Understanding the Timeline for Building a New Home

Building a new home is not something that can just happen overnight; it takes time. Typically, a safe estimate for your new home build is about six months to a year. This can vary, though, depending on the size and detail of your home, among other factors. While your builders will take care of most of the details for you, it is still important for you to understand the process your home will go through during the build. This way, you'll have a better sense of whether or not your build will be completed on schedule, and you'll be aware of what is expected of you throughout the process. Building a home goes through three distinct phases, as follows:

1. Laying The Groundwork

This phase begins before construction even starts. Before your builders can get to work, they'll need to conduct a feature survey and soil test for your land. The survey involves creating a scale drawing of your property, including any easements and service connection points. The soil test determines the reactivity of your soil, which can sometimes affect the materials that can be used.

The next step is to clear and excavate the land in preparation for pouring the concrete foundation. However, before that can happen, a building surveyor must sign off that all of the work thus far is up to the necessary standards for home building. You'll have several inspections throughout the building process. Once the excavation has been approved, it's time to start building.

The next step is to install connections to underground power and plumbing. You'll have another inspection at this point, after which the concrete foundation can be poured. Once poured, it will need time to cure. This is typically when you will be expected to make your first payment to your builder. The actual amount will depend on your arrangement with your builder, so refer to your contract for specific details.

Laying the groundwork

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2. Exterior

During the second phase, your builders will put in the "bones" and exterior of your house. This starts with wall frames and roof trusses. You'll have another inspection here to ensure that all of the wall frames have been placed in accordance with the plans and that everything is secured to the foundation. You'll have to make another payment at this point as well.

Next, the builders will complete the walls and install the roof covering. Any brick work or other exterior finishing will also be done at this point. Windows and external doors will be put in as well. Once the construction in this stage is complete, plumbers and electricians will come in to lay the initial piping and cabling for the house, although the final connections will be completed later.

If your home is in Queensland or New South Wales, you'll have another inspection here to check the roof, windows, plumbing and waterproofing. You'll also have to make another payment to your builder.

Exterior

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3. Interior

Now comes the fun part where you'll really start to see your home coming together. Plaster will be installed in the interior walls and ceilings, and interior doors will be installed. If your home will have two stories, the stairs will be built at this time. The bathrooms will receive sinks, toilets, showers and bathtubs, and cabinetry will be installed in the kitchen and other areas of the home. At the end of this stage, you'll make another payment to the builders.

All that's left is the decor. The walls will be painted, floors installed, and plumbing and electrical fixtures finished. Benchtops will be installed in the kitchen and bathrooms, along with shower screens and mirrors. If your house has a garage, the door will be installed during this stage as well.

Your builder will arrange for you to do a final walk-through. Take your time to check everything; once the builders have handed over the keys to you, their job is finished. Be thorough and note anything that is unfinished or defective so that the builders can fix it. A building surveyor will also conduct a final inspection to ensure that all areas of the home have been completed according to building code. After this, the inspector will issue a Certificate of Occupancy stating that your home is complete.

Depending on your builder, you may receive a maintenance period after completion during which the builder will fix any defects you find. This is more common with larger building companies, so check with yours for the details.

Before you can make your final payment to the builder, your bank or other lender will most likely send over their own inspector to give the property a final valuation before releasing the remainder of your funds. Once you make your final payment to the builder, the home is yours. It's time to start packing to get ready to move in!

Examples of previous work

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