Looking to plan the most efficient budget with your builder? To help, we sat down with Aaron Martin, founder of Aaron Martin Construction to discuss all the insider tips on how to save time and money when it comes to your new home or renovation.
Q) WHAT’S THE BIGGEST COST IN A NEW HOUSE?
Aaron: Generally big-ticket items include the footings, windows, and joinery. The cost of the footings will be dependent on a number of factors including the soil quality, floor finish, and house design. For example, a two-story structure will need greater reinforcement. The overall cost of windows depends on size, style, and glazing, some of which will be dictated by the requirements of the energy assessment report while other aspects come down to personal preference. Joinery can be feasible for $25,000, however, with an increase in the use of custom-made joinery and higher levels of finish, our clients are spending upwards of $70,000.
Q) WHAT IS THE GOLDEN RULE ON SAFETY MARGINS DURING THE BUDGETING PHASE?
Aaron: Most of the time a buffer shouldn’t be required if you're working with a reputable builder, who will provide a detailed, fixed-price quote based on a list of specifications, along with site-specific engineering, full construction drawings, a CFS report (if required) and an energy efficiency report. For this reason, it is now common for builders to charge a fee to quote, which covers the costs of preparing the documentation, visiting the site and thoroughly discussing the items included.
Q) WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COMMON PITFALLS TO LOOK OUT FOR DURING BUDGET PLANNING FOR A RENOVATION?
Aaron: A good builder will do a thorough inspection of the existing house to identify potential issues, however unlike a new build, you'll still need to allow for the ‘unknowns’ that can’t be predicted prior to a renovation. Keep in mind that once the new construction starts to come together, ‘old’ aspects of the existing house – doors, hardware and quality of paint – start to become more apparent, and we often see clients deciding mid-way through a renovation to make additional cosmetic improvements.
Q) WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COMMON PITFALLS TO LOOK OUT FOR DURING BUDGET PLANNING FOR A NEW BUILD?
Aaron: People sometimes fall into the trap of forgetting to allow for peripheral features like window furnishings, rainwater tanks, driveways, fencing and landscaping. These can add up quickly, and while some are not essential to have completed immediately, they certainly contribute to the overall comfort and enjoyment of living in a new home.
Q) WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST COST SAVING HACKS WHEN BUILDING A NEW HOME?
Aaron: Our single greatest piece of advice when embarking on a new build is to partner with a reputable builder in the design phase. This means discussions around design versus budget can happen from the outset, avoiding the heartache of creating a home design you absolutely love but ultimately can’t afford. At the end of the day, establishing a good relationship with your builder early on is what will save you time and money.
Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
ANY FURTHER TIPS?
- Compile examples of the looks you love before meeting with designers. This will help them to get a sense of the common themes so they can ensure these are factored into your design and fall within your budget.
- Have a good think about how you like to live. Do you entertain a lot? Do you need a quiet workspace? Is a big, central kitchen important to you? Considering these factors will ensure a design you'll love for many years to come.
- Finally, don’t rush any aspect of the process. It’s not uncommon for us to spend double the time on the design phase than the actual build – but we always achieve our best outcomes when the most thorough planning has taken place.