building & design tips

Take inspiration, tips and advice from our specialist design and building team

8 things to consider when building a new house

couple looking at home design floor plans

Building a home can not only be a big financial investment, it can also be an emotional one too. Arm yourself with the knowledge and tools for it to be as smooth and stress-free as possible. Whether you’re new to the new home building process or perhaps a seasoned home builder, we’ve summarised the top 8 building tips to consider when building a new house.

1. Preparation is key

This tip might sound like an obvious one, but preparing in detail can save you a lot of time and money further down your building journey. There’s no such thing as being too prepared when it comes to building a home.

Start by creating a list of ‘must haves’ and make these your non-negotiables. For example, your ‘must haves’ for delivering a dream home may include raised ceilings, an alfresco and three separate living areas. Referring back to this list throughout the process will make it much easier when it comes time to making any cost savings adjustments, subsequently trimming on the inclusions you don’t necessarily need or want. You’ll have your own personal list of ‘must haves’, so make sure to not only share these with your Sales Consultant, but continue to refer to them throughout your pre-construction journey.

We’ll elaborate on this further in this blog, but creating a Pinterest board from the very beginning can become a saviour when it comes to selecting your internal colours, façade, appliances and external materials. You may only have limited time with your interior designer, therefore it’s best to have some examples of what you’re striving towards. Our interior designer will be there to help guide you along the way.

When it comes to preparing a budget, the very first step is to agree on your maximum spend, and don’t be afraid to share this with your Sales Consultant. Despite the common misconception, the price will not increase as a result of sharing your budget! We have a standard price list, which we’re happy to share with you before disclosing your budget – so there’s no funny business. Knowing your budget upfront allows Montgomery Homes to customise the right home design, not only for your block, but for your budget too. Keep in mind that after your new home is complete, additional budget may be required for items that aren’t included in a standard building contract, such as landscaping, fencing and blinds, which could range anywhere from $20,000 - $50,000 depending on the site.

2. Trends to avoid

While it can be tempting to surrender to trends, we recommend making your internal selection choices with your own style, furnishings, and lifestyle in mind. Consider your needs in terms of appearance, function, and whilst it’s important to add your own personal flavour to the interior style, you don’t want to regret that damask pattern wallpaper choice!

Allow for a blank canvas and start with a white base on your walls and ceilings then add your own splash to each room, whether it be adding colour to a kitchen splashback or incorporating unique door furniture. The most important thing is that your new home should reflect who you are.

Brightening rooms with art and photography is another great way to add some character and spark to your room. And yes, that mustard wall paint trend will be over by the time you house is finished being built!

VJ wall panelling in the Avalon 209 Master Suite.

3. Maximise your blocks potential

One term that you might hear frequently from your builder or land developer is ‘building envelope’. A building envelope relates to the area to which you are able to build upon your block of land.

Our experienced team will work with your building envelope to ensure you have the most suitable home design for your block’s shape, slope and size. Maximising any potential views, natural light, breezes or landscapes will be taken into consideration when crafting your dream home, so you can rest easy knowing we will take advantage of any favourable opportunity.

With a sloping site, what you might notice on most blocks is that a concrete slab is placed into the slope of the land, which can result in steep driveways, expensive and large retaining walls and a less attractive facade. Rather than pouring a slab on a sloping block, we explore other options to maximise the site, such as introducing a step to the slab, which means less retaining walls, a flatter driveway and less potential drainage issues. Just taking a bit more time early on in the planning stage can provide you with a much better outcome and asset.

Whether your block slopes up, down, left or right, Montgomery Homes has tried and tested architectural designs to maximise the value of your new home.

4. Look beyond the initial enquiry phase

With promotions left, right and centre, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the initial enquiry stage of building a new home. A seasoned home builder would appreciate the importance of looking beyond the sales phase and instead seek a builder that shows transparency, constant communication and has solid processes in place. It’s easy to lose focus in the early days but it’s critical to remember what is important to you in the next 12 months and whether that “Bonus fridge” is really worth the heartache of a builder that doesn’t communicate frequently and openly with you down the track. Be sure to ask about communication, portals, frequent updates and processes to ensure you are treated as family, and not just a number.

Montgomery Homes offers each client access to an online Client Portal, where you can see regular progress updates such as construction photos, timelines, documentation and useful notifications. All clients will be able to easily see where their home is up to in both the pre-construction and construction phases with the click of a button.

5. Upgrades that are worth the money

In a lifetime, it’s likely that you’re only going to build your dream home once (twice if you’re lucky!). There are a lot of inclusions to consider upgrading, all whilst juggling your budget at the same time. Choosing upgrades that are worth the money can be tricky, especially when you haven’t built before.

Consider the items that will give you the most bang for your buck. After all, now is the time to include everything you’ve ever wished for, as it’ll be much more costly to upgrade such items later on.

When it comes to upgrading, consider where you’ll spend most of your time – for example – the kitchen. This is usually the heart of your home and its where your visitors will spend the most amount of time. Upgrades worth asking for could be both functional – like extra storage, a butler’s pantry or perhaps aesthetic upgrades that enhance the overall look of your kitchen, like waterfall stone benches and premium tapware.

Invest the money upfront now so you can move into a home that feels complete for years to come.

Carolina 1 311 Kitchen at HomeWorld Box Hill

6. Visit, and repeat

In the early stages of a new home discovery, you’ll gain a lot of inspiration just by visiting display homes over and over again. You’ll continue to pick up ideas for your layout as well as themes and colour styles.

Revisit our Display Homes, take notes and photos of finishes you love and bring them along with you to your selections appointment.

7. Review, review, review

Building a home is one of the most exciting investments you might ever make, so you can’t be blamed for wanting to glide over the finer details of your plan or contract. The owner is responsible for anything that has been signed off, so practicalities are important. If there is something that you don’t understand on your plan, don’t be afraid to ask the question. Check every corner and crevice on your plan, and anything that isn’t clear, be sure to ask for clarity. Review which windows are fixed and which ones open, the positioning and number of powerpoints within your home, whether there is enough storage and whether your shower mixer is positioned away from your shower head (no one likes a direct stream of cold water on their head on a cold winter’s morning!)

It is much easier to make changes in the pre-construction phase than it is to make variations once your home is in construction. Most of your materials are pre-ordered and changing or moving items can not only be very expensive, but may delay your build by weeks or sometimes months.

Take the extra time upfront to review your plans over and over again with a fine tooth comb. What might seem monotonous now, may avoid any disappointment down the track.

dual shower heads

8. Pin it

One of the most exciting parts of home building is your Colour Selections appointment, although choosing colours, materials, appliances and finishes for your new home can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. We recommend you start collecting samples of the styles and themes you like from the very beginning of your home building journey, which will make the selections process a fun and enjoyable one. Some tips for this include:

  • Start a Pinterest board, you can create an online scrapbook of how you’d like to home to look.
  • Ask the brick suppliers for a list of addresses of homes that have been built with your preferred bricks, there’s no better way to see how they’ll really look!
  • Keep your eyes open for homes with colour schemes that you like, take some photos to bring to your appointments; we can help choose similar colours.
  • Revisit our Display Homes, take notes and photos of finishes you love. Bring them along with you to your appointment.
  • Utilise our handy New Home Visualiser tool here and experiment online by mixing and matching colours and materials. This will help you to picture how your favourite colours and finishes will look.

The Montgomery Homes Selections Guide also provides handy style guides to help inspire your overall theme. Our interior designers will be on hand to assist you and offer advice, but the more research you do beforehand, the more prepared you’ll feel.

Need more tips for building a house on a budget? Get in touch with the team from Montgomery Homes today.

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