Building a house can be a lengthy and stressful process, especially if unexpected issues and costs crop up. Being organized will save you time and money, so see below for an overview of the common steps that you’ll have to undertake before you break ground.

Whether extending or building from scratch, you may decide to begin by contacting a number of luxury home builders in Melbourne or even some home builders in Geelong to start comparing prices. If you have the time to contact several, this can be a good preliminary exercise that provides a rough guide to prices (per square metre) and also the type of timeframe you’re looking at. Then you can begin to plan you budget more accurately.

Before you even get to drawingup plans for your new designer home, it is highly recommended that you confirm how you will be funding your construction project. Don’t forget to factor in alternative accommodation if you’re knocking down the existing place you live in. If you’re extending and intend to stay in the house, you may still require short term accommodation if you’re altering plumbing or kitchen facilities.

Once you’ve organized your finances, (ideally with a modest amount to cover any overrun costs), then your architect or draftsman will be able to prepare drawings that can more accurately adhere to your housing requirements and also budget. As you go through this process, it is standard practice in Victoria for you to provide and pay for a copy of title, sewer plan, propertyinfo report and storm water legal point of discharge (LPD) report. You will also need an assessment for an energy rating and occasionally from a land surveyor and structural engineer. These will all feed into obtaining a building permit which you will need to be approved before you begin the building process. If this seems like a lot of running around, do not despair as many building practitioners will organise all of this on your behalf and also look into whether you will require additional planning permissions and if any heritage overlays are applicable to an existing property.

Another factor to keep in mind for your building permit is that in order for it to be approved, it requires you to have appointed a builder. Not only does the permit process require their insurance details and other input from them, but it also makes sense from a timing point of view as your building permit will have an expiry date. Therefore, another task to complete before you begin building is to enter into a written building contract if your works exceed $5,000. For works over $16,000 domestic building insurance is also required and means you’ll be covered in case your builder becomes insolvent or dies/disappears.Go online to Consumer Affairs Victoria and find their free building contract to get a sense of what will be involved as well as a number of building checklists that will get you on your way to building your new home.

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