The pre-construction process of building a home

pre-construction process

The pre-construction process of building a home

When building a new home, the traditional process has been to finalise a design with an architect or designer, engage an engineer and take that design out to multiple builders to have them quote and then proceed to construction. Just like many things over the course of time, how things used to be done isn’t always the best way and that is certainly the case for the pre-construction process. Here’s why:

  • Designers and architects are fantastic at designing homes and including a client’s ideas and priorities into a drawing – we see some brilliant custom home designs – however working to a budget is not always forefront of mind. As a result, unfortunately only about 20% of concepts move from paper to reality because what is missing is construction experience in the room for buildability while tossing around design ideas. This expertise in what will work and what won’t on a building site is critical. Whilst most things can be built, whether it can be done within budget is another matter entirely.
  • You have probably heard how common it is for people to work for ages on their design and when they actually go to get their quote it’s completely over their budget. Sometimes 2 or 3 times.
  • You may have heard about how much time you see people waste, or money wasted on fees for drawings they can’t use. Or the emotional stress of never having certainty or trust in their team.
  • People can waste months and months and loads of money on professional fees and approval costs only to end up with drawings that they can’t use, for a house that they can’t afford to build. Part of the design process is choosing materials for the final aesthetic. When a builder is involved at this early stage, they can be sourcing materials and getting accurate and up to date pricing on them as you go. This helps discern if a particular material is within budget or, if it costs more than anticipated, help suggest alternatives.

Changes to materials once a design has been finalised and a building quote accepted will almost certainly result in extra costs. It’s better to know upfront if a material is going to delay timelines or cost more so you can decide early on how important it is to your project and whether to change or proceed.

  • Still on timelines, a builder can share their knowledge of the timelines and processes as you go so you have an accurate estimation of how long the project will take to reach completion.
  • The pre-construction process allows you time to get to know your builder and build a relationship based on trust and honesty. If a builder knows your budget, your priorities, and the way you like to communicate, the project will run much smoother. Remember too that a new custom home will enjoy several years of structural warranty so an open, communicative relationship means any concerns down the track will be resolved on good terms.
  • When home designs are farmed out for multiple builders to bid on, the quotes are rarely accurate. How do you even know which quote to choose? The cheapest? The one in the middle? Knowing they are being handed a set of plans to quote against 2 or 3 others on price means builders will typically skim the design and quote on a per square metre basis. Overlooking the detail of a custom design means the quote may not reflect any inherent complexity and can lead to cost variations down the track.

When your builder is closely involved in the detail during the design phase, they can be tracking costs as they go and refining as needed to fit your budget. This avoids cost and time blow outs as intimate knowledge of the project means these have already been taken into consideration when it comes to construction.

Working with a builder during pre-construction yields many benefits – their expertise, experience and input means a trusting relationship is built up front ready to elevate your custom home from a paper drawing to a dream reality. We are going to save you time, the job is going to get built and you’re not going to waste time having to redo drawings going round in circles.

We have created an entirely different process. One where we actually work together collaboratively with you and the designer to co-ordinate the pre-construction work, to manage everyone’s risk and to provide you with costings along the way so that you don’t get any nasty surprises down the track. And that’s all before we have even commenced construction. Talk to us today about our builder consultant service during the pre-construction phase. We’d love to hear from you.

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