1. Planning is everything
When it comes to designing your dream Perth home, it all starts with a home design. Depending on your budget, scope and capability, there are a number of ways you can go about securing a sound floor plan:
- Hire a designer or draftsman to bring your dream home to life.
- Employ a builder that works with a draftsman or designer.
The perfect plan doesn’t come easy. It needs to balance a number of considerations, including your creative ideas, the budget of the project and the size and location of the land the home is being built on.
Creativity and cost
Many designers love to push the boundaries of what constitutes the ideal living space. Depending on how much input you want in the project will help determine the best type of designer you should work with. However cost effective design is the key to controlling costs to ensure your budget is not exceeded.
For example, you might know for certain that you want 3 bedrooms, a rumpus area separate from the living area, a large outdoor area and an island kitchen. Some designers will take your requirements on board and simply design your blueprint accordingly.
Lay of the land
The size and shape of your block impacts restrictions on design. Large homes can’t be built on small properties, and if you’ve got a view to one side, you’ll want to make sure your home takes advantage of the vista. Similarly, slopes, easements, trees and other features will need to be considered during the design stage.
Orientation in equally important. In Perth, you’ll want your living areas facing north as much as possible to take advantage of sunlight without producing too much glare.
2. Work out a budget
Building a home is the most expensive undertaking most of us will undertake in our lifetimes, so it’s important that you work out your budget and understand precisely how much your new home is going to cost.
This extends to any agreements or contacts you make with builders, tradesmen, suppliers and contractors. Don't sign anything until you're sure you understand exactly what's being delivered.
Costs to consider in your budget
Here are the primary considerations for budgeting your new home, according to the Western Australia Department of Commerce checklist:
- Land cost
- Valuation fees
- Legal costs
- Stamp duty, land tax
- Site works
- Building costs
- Furnishing costs
- Moving expenses
3. Choose the right location
Before building your home you'll need a block of land or existing that's suitable to goals. The Western Australian Housing Authority has plenty of information on land and housing developments in and around Perth. You'll also need to consider your budget, development approvals and duty you might need to pay, and zoning restrictions.
Building on a new block
Generally, it's much easier to build a home on a new block of land. However, securing land might mean looking outside the city. While new estates and subdivisions might be cheaper, you should factor in considerations like proximity to schools, shops and public transport.
Demolish and build
Do you currently live in the perfect location but need a new home? Knocking down an existing home to start from scratch might be a better solution if a prime location is important to you. Modifying an existing build can restrict your vision for a dream home, whereas a demolish and build provides you with a blank canvas to freely design your new home. If consulting engineers give the okay, you may also be able to keep existing structures, such as pools and sheds.
4. Understand your obligations
When building your own home you are bound by legal and contractual obligations. There can be largely divided into two categories
- Rules, regulations and taxes imposed by the government.
- Contractual obligations with suppliers, builders and contractors.
In Perth, local and state government regulations determine many of the restrictions on how and where you can build your home. The West Australian Department of Commerce has a range of publications to help you understand building codes, regulations and codes of conduct.
Building a home is a project with many moving parts. Use a simple filing system for keeping track of contracts, proposals, bills and invoices. Check and double check your contracts, makes sure you know what you’re getting for your money.