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Kooga Builders create exciting building options for every location and client requirement. Futuristic designs with high tech features through to budget packages that still include leading energy efficient features with great design.

Building a house or doing an extension to one can be stressful at any time. If you’ve never done a building project before, it can be an extremely stressful experience.  We want to share some helpful insights and tips for those building a house for the first time.

Planning

You, and your partner, if you are in a relationship, both need to agree on things like size, cost, major features, etc.  Otherwise, the building designer and builder will start presenting you with an array of options that will delay the process.  One successful way we have seen used is to make ‘Must Have’, ‘Should Have’ and ‘Nice to Have’ lists before you meet with the architect or builder.

Critical Relationship

A good relationship with the building site supervisor is essential.  They are the person that oversees the various building and trade crews that will build the house.  They will not make any big decisions without your or the architects approval.  If you develop a good relationship with them that will be able to make minor changes you want at no extra cost.  Its important that you make sure you request from them to give you left over materials like extra tiles, carpet, wallpaper, bricks, trim, etc.  Builders generally do this automatically, but its a good idea to discuss this with the site supervisor to ensure they are aware you would like these surplus materials.

Patience

Prepare for several things to not quite work out or not look quite right. Its important to bring things to bring to the builder’s attention immediately versus things that aren’t that important and will be corrected later when the pressure is off. Your builder won’t want you calling every day with updates or to discuss a raft of constant little things that you have noticed.  We recommend you keeping a list of everything you notice and asking to have a short conversation with the builder each week.  You can cover the items on the list all at once with him and the architect.  Its good to keep minutes of these meetings and circulate them shortly after the meeting. This will avoid frustrating disputes at a later date. The builder and architect will let you know which items are important and what will be addressed later.  For the ones he says can be addressed later, make a bring up record in the meeting minutes to ensure this does eventually get done and doesn’t fall between the cracks.

Discipline

Its important to not make too many changes that aren’t genuinely important.  Almost every change will carry additional work with it, especially if they require other tradesmen to be especially brought in to complete the change.

Moment of Truth 

Don’t panic if 3 weeks before final inspection there seems to be a lot of small things that still need to be done or finished off.  The builder takes the count down seriously and is definitely not wanting to have your final inspection and hand over delayed.  They will often expand the size of the team working on your house two or three fold to get everything done in time, some literally days and hours before the final inspection by the Architect.

You’re In Control 

Its not worth getting too worked up about the small items still to be done. Its comforting to know that you are the one in control and its important to get the big items fixed ones completed asap. Smaller items will get done as the builder needs to complete them to get paid. There will be a list of what is called maintenance items that the architect will draw up to get fixed to his satisfaction in the ‘maintenance’ period generally 60 to 90 days from the final inspection date.