Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve put together some of the more common questions that our clients have asked us over the years.

There’s a good chance your questions are already answered below.

If you have a question that we haven’t answered, please let us know and we’ll add it. You can call or email us here.

DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON AN ARCHITECT ~ Richard and Pam

Finance

Q. I don’t have finance yet, can you help me?

Yes we can.

Although we don’t offer finance services ourselves, we use a very experienced and fully licensed finance broker. Sam Best is able to offer you guidance and advice to help you through the puzzle of financial options.

Sam can provide an initial assessment over the phone (almost straight away) and advise based on your unique situation. For most people, this initial phone call results in a positive outcome. Therefore, the next step is to arrange to meet and go into more detail. Don’t worry, Sam will come to your home or office, usually at a time to suit you and your family. (Note: This face-to-face session is complimentary.)

A vital aspect of acquiring finance – that sadly the majority of people overlook – is how your home financing need fits in with your longer term life and family goals, financial goals and retirement plans. The wrong finance now can be very costly to you later on in life. Have you considered this?

The loan for your new home should not be viewed as independent and separate to these broader goals. Rather, they should be integrated into your whole finance strategy. Let’s face it, you want to create wealth over your lifetime and retire financially healthy, don’t you?

If you need finance, before you do anything else, pick up the phone, call Blaze Finance on 1300 764 400 and ask to speak with Sam Best. Tell Sam you were on our web site and he’ll look after you.

Whilst Sam will take care of your immediate needs in a caring and professional way, he is also a fully qualified financial adviser and does take your “bigger picture” goals into consideration – so you’ll be well set for now and for the future!

 

Land

Q. I’m from overseas, what’s a “block of land”?

In Australia, we call an area of land, a “block”, mate.

If you’re from New Zealand, it’s a “section”, ay bro.

If you’re from the UK, it’s a “lot”, isn’t it.

It’s all the same thing…just different names. As we’re in Australia, we’ll standardise on calling it a “block”.

Q. Can you help me find a block of land?

We sure can.

In fact, we’ve written an article on it in our Building Guide section in this web site.

Click on this link to find out more: How To Find Land…FAST!

Q. Can you advise if a block of land we’re looking at is suitable to build on?

Sure, we’d be happy to. And no, there’s no charge for it – we do this for free.

In fact, we prefer and recommend that we meet you on your block so we can spend the time to fully understand your vision and dream.

(Psssst, the salespeople at big name builders rarely get out of their chairs or the display home offices let alone visit you on your block.)

Q. Can you advise if you know of other better blocks of land to build on?

Yes, of course.

Because we’re dealing with many different land developers and land estates every week, we regularly come across land that may be better and/or cheaper than the block you’re looking at.

This can be for a variety of reasons, like it’s not marketed in traditional ways, it’s not marketed at all or the developer just wants to clear stock to move onto other bigger land projects.

Please be aware that we don’t sell land ourselves, but we’ll certainly help you research, find and choose land no problem…and we do it for free. Why do we do this? Because we know you’re not going to use our services to design and build a home until you’ve got a block of land! (Kind of selfish aren’t we.)

 

Planning

Q. How long does it take to build a home?

Good question! The short answer is, it depends.

There’s a few dozen things that affect the overall timeline – including you, so it’s not possible to give a definitive answer.

What we can say is that generally it would take 2-4 months to get to a signed contract, 1-2 months to get approval from council and 3-6 months to build. These time frames assume you already have ownership of a block of land.

Of course, the actual final time frame depends on many factors, such as

  • Have you chosen land yet?

  • Do you need to sell an existing home first?

  • Have you settled on the land?

  • Where is the land located?

  • What’s the availability of trades people in that area?

  • Does the block have special requirements like vegetation protection, environmental protection, bush fire hazard, flood potential, sewerage involvement, special relaxations, etc?

  • Do you know what you want in your new home?

  • Are you a confident and reasonably quick decision maker?

  • Do you have finance available to fund the process?

  • Do you have finance approval from the bank (if loans are needed)?

  • Do you have family to jointly approve all decisions with?

  • How fast do you answer phone calls and emails?

  • What’s your general availability to approve things?

Q. What are your ‘Standard Inclusions’?

In summary, whatever you’d like them to be.

Because we build custom homes, we don’t have a “one size fits all” standard level of inclusion.

We provide the level of inclusion you’d like based on your budget and what you prefer.

 

Designing the Home

Q. Can I build with a steel frame?

Yes, definitely.

We’re able to build in either timber or steel frame and trusses.

Steel frame costs are coming down every year and provide the best type of protection against termites and also minimal cracking in your home.

Some steel frame manufacturers are now offering up to 50 year warranties on their frames and trusses, which will probably out-live most of us!

Q. I’ve got ideas from different builders, some magazine cutouts and my own ideas. Can you put it all together?

Yes, in fact we actively encourage it!

This has two benefits:

1) You’re very involved and excited about your home build which we love and is fantastic!

2) The more you know what you like and can visually show us, the easier it is for us to integrate this and present it back to you for approval.

Generally, any photos, images or sketches of elements you want in the house will help us deliver what you want.

Q. Who owns copyright on the final plans?

You do.

We simply provide the service of designing and drafting the plans for you, but you own the copyright.

...we had a jumble of ideas of what we wanted in a house,..we were worried that building on anything other than a flat block would be a nightmare. ...after seeing some of Custom Home Designs' ideas, we saw all the possibilities offered by a sloping block to create the modern look we were after. ~ Colin and Kim

 

During Construction

Q. Can I inspect my home during construction?

Yes you can and we encourage it.

Most clients get very excited about their new home and can’t wait to see progress. They want to take photos and start living their dream and start visualising furniture and interior decoration.

We’re happy for you to visit your site and have as many appointments as necessary.

Sometimes we find that this is the ideal time to pick up any minor issues. For example, you might not have picked on the drawn plans that the Dining area was a little too small and the Living area was more than enough.

Which ties in nicely to the next question..

Q. Can I make changes during construction?

Yes, you can.

This is in fact one of our major Points of Difference from other builders (especially project home builders). Other builders just don’t allow it, but we’re happy to accommodate this for you.

Let’s face it, not everyone can visualise a finished house in their mind just by looking at simple two-dimensional drawings.

The reality is that for many people it’s not until the house is starting to come together that they can get an idea of space.

Q. Do I need to get insurance?

No.

Generally, the builder covers the insurance while the house is being built. This means that if there’s a cyclone, flood, fire or theft on the site, then this is the builder’s problem.

However, when the keys are passed to you on the day of handover, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve organised insurance as that’s when responsibility of the property passes to you.

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