• Exclusive Steel Homes

7 Step Guide to Building Your First Custom Home



Ready to build your dream house, but don’t know where to begin? Building a custom home should be an exciting journey in making your vision become a reality, but with all the steps and unknowns involved we understand it can be a daunting task as well.


At Exclusive Steel Homes, we’ve worked with people across the Brisbane and South East Queensland region for over 15 years to make their dream home come true. Using our experience, we’ve pulled together a guide to start you off on the right track.


Step 1: Choosing the right block of land for your dream home

If you’ve already found the perfect block, you can skip to the next step. However, many of our clients come to us unsure of how to find the right block of land for their custom home.


Before you start looking for the block, we advise our clients to also consider the community they want to live in. Think about what local services, shopping, transport, education and entertainment you want to be available, so your dream home is built in the right location.


When it comes to choosing the block, the size and shape of the block can have a big impact on the overall budget and end-design of your house. We often work with clients who purchase a block of land that isn’t the right fit, causing unnecessary stress to their custom build experience. A custom home builder like Exclusive Steel Homes can help you estimate the right size and potential additional costs such as access and tree-removals, so you’re choosing the right block for your house design and budget.


If you’re unsure or would like a second opinion, you can book in a free consultation with us so we can help you determine what you can and can’t do on your block.


Step 2: Get an estimate from a custom builder

Once you’ve purchased your land, the builder will work to provide a clearer estimate of the time and costs involved in building your custom home.


A good builder should do the proper due diligence during this process so they can be sure the estimates they give you are accurate and consider all potential challenges along the way. The two key tests to remember are soil tests and site surveys. What’s under the ground can often be one of the biggest causes of overrun during a build, by completing a soil test, builders can understand the reactivity of the soil and how much additional reinforcement is required to keep your home structurally sound. While the site survey details the wind rating, slope of the block, site contours and service connections to help builders understand what to expect when they build on your block and alerts them to potential costs which should be included into the initial estimate.


Make sure these tests have been completed before you agree to contracts or pay your deposit. They are not too expensive and can save you a lot of pain and unexpected costs later down the track.



Step 3: Finalise the design of your custom home

This is where your dream home starts coming into reality as you work with your architect and custom builder to finalise the design of your home. A great architect should get to know you and your family and customise the details of the home to suit your needs. From including additional well-lit spaces for study, or additional storage space in the kid’s bedroom for toys, these small details are what makes a custom home so enjoyable to live in.


We also recommend involving your custom builders during your conversations with the architect. They can give practical advice throughout the design process to make the most of your budget and any different design elements the architect has included are practical and create a more effortless living experience.



Step 4: Contract Preparation and Building Approvals

After your design has been finalised, your contract plans will be prepared and presented to you for signing. From region to region the payable amount can vary, but in Queensland up to 5%, of the total contract price is payable at signing.


Once the contract is finalised, your builder will lodge all council applications and help receive building approval. Once this is finalised your builders will start the construction process and schedule orders with any suppliers and trade contractors.


Step 5: Construction

Construction on your dream home begins once contracts are confirmed, and when the final written finance, proof of land title and registration is received.


Before construction begins on your custom home, your builder should give you an estimate of the timeline and introduce you to the site supervisor who will be your main contact along the process. Although custom builds generally take around 16-18 months to complete from the contract signing date, more complex projects can take longer. Your site manager should be available throughout this time to answer any questions you have along the way.


At each step of construction, from base slab to fixings to handover, your custom builders should have regular check-ins to keep you updated on key stages of the construction process and give you peace of mind with budget and timeline updates.


Step 6: Handover and Maintenance

Once construction is completed, the site supervisor will hold a near completion handover to a full walkthrough of your almost-finished home. This gives you a chance to discuss any tweaks or changes you might want. These can then be implemented before the official handover day.


Once you are completely satisfied with the result, your builder will hand over the home officially. Don’t worry though - we’re still around if you need us! Any good builders should continue to provide you with support for 6 months to 2 years following the build to ensure you are fully satisfied with your home.


Step 7: Move into your dream home!


It’s now finally time to reap the rewards and enjoy living in your new custom home.


Still have questions? Our friendly team of design and construction professionals would be happy to help.


Start the journey, call us on (07) 3465 8548 to arrange a free consultation.

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