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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.

We can refer you to our local finance advisor should you require assistance in this area

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

Sure, we’d be happy to.

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.)

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 6-8 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. “Can I build using alternative methods and materials?”

“Yes, definitely.”
“With our sometimes-unpredictable climate, ever changing government regulations and the huge demand for thermally sustainable and non-toxic, healthier, cost efficient homes, we are keen to assist you in researching options in the current market. Whether you are considering modular construction, mud brick, straw bale or even hemp masonry construction…..we can help!”

Q. “Can I use my own Builder?”

“Yes, certainly”
“You own the plans, so you are welcome to engage your own builder. However, we offer our pre-qualified local builders in your region should you wish to be put in touch with tried and tested quality builders whom we recommend”.

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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