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Building your home takes time, money and stress all tied up in one big building headache? Well it doesn’t have to be!  While it’s awesome to have so much on offer these days, sometime it can be more of an information overload, especially when trying to figure out where to start. When you decide that building a home is the right decision for you, the next steps can be not only daunting but costly.

From finding the perfect location, to sitting down with a builder, here are 5 basic steps to help get you started on the right path.

1. Find the Perfect Location

The first point of call is to work out where you want to build. Finding the perfect location at the right price, is a lot easier said than done. You might be looking for a block of land or maybe a knock down and rebuild, the choice is yours, and the best places to look are online. You can’t go past the top 2 online websites:

  • Realestate.com.au realestate.com is an awesome destination for finding land.  You can search by location, size, price and many more categories. It also provides information on real estate data, property news and more.
  • Another great App and website is Domain.  Download the app and use it for an on-the-go tool when you are out and about searching for your perfect block of land.

2. Find House Designs and Plans

To help find house designs and plans there is iBuildNew which is free online tool which allows you to search and compare house designs and plans from Australia’s leading and trusted volume builders. This is a great starting point, especially to find ideas you can build on and explore further. To find your local builders head to a search engine and you will discover what’s on offer in your local area.Designing and Planning Rooms

3. Designing and Planning Rooms

We love useful tools that help discover the interior designer in us. So when you are looking for ideas and inspiration for designing and planning your rooms, then there are some amazing online tools that can help piece it all together for you.

  • IKEA Planner is one of our favourites! You can take the reins and design your space by adding furniture, cabinets, lighting and so much more. Even without purchasing items from IKEA this tool will help you with your measurements for items such as cabinet sizes. At the end you can view your design in 3D which is more of a realistic perspective of what you space will look like once you furnish and decorate.
  • Dulux colour picker: Ever wanted to know what colour looks like on the walls without having to purchase 50 tins of sample paints? Well now you can with the Dulux Colour Picker. All you need to do is take a photo on your phone of the room you want to paint, then upload it into the App and choose different colours to experiment with. It’s an amazing tool to help with colour schemes and what colours complement each other.
  • Lighting Plus is a New Zealand company and on their website you can design your lighting plan and it also recommends products that will suit this space. A very valuable tool, especially once you receive a builder’s quote. You can compare how many lighting options they have provided you to see if it is sufficient!
  • Lime Lighting – is another light planning tool where you can upload your plans and they will send back a led lighting plan.

4. Council DA and Planning

  • NSW- Planning Portal – Many councils in NSW provide online facilities for tracking development applications. Not only can you track your own applications but also those in close proximity to your home. Enter your Council area below to be directed to their application tracking webpage. If your Council area does not appear on the list please contact your Council for application updates.
  • Vicsmart has general information about planning permits including processes and common types of permit applications. You will need to check with your local council about how you submit your Development Application with them.
  • In Queensland MyDAS (My Development Assessment System) is an online system that allows an applicant to prepare and lodge (or refer) particular applications to the Department, as the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA), where the State is the assessment manager or a referral agency for a development application.
  • South Australia – This website provides guides and forms and application form. Your local council will be able to assist you with further information.
  • There is a lot of information on the Western Australia website about planning, forms and flowcharts. You can also track your DA online here.
  • Northern Territory This facility can be used to draft, lodge and track the progress of your development application. If you are a first time user of this facility you will need to create an account.
  • Last but not least Tasmania. They have Iplan which is Tasmania’s online planning and development resource. View planning schemes, make a planning enquiry and check reviews and hearings.

5. Comparing Builders Quotes

  • ProSpex is an online service that helps you create a specification for your building project, simplifying the quoting process & eliminating hidden costs.
  • Quotify – Allows you to request a quote and it will send 3 to you. However it would be better if you could upload your plans for builder’s to quote on.
  • Hi pages – Is similar to Quotify and allows you to request a quote. To get a more detailed quote you really need to be able to submit your plans.

Building a home can be an exciting time in your life and one that you should embrace with open arms. There is an abundance of resources online to help unravel the process and provide guidance and support. Use the ones we have included above as a starting point and before too long you will be shaking the hand of your chosen builder and turning the key to your brand new home.

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Jacqui Morgan is the author of this article and the founder of Property Unravelled.She is a passionate property blogger and brand ambassador, but her most important job is being a mum!Property Unravelled helps take the stress out of finding tradies and services for your home project.The website hosts a directory of builders, interior designers, tradies to ensure that you have everything you need at your fingertips when it comes to feeding your family.
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