Have you been thinking about building a custom home recently? If so, then you’re definitely not alone. A growing number of people are opting to build their own custom homes these days, and there are plenty of reasons why.
One of the biggest benefits of building a custom home is that you can choose everything from the floor plans, layouts, fixtures, and amenities to the finishes. In other words, you work with your builder to design and build a unique home that is exactly what you have always dreamed of living in. You don’t have to settle for anything less than your ideal home.
However, being an immensely rewarding experience, building a custom home can also become a nightmare at the same time, if you have not done your research before taking on your biggest investment in life.
If you’re at the early stage of planning your custom home project, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed right now with many questions running through your mind. Not to worry – we can help!
To make your planning stage as easy and smooth as possible, we have created this article where we will take you through everything you need to know and answer the most commonly asked questions about building a custom home so that you can be 100% sure that you are making the best decision for you and your family, and your dream home becomes a reality without any stress or surprises.
1). How much does it cost to build a custom home?
The cost of building a custom home in Townsville can vary depending on a number of factors. The size and location of your property, the type of materials you use, and the complexity of your design – all of these factors play a role in determining the final cost. When it comes to determining the cost of a custom home, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this.
However, on average, you can expect to pay anywhere between $700K – $2M plus. Keep in mind that this is a price range and the final cost could always be lower or higher, depending on your specific needs and requirements.
2). How long does it take to build a custom home from start to finish?
The timeline can vary depending on the size and complexity of your home, as well as the availability of the builder you choose. Generally speaking, you can expect it to take anywhere from six to twelve months from start to finish.
Again, this is just a general estimate and it is again best to speak with your builder for a more accurate time frame that takes into account the design process, building approval and seasonal weather conditions as well as any other specific features involved.
You need to be really careful in the early planning stage and have realistic expectations about the time it will take to build your home. Trying to rush through the process can often lead to costly mistakes and delays, so it’s best to allow plenty of time for planning and construction.
3). What’s the overall process of building a custom home?
This is really the most crucial question that you need to ask a potential builder before embarking on a custom home build. It’s important to understand their entire process so that you know what to expect and you can plan accordingly.
Being transparent and to keep this simple, at Live Construction we follow a 6-step design and build process, as follows:
- Introduction & Client Brief
- Concept Design
- Preliminary Building Agreement
- Fixed Price Building Contract
- Construction Begins
We have described each of these steps in one of our articles for your convenience: Everything You Need to Know About Our Home Building Process
4). What might be the hidden costs you should be aware of?
There are a few hidden costs that you should be aware of when building your custom home. Some of these costs may not be apparent until the construction process is underway, so it’s important to be aware of them upfront.
Be wary if a builder has filled your building contract with Provisional Sum allowances or Prime Cost allowances as you could find your contract price increasing dramatically throughout the build.
A Provisional Sum, more commonly known as a PS, is an allowance that a builder has made to complete a task. It covers labour only or labour and materials. The thing about PS’s is that they are ‘g’estimates which mean they often change when the final cost of the tasks are calculated.
Much like a Provisional Sum, a prime cost item is a dollar figure allowance used in building quotes and contracts by most builders. It’s essentially a ‘g’estimate for materials such as appliances, sinks, taps etc. The major difference being that the allowance for a Prime Cost item only covers the supply of that item. Just like provisional sums, prime cost items do change depending on your final selection and therefore can incur additional costs with a builder that gets you to pick your fixtures on the fly after you sign a contract and start building.
A professional builder will have interior designers work with you to determine your selection choices prior to signing a contract. This not only takes the pressure off you during the build, but also gives you peace of mind knowing the costs are locked in and won’t change and cost you more than you bargained for.
5). How can I avoid the stress of budget blowout?
No one wants the stress and anxiety of a budget blowout, so it’s important to take some preventative steps to avoid this from happening.
The first and most important way to truly avoid this is by asking your builder if they can provide you with a preliminary building agreement and a fixed-price contract. This will give you a good idea of what your home is going to cost upfront, and will help to avoid any nasty surprises down the track.
Secondly, be realistic about your budget and don’t try to squeeze in too many luxurious features or amenities. This can often lead to cost blowouts, so it’s best to prioritise what’s important and stick to it. You need to factor in all the potential costs – both direct and indirect – so that you’re not caught off guard down the track.
6). Do I need my own plans before selecting a builder?
No, a true custom home builder will have a process that provides you with architectural design expertise coupled with building experience, and work collaboratively with their architects and designers to coordinate the entire design process for you – no stress! We are there every step of the way to guide and assist you in your decisions to suit your budget. This means we can design your dream home and deliver a value for money luxury residence.
7). Are there any risks associated with building a custom home?
Yes. There are a few risks that come with building your own custom home, however, with the proper planning and due diligence, they all can easily be avoided. One of the biggest risks are PS and PC allowances which can lead to costly overruns down the track. The best way to avoid this is to sign a fixed-price contract with your builder, so both you and your builder are aware of all the costs and there are no hidden surprises. If you don’t know what a fixed-price contract is and how it benefits you, click here to read our complete article.
Another risk is finding a qualified experienced builder who can complete the project within your timeframe and budget. It’s important to do your research and get recommendations from friends and family before selecting a builder.
8). What guarantees should I expect from the builder?
Your builder should offer a number of guarantees to protect you and ensure that you are completely happy with the end results. These guarantees could include a Fixed Price Contract, Structural Warranty, and also a warranty on materials and workmanship.
It’s important to read through the terms and conditions of these guarantees before signing any contracts, so you know exactly what is covered and for how long. In addition, your contract should also include a clause that covers any possible delays or cost overruns. By having these clauses in place, you are protected if your builder encounters any unforeseen problems during construction.
Have any more questions?
That’s it for now. We hope this article has answered most of your questions about building a custom home in Townsville. And we believe, by following the advice in this article, you’ll be well on your way to making the right decisions for yourself and your loved ones when it comes to building your dream home.
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry! Reach out to us at 07 4724 1964 or schedule a 30-minute free consultation with us. We would be more than happy to answer any of your questions and guide you through every step of the way.