The Custom Building Process
If you have never built a custom home before, it is helpful to have an idea of how the process works. This should be an exciting time where your careful planning will enable your builder to deliver everything you desire. So many reality television shows depict custom home building to be a race against the clock where decisions are often made under duress, with many last-minute surprises and frustrations. This is not what a typical custom home build should be! At Samuel James Homes, we ask you to take your time to consider each element of your new home. We are there to help you at every step of the way and to remove the unexpected. The build process is a collaboration. We enjoy working with you.
This is the way we like to do it:
- We start by taking the client’s brief
The first step in our custom building process is to sit down together and talk about everything you envisage in your new bespoke home. We discover your likes and dislikes, your lifestyle needs, the inclusions that you consider as essential needs and those you consider to be luxuries. We look at any constraints. Our goal is to exceed your expectations.
- We visit the site to map out the home
Many clients have a very clear picture of how they see themselves living in their new custom home. Their designs dreams may include balconies with sweeping views, or watching the sun rise or set from a certain location within the home. It is our job to see if the block of land chosen to build on can accommodate the client’s dreams. The cost of foundations can vary significantly depending on the type of soil involved. There may also be council restrictions which limit some forms of development or there may be strict community, historical or privacy guidelines in place. We also need to know if there are any easements or covenants that affect the block and possibly the construction of your custom house. You may imagine a spectacular view from your second story master bedroom, but height requirements may prevent you from building your home, your way. Not only do we inspect the block from a design perspective, but we also look for possible challenges we may have to troubleshoot before we can start to build.
- We design from the brief
Once we have completed a site inspection, our team gets to work on designing your new custom home. We incorporate everything that has been specified in the client brief and add everything we have learned from the site inspection. There are many practical considerations that will be mandatory to include, but there will also be amazing opportunities to display creativity, innovation and beauty. A custom home is a unique home. Together we can start fresh and design specifically to please you. We want you to be filled with anticipation. We want to create a custom home that declares its own individuality.
- We develop the facade and produce 3D modelling and walk-throughs
The outside appearance of your new custom home is very important because not only does it create the first impression for visitors and guests, but it will also have an emotive influence on you and your family. We want to create a custom home for you that you will all look forward to coming home to. We hope you will feel a sense of pride each time you look at it for years to come. Your home could become a landmark in your street or neighbourhood, or you might be more interested in having a home that offers privacy instead of drawing attention. The exterior may set you apart or help you blend in. At Samuel James Homes, we know that each bespoke custom home we build show off its own personality. Your custom home will become authentically you. Our design and drafting technology enables us to produce both a 3D model and virtual walk-through of your custom design, so you can get an accurate idea of how your finished home will look before we even start to build.
- We estimate costs
Once we have agreed on the design we estimate all the costs involved. This is where reality takes hold. We re-visit your budget and ensure the costs are realistic. At this point, we may review your wants and needs and see if any adaptions should be made. In many cases, we can provide cost-effective alternatives to help you stretch your budget further. We can also custom extra luxuries to take your bespoke custom design to a whole new level of satisfaction. At every stage, we are there to advise you and help you achieve what you really want. We prepare you for the building journey ahead.
- We develop working drawings, draft a building schedule and conduct engineering to determine exact costs
This is where we start to fine-tune everything. We become very specific about the design details, the timeline and the financials. A realistic building schedule will generally take 6-18 months depending on the scope of the project and a number of other variables. Factors influencing the build time include the size and degree of difficulty of the structure, site and weather conditions, material and contractor availability, and the complexity of any custom changes that may be made after the construction work has already begun.
- Sign the sales agreement
Once the specifics are locked in, we present you with a sales agreement. It is designed to put all aspects of the home build into a binding document that both sides of the transaction agree to. It protects the builder by ensuring they will be paid for their work and protects you by ensuring the builder will deliver your home as promised. It states the projected build completion date, the terms of the contract, who pays which expenses and the obligations of both parties. It’s pivotal you understand this all-important document.
- Lodge plan with your council
Building work cannot commence without the approval of your local council, so be prepared that this process can sometimes be delayed. Your custom home plans will be reviewed by their development assessment authority and scrutinised for compliance with local and neighbourhood ordinances.
- Once we have planning consent we can finalise any changes and make selections
Once consent has been granted our pace picks up. You will be busy making your final selections, with opportunities to select custom finishes, floor coverings, wall tiles, hardware, fixtures and fittings. For many people, this is one of the most enjoyable aspects of building! For others, it may be a daunting experience, but you can be reassured that our experts at Samuel James Homes will be on hand to advise and guide you through each decision. This is where your custom home build becomes real.
- We start building
Construction can now commence. You will see that all your careful planning and decision making that has taken place over the previous weeks has been well worth the effort. You will see your new custom home take shape and you can revel in each stage of the build. Each new milestone will bring you closer to the day when you can move in and start enjoying your remarkable custom home.