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How to prepare for your first meeting with the Builder

If you have been asking yourself questions like:

  • Do I need more space, How much will an extension cost, 
  • Can I extend my kitchen to make a more substantial kitchen/dining/living room area, 
  • Can I live in my home when a second storey extension is built?  

Its a good idea to have a chat to a qualified builder to discuss your options. 

We understand that a people have a lot on their plate these days.  Often working, looking after children and parents, running a house, organising sporting and school activities etc.  That's why we have put this check list together to help you prepare for a productive first meeting with your custom new home or second storey extension and renovation builder.

1/  How much extra space do I need?

This might seem obvious but but its not always straight forward. People can start to feel they are living on top of each other when their children start getting older and automatically opt to add a second living room or play room to their home.  This can quite often be the answer, although in other cases the solution may be to make bigger bedrooms so University Students for example can have more private space, or build an ancillary building that you can rent out when your older children leave home.  Other questions to ask yourself:

  • What do you like about your current home?
  • What is missing from your current home?
  • Are you thinking of adding to your family?
  • Do you have a lot of people visit?
  • What extra rooms do you need?
  • What are you going to use these spaces for?
  • Do you work from home?

2/ Create folders of examples you like.

This is the fun part for most clients.  A great way to do this is to set up something like a Pinterest account section it off in rooms, Bedroom, lounge, kitchen, alfresco, furniture, lights..... what ever you want and start to get a good idea of what you like and what you don't like, size, shape, colour, texture etc.  The more research you do the quicker the builder can finalise your plans.

3/ Study Floor plans

A great way to get a feel for what you like is to study other homes.  This can be done for free through sites that advertise homes for sale.  Most homes these days come with professional photos and a floor plan enabling you to virtually walk through homes from the comfort of your home at a time that suits you.

4/ Have a clear Budget and realistic time frame.

It is imperative you speak to your financial adviser before your builder to understand what you budget is, and then stick to it.  Contrary to popular beliefs a quality builder will not build to your budget.  A builder with your best interest in mind will demonstrate to you what you can get for your budget, and what it will cost to build what you want.  Its in no ones interest long term to get you to build extra just because you have the budget.

How long do you expect the build to take.  You don't need to know the answer to this before the meeting but its a good idea if you ask around to get an idea.  The biggest variables in any build are time and cost.   Being happy with these aspects sets constructive perimeters on all future discussion.

4/ Create a list of "Must Haves"

My life as a mum seems full of lists, but I have them to keep me focused.  A list of must haves, would likes, and if it will fit in the budget is a great way to keep on tract when designing your home, second storey extension or renovation.

5/ Create a list of questions for your Builder.

Please see our list in our blog