Questions you didn’t know to ask
When building a house it’s important to end up with a home that you love with no regrets - and to have enjoyed the experience.
The first step is to find a builder that is right for you. A good builder will be able to provide trading history and customer testimonials so you can get a clear idea of their reputation.
They should work with you to make sure you get everything you want in your new home. Careful planning up front makes everything easier later. Knowing where to start and considering your family’s needs now and in the future makes the whole process more enjoyable and rewarding.
Here are some key topics you shouldn’t forget to talk through with your builder.
Where will I be in seven years?
Before building it’s beneficial to consider the future - what will your life be like in seven years? Will you be living in the same house? What age will your children be?
When they’re young, it’s good to have bedrooms close to the master bedroom, whereas when they’re older, greater separation and privacy are more desirable.
Identifying the needs of your family and your personal situation in the future is crucial to getting a home you can enjoy no matter how circumstances change, so talk this over with your builder.
“Take time to consider your life moving forward. Thinking soundly now will leave you with no regrets.”
In a two storey home, give consideration to having at least one bedroom and a bathroom downstairs. So no matter how circumstances change, you can still enjoy a degree of separation (guests or teenager downstairs, parents upstairs).
Having a bedroom and bathroom downstairs will also cater for an injured family member rather than them having to risk the stairs, even if it’s a short term injury. It can also provide convenience and privacy for guests, or an older family member coming to stay longer term.
Have I thought about everyone in the family?
You may have never considered talking to your builder about your cat or dog but they are part of the family. With your pets in mind, specific sized pet doors, or even animal areas and showers can be uncovered as features quite important to you.
As with most features, it is easier and more cost effective to have these things in the plan before building begins, than to make allowances later on.
Am I being objective?
While you are designing and building your new home it’s important to use outside people as a sounding board to ensure your home will also appeal to the wider market if you decide to sell in the future.
A very good sales consultant can give you independent advice about market trends and the features new home buyers are looking for. You can also check with a trusted real estate agent to get their views.
Questions to consider before building:
This article first appeared in GJ Gardner’s Home Prep, a step-by-step guide to the home building process in New Zealand. You don’t know what you don’t know and Home Prep has been written to arm you with knowledge and information to ask the right questions every step of the way.