Key Questions to Ask When Building a New House in Sydney
Building your first home can be overwhelming.
If building is a brand-new process for you, it can quickly begin to feel like information overload, from quotes to pre-approval, and that’s before you even sign the contracts!
As custom granny flat builders, we’ve seen everything when it comes to the design and construction process, and we’re proud to offer advice to our customers at every step of their project. We’ve answered a range of frequently asked questions here, and have several resources available to help clarify the entire custom granny flat process for you.
Your building team should make you feel welcome and comfortable to ask questions at all stages of the build. While you may not be able to be on location at every stage, there is no reason why you should be kept in the dark or left wondering about how things are going.
On top of providing detailed resources and answers to many burning questions, we’ve compiled lists below for you to take to your builder, home lender and even your foreman to ensure you have all the information on hand right when you need it. While there is no such thing as a stupid question, sometimes asking the right questions can ensure you gain the clarity and confidence you need to enjoy your building journey.
Questions to ask yourself
- Will this design cater to my plans for the future?
- What budget am I comfortable with?
- What am I looking for in my builders?
- Am I set up to handle the length of the building process?
- Do I have temporary accommodation available?
- Where do I want to build my house?
- What are my must-haves?
- What type of house do I want to build?
- Can I handle the risks involved with building a house?
- Do I have the budget to handle unexpected building costs?
- Am I pre-qualified for a loan?
- What materials do I prefer?
- Why am I building?
- Does my design suit my block?
- Does my builder understand what I want?
- Do I have any specific features in mind for the house?
Questions to ask the builder
- How many designs do you have on offer?
- Do you offer options for custom designs?
- Do you have any display homes we can tour?
- Do you have some work in progress we can access?
- Do I have to supply my own plans, or will you provide them for us?
- Can I make changes to the home design or specifications? How much would it cost?
- Do you offer an interior and exterior design consultation service?
- Can I choose the fittings and finishes?
- How will the morning and afternoon sun enter the house?
- Can I make changes to any inclusions?
- How is the pandemic impacting construction costs and supply chains? Are there any equipment, construction materials or tradespeople shortages?
- Are tiles, painting, carpets, and flooring included in the house building cost?
- Are heating and cooling elements included?
- What kind of upgrades do you offer and how much will they cost?
- What are the building regulations in Sydney?
- Are you fully insured?
- Are you a licensed builder?
- Are you certified, or associated with HIA?
- Can I see a previous example of your builds?
- Are there any hidden costs or figures I should anticipate?
- Is my lot the right size for my house design?
- Will water and power be set up for us?
- What is and isn’t included in the build?
- Where do you source your fixtures and building materials?
- Do you use local contractors and suppliers?
- Have you won any awards for your home designs?
Questions to ask your home lender
- How much can I borrow?
- What will my weekly payments be?
- What are the costs involved in buying a home?
- What is the best home loan for my situation?
- What should I bring to my application interview?
- How much stamp duty will be payable?
- What extra costs are involved if I pay my home loan early?
- What if I want to change lenders before the end of my loan?
- Can I receive any assistance from the government?
- What’s the difference between preapproval and prequalification?
- Do you offer any discounts for first-home buyers?
- What is the premium on my mortgage insurance?
- What fees should I expect over the life of the loan?
- How long is your interest-only period?
- What will my repayment schedule be?
- Can I redraw my loan?
- What is the best rate you can offer based on competitors?
Questions to ask your foreman
- How long will construction take?
- How long until I can see a brick-and-mortar building?
- When should I organise my landscaping?
- Do you handle all the plumbing and electrical requirements?
- How long until you get to the frame stage?
- Where do you source your workers?
- Is the expected time frame fixed or will there be delays?
- What do you recommend based on my block of land?
- How do you ensure safety on site?
- What circumstances may impact the timeline of my build?
- Do we need to hire a third party to complete our site inspections, or can you do them?
- What building options are available?
- When can I start working on my garden?
- Can you explain the timeline of the build?
- What happens if you encounter complexity or problems during the build?
- Who will supervise the site and build?
- Do you have availability to take calls and communicate during the build?
- What extra costs might pop up?
- Can you help with the necessary approvals and permits?
- Is termite prevention included in the cost?
- How will you make the most of my block size and shape?
- If I need a retaining wall, can you help?
- Does my block need excavation to become level? Will this cost more?
- Is my home in a bushfire or flood zone? What do you suggest to protect our dwelling?
Building your new home or granny flat should be an exciting journey where you can see the property of your dreams come to life before your eyes.
Unfortunately, not all builders or home lenders are made equal, and things can go pear-shaped quickly if you don’t have a quality team that you can trust. Screen your crew thoroughly by using the wide range of questions listed above, so you can sign your contract with nothing but confidence and excitement.
As extensive as this list is – if you think you’ve covered everything with your home design – think and think again!
Sometimes small things can be missed that would make a difference to the experience of your home, such as a power point next to the bed or the right supports to wall mount a TV.
Planning as specifically as possible and peppering your team with the right questions at the right time can make all the difference when it comes to the final product of your home.
If you’re ready to make the most of your building journey with an experienced team that you can trust to deliver your perfect granny flat – get in touch today! Our friendly and dedicated team is ready to answer your questions, offer advice based on experience, and work with you to make your projects come to life in the best possible ways.
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