Let’s face it, surviving a new build is right up there with surviving a move. It is rarely pleasant, though there are many tips that will help you get through the process without loosing it. Let’s walk through a few tips to help you enjoy the process as much as possible.
Surviving a New Build
Communication is Key
Communication or lack there of, is the most common reason for building disputes. Whether you or your builder have forgotten a conversation, or something was promised and not delivered, you only have opportunity for come back if communication has been clear and documented. Keep the lines of communication clear, back every conversation up with an email, look for compromises if something does go wrong and be understanding. There is very rarely a build that doesn’t have an issue, usually unforeseen. Please keep in mind, that this will cost the builder money and time as well as any possible outcome for you. To ensure that the best outcome be found, remember this is a business relationship, and that your builder is working with you to achieve your dream.
Have a clear plan of what to expect each week. This avoids disappointment. Not all builders will offer a week to week plan, this is usually because there is so much room for variation, and things can change so rapidly. We believe that as long as our communication is clear, we should keep the client informed of our aims, provided there is a mutual understanding that we will sometimes achieve all of them, and sometimes due to circumstances beyond our control we will achieve none. At lest you as the client can be prepared for what is to come.
Have a Contingency Budget
This is the number one tip I have for successful building experiences. Problems arise, you change your mind, you see potential for another space, or you wish to change an area. All of these will cost extra. Avoid the most common and difficult stressor, and have a contingency budget. Consider at least 20% , if you get to the end of the project and haven’t used it all, there is always your home loan to put it on or furniture to buy. This tip really is the best I can give, allow yourself a little breathing space.
Inclement weather, issues with tradies, problems on site, selections not submitted on time, out of stocks, variations, all of these will create delays and add extra time to your build. Expect them, understand they will make you feel annoyed and stressed, I promise the builder is feeling the same. It is an absolute nightmare re-scheduling after rain, or other delays. Trying to get all the trades to move their schedules for yours, remembering they don’t only work for one builder. Your builder will be working as quickly as they can to get you back on track, after all it is them loosing money when no work is being done.
Have a Holiday
While this may not be affordable, if you can, do it! Take a weekend away or go out for dinner, anything to take your mind temporarily off your new build. Building is an all encompassing moment in your lives, taking a little time out will be really beneficial to how you feel about your build after it is all completed. Taking your mind of the difficulties you may be facing, always brings some clarity.
Don’t let me scare you, building is also rarely a horrible experience, but it can be difficult. It’s a whole new stress most clients have not experienced before. Good builders will be beside you every step of the way to help guide you through the process. Expect weekly meetings either in person or over the phone to keep your end goal clear.
Have you built a new home before? Did you have a positive experience with your builder? What is your number one tip?