirements. If you wish to have a flat roof as part of your facade design, you will most likely not be able to have standard ducted heating and your cooling options will become limited. This is because there is not enough space in the roof trusses to accommodate the size of the standard ducts, which a standard pitched roof would allow for. If you have your heart set on a flat roof design, feel free to contact us so we can discuss your heating and cooling options.
Tip 5. Efficient Design
Every square metre of your home costs money to build; from construction of the slab to the painting of the walls, that’s why it’s important to ensure that your home is designed to use space efficiently. To utilise space more efficiently many of our homes are designed with entrances on the side of the dwelling, this provides central access to your rooms, reducing the need for long hallways which can be both a waste of space and money.
A side entrance to your home also provides a point of difference in design, greater street appeal to your facade and greater security as it is further set back and concealed from the street.
Tip 6. Carefully Consider Your Size Requirements
Bigger is always better, at least that seems to be the opinion of most Australians that are building new homes, but is it really? According to numerous international studies on housing, Australia has the largest average home size in the world at around 231m2 (ABS 2016). This dwarfs the average size of housing in Hong Kong of 45m2 and is more than double the average size of houses in Australia in 1950, which was around 100m2 despite the fact that family sizes have been steadily decreasing over this period of time.
So is all of this space really necessary?
To answer that you will need to take into account the number of occupants living in the home, how you plan on using the separate spaces in your home, your furniture layout, whether singular spaces can be used for multiple purposes and how much of your land you wish to allow for your backyard and gardens.
What are the benefits of building a smaller home?
- You will save an average of $24,000 for ever 12m2 less space over the lifecycle of your home
- You will have more space in your backyard for items such as a pool or a deck
- You will be able to put money that you’ve saved in reduced space towards a higher quality façade and finishes for your home
- Less space to clean
- Your home will become more efficient to heat and cool
- You will have less of an impact on the environment
Tip 7. Fast Tracking Your Selections Process
Before you approach a builder to tender for your project, have as many choices for exterior and interior fixtures, fittings and finishes selected as possible.
The next step is to find a builder that is able to provide all or as many of your selection choices as possible, preferably a builder that provides many of them as a standard option.
Your Sales Manager will be able to assist you with these choices and ensure that they align with your budget.
The final step will be to refine your selections with a design consultant before they are finalised and implemented into your contract.
At Enso Homes we provide our clients with a colour consultaion at Gallerie .
Gallerie is a purpose-built selection studio hosted by qualified Interior designers with market leading product & service lines available for your new home selection. It boasts state of the art design, smart home concepts, energy efficiency solutions and a vast array of internal and external finishes.
We recommend that you take full advantage of the expert service that Gallerie provides to ensure that you achieve the best look and feel for your home.
All of our clients are encouraged to visit Gallerie on a Saturday as many times as they feel necessary before their booked appointment on a week day.
Tip 8. Understanding Construction Durations
“Renovation shows promote super-speedy building work, but in the real world, the timeframe for building a house is counted in months, not days or weeks.”
From site start our average single storey home takes 5.5 months to complete whilst our average double storey house takes 7.5 months to complete.
We have complied a list of key items that can affect the duration of your build:
– Unforeseen ground conditions including large quantities of rock
– Slope of the land
– Easements and trees involved
– Site access
– Extremely adverse weather
– Complexity and quality of the design
– Level of client build customisation
– Post contract variations
– Labour availability
– Public holidays, particularly the Christmas period where most of the industry shuts down for a couple of weeks
Tip 9. Benefits Of Closed Cabinetry
So why do we think closed cabinetry is a great alternative to walk in robes?
– There is no visual mess in the room as everything is concealed behind closed doors
– Mirrored doors can help make your room look larger, spread light throughout the room and provide another area for checking your outfit and appearance before heading out
– Due to concealment and no foot traffic there is less dusting and cleaning required
– Often allows for more efficient use of space in your floor plan allowing you to have larger rooms within the same house footprint