The 10 biggest mistakes people make when building a new home
- It all starts with planning
Get good, experienced, qualified people on board from the very start. You may know what you think you want, but there is no substitute for years of knowledge. A great team of architects, skilled new home builders and tradespeople can help you get the best solutions. They also have loads of knowledge which means they may suggest things to you that you might not have thought of, making your new home even better than you dreamed.
- Heating is vital
In New Zealand, our climate can change in minutes—it’s not unusual to have four seasons in one day. Whatever is happening outside shouldn’t affect the inside of your home. From the planning stages, think about insulation and how you’ll heat the house. There are more options than just Pink Batts these days. Even the way the home is placed on site, the airflow, the double-or-triple insulation and the HVAC system all need to be part of the consideration. Do you want a warm wall? Solar panels? A water-fed underfloor heating system? Find out what works for your site and your climate.
- Storage space (you need more than you think)
While you’ve probably thought about a walk-in closet for the main bedroom, there are plenty of places that you need storage. Kitchens, especially cook’s kitchens, need loads of storage space. A place for linens, the vacuum cleaner, kid’s toys, even the garage should have space for tools and garden equipment.
- Lighting makes a massive difference
While natural lighting is important, artificial lighting must be thoughtful. Elderly people can’t see as well in dim light as their eyesight degrades, so an over-60’s home is going to have different requirements to a house for a young couple.
- Where does the laundry go?
There are cultural aspects to this question—in the UK, a washing machine and dryer is common in the kitchen. However, can you put it in an alcove in the hallway? In the garage? Think about putting it close to the bedrooms and bathroom, closest to where it’s needed.
- Think about your future
Your needs change as you go through life. If you’re building, it’s likely you intend to be there for a while—so make sure you future proof your home. Are you going to grow your family or have elderly parents move in? Are the kids moving out and you want to change a bedroom into a gym? Take things into account now to make the future a bit easier.
- Bedrooms need to be quiet
Think about where you put the bedrooms. You want them to be as far away as possible from any noise. Put them far away from the street, the garage, and the lounge if possible.
- The kitchen needs direct access
Often, the very first room you make a beeline for when you get home, is the kitchen. If you’re loaded down with shopping bags or have a toddler who wants a sandwich NOW, you need to get there as quickly as possible.
- Paperwork is important
While it may be about as much fun as pulling teeth, getting permission from your council is important. Can you build the type of house you want there? Does the home meet the building standards? If not, you may find yourself with an expensive bill to fix mistakes or omissions, or even worse, be required to remove a structure. An experience new home builder will either hold your hand through this process, or take it over entirely to make sure it’s done right.
- Inspect the house before handover
When the build is finished and everything is done, go through the home with your new home builders. Auckland has had problems with leaky homes, and a great builder will be happy to show off the home they’ve created for you—and the quality of the build. Create a list of defects (if any) and appropriate resolutions.
Things to think about:
How long does it take to build a house from start to finish?
This could be as little as a few months, or as long as a year—or more. The average length of a house build from concrete pour to completion is 30 weeks. The building process can be influenced be a range of external factors like weather and planning permission, as well as the size of the home and best practices to get the best result.
How much does it cost to build a new house?
A new home building cost can vary wildly as it depends on a huge variety of factors. A good architect or builder will be able to give you a rough estimate of total costs. In New Zealand, the minimum for a kitset home not including the section cost, earthworks, plumbing, electrical and other expenses is around $200,00. There is no limit to what you can spend.
If you have questions about planning your home renovations or new build, contact Sika Homes. We’ve got qualified and skilled new home builders who can advise you on how you can make your new home perfect for your family. It’s easy, once you get the professionals on board.
It’s a big investment, so make sure you do it right the first time.