Here is a list of things we have learnt along the way during the build. Things that might help you with your build. If there is any other pointers you think I should add, please let me know or comment and I will add it.
- We got three different designers to come in and quote us. It was good to get three different point of views and their input into what we wanted to do. It also meant they gave us ideas about things we hadn’t thought about
- We went with local designers who are based in our region as they knew the local councils and their requirements a lot better
- The whole process was much easier with a designer because they sorted out everything – dealing with Council forms and consent process and making sure we met requirements without needing neighbour consent either
- Designer will also give you an idea on how much the build will cost. Then you can decide whether it meets your budget and feasible to build or to build new
- Once you have all the plans approved, make sure you talk to the bank early about a loan and whether you are eligible for one based on your current situation/income – if you can’t get the money from the bank to pay for it, there’s no point in going further
- This is a really important thing to consider because they are building the extension and upon completion, they are the ones that will get your building consent signed off my Local Agencies or Council.
- Get references from past clients from the builder and talk to them about good and bad things
- Check Builder credentials. Are they are Registered Builder or a Master Builder? It will help for warranty issues and discrepancies.
- Read the Building Contract! Read the Contract thoroughly. This was a mistake we made. The contract should outline stages and milestones. Do you pay upon reaching the milestone or before the milestone?
- Variations to Building Contract. As you see the build take place and at different stages, you’ll most likely want to change things here and there. We’ve made lots of changes through the process. You need to bear in mind how much they will cost for the changes and if you’re unsure, double check how much it will cost. Don’t assume they can do it for free because they won’t!