Are you considering a tree change and building your dream customised home with plenty of land for growing veggies and keeping chickens?
As a rural builder based in the heart if the Wheatbelt, we know that certain considerations simply don’t apply in the suburban subdivisions.
So, is a custom build right for you and, what do you need to think about?
Here are 11 insider tips from the experts who have been custom building premium home for 42 years:
Mass market project builders are used to building in new subdivisions that are generally flat, cleared, and have power, water and sewers already available. It’s also unlikely they ever need to consider bushfire risk.
If your block is unusually shaped, sloping, rocky, or doesn’t have services connected then the design of your home will need to be adjusted to suit this. An experienced custom home builder in the rural sector will be well acquainted with these issues and will know exactly how to overcome such issues when or if they arise.
A home designed to fit on a suburban block is generally designed to be viewed from one direction… The street.
Building your dream home on a large block or on acreage means it will probably be visible from all directions. Will a project builder’s, off the shelf, plan look good from any direction? How will the home look once you add a shed or a carport? Do you need to specifically custom design your home for maximum aesthetic appeal?
Maximising the features of your block
It is rare that a suburban block will offer anything more than the street as a feature. You have probably chosen your country block because it had something special about it. A view, a hill or a creek. How do you make a house, designed to fit on a suburban block, take advantage of your block’s view?
While your new country home will be visible from all angles, you will also have captivating views from every room. You will want to take advantage of these views and ensure your house plan will allow you to do so. You can picture yourself laying in the bath with a wine looking out at the vast green paddocks, can’t you!
Can a suburban builder’s off the shelf plan provide you with this?
The orientation of a lot of project homes are determined by the block’s orientation to the street. So the plan was never designed to maximise the benefits of the low winter sun, or shielding the alfresco area from the harsh summer sun. No thought was given to the sea breeze or the summer winds. By taking advantage of these conditions instead of fighting them, you can make your home more energy efficient and comfortable. The ongoing energy savings can be significant.
You can only really achieve this with a custom build.
Build to your Budget
If you have little or no flexibility in design, there’s a good chance you may be paying for features that you might not want or need. A huge benefit of custom building is that you have the freedom and flexibility to choose where you spend your money. Working hand in hand with your designer allows you total control of your budget. It’s always best to discuss your budget with your custom builder from the outset. That way they can ensure the design they come up with is achievable and affordable.
A large determining factor of the final quality of your build is the business model of the builder who makes it. Most quality custom home builders only produce a few homes each year. This means that they can concentrate their time and efforts more effectively on each individual project, ensuring the quality of your home is as good as possible. Also, with a smaller team, it is most likely that the team who pours the concrete floor is also laying the bricks and putting on the roof. If they do a poor job at any stage of the build, it will make their job more difficult at a later stage to work around the problem. Using the same small team from beginning to end ensures more care is taken at every stage.
By contrast, high volume project builders with high operating costs are in the business of completing as many homes as possible. They generally have specialised teams, meaning the bricklayer lays his bricks and moves on to the next build. He is less likely to worry about it because his mistakes become the next team’s problem.
Generally, a good custom home builder will meet with you to determine your needs and wants and only then give you an “all in” quote, covering all the hidden extras like design fees, licences and approvals, site costs, earthworks, painting, floor coverings, and so on. In other words, no nasty hidden extras.
In the highly competitive suburban project home builder industry, most builders advertise a “low ball” base price to attract customers, based on either a large number of contract exclusions, or an unacceptably low specification, or a combination of both. Only much later in the process (generally once it’s too late) do they disclose all the hidden extras. It is not at all uncommon to see examples of the budget more than doubling as a result of these exclusions or upgrades. If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.
When good budgets go bad. The fine print shows the genuine final price is more than double the advertised base price.
What is Zone Loading? It’s when an extra fee or percentage is added to the genuine final price over and above the advertised base price, because your block is outside the builder’s regular area. It is not an illegitimate practice, as the builder will incur extra travel costs. But wouldn’t it be better to use the local custom builder who doesn’t face this problem and who has already established a network of high quality local trades?
The most common myth we hear in custom building is that to individually design a home must surely be more expensive than buying an “off the shelf” design. While that can be true, especially if you make no modifications to an existing design, it seldom is in practice. As soon as you change anything, usually variation costs apply, and these can cost many tens of thousands of dollars in some cases. This is one of the ways many project builders make money after attracting you with a low advertised price.
A custom home builder, by definition, designs your home the way you want it. So unless an existing plan is completely and absolutely what you want, there’s a good chance it will be more expensive than custom building.
If your country home is to be your “forever home”, then you really should have it built the way you want it. If you are planning on selling it one day, then a well built and well designed custom home will generally attract a higher price than a generic project home, and will also generally sell faster, which can be an important consideration in some rural areas.
At the end of the day, building a custom home makes it unique. And you helped designed it. There is no greater feeling of achievement and pride than when you walk through the front door of your custom designed home for the very first time.
For more information on the benefits of custom building your dream country home, call Stallion Homes on (08) 9621 2020 or visit www.stallionhomes.com.au