Be patient

You are going to make some mistakes, it will take longer than what the builder said, and it will take longer than what you hoped for. You cannot prepare or know everything and you will be much wiser after the project (Paul).

Choosing items for the builder

Once you start building you have to have all the decisions made for the builder. If you have not made the decisions then you can leave it up to the builder to make the decisions for you, but then the builder might choose the cheapest option. If I had known that all these decisions need to be made then I would have spent more time beforehand preparing and making the decisions (kitchen drawer handles, kitchen cupboard handles, door handles, door hinges, light switches, paint colours, make a list). If you don't have all the things selected beforehand it can hold up the process and it could be your fault that the building was delayed (Colleen).

We selected all our appliances and fittings, bath, handles ahead of time. The builder priced the job on the basis that we would supply all these items. This meant that we spent the time and chose all these things before the building started, and there was no wasted time between us and the builder over these matters (Trini Ley).

As a rule you should always be aware of the time and cost to your building project, if you are unprepared it will delay and affect the cost of your project. Most important is to know the products and white goods you are looking to purchase and plan ahead. Purchase and pass all details with measurements to your cabinet/kitchen expert. Try not to make any changes during construction, as this will affect you with extra costs. (Adelia).

Consider the pre-build time

People usually underestimate the pre-build time. They think that once they contact a builder the construction should start a month or two after. The time it takes, however, is usually much longer. To finish the tendering, get your permits and plans 100% ready, sign contracts with the builder etc, takes on average about 6 months (Tony – builder).

Making decisions

As the owner, your heart strings are attached to the job, and you can get worried about making the ‘right’ decision. Because of this, owners often take months to make a simple decision (eg the paint colour), which delays the project. Think about it, today it might really matter to you, but in a year or two it won’t really matter. My tip is, don’t worry, just decide, get the house done, and get living! (Enio – builder).