Building from scratch can be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. You get to choose absolutely everything about your house. But where do you start? What’s trending on ‘The Block’ this week might be past its use-by date by the time you finish your build, and what’s hot on Instagram next week might be totally impractical for your circumstances.

My biggest tip is to spend some time (and money) getting the layout right first. Either get it designed by a professional (such as an architect or building designer) or get a second opinion on your own designs.

Why? Well, for starters, you’re going to be spending an enormous amount of money building this house, you may as well make sure the design is going to work the way you envision it. The truth is, we often use rooms and spaces in a different way than what we had intended once we are living in them. That cosy lounge room in the centre of the house might become a stifling hotbox in summer, and that light and airy rumpus may end up sending power bills through the roof during winter. What looks great on paper does not always work in reality.

Once you’re happy with the layout, it’s worth your while to get a second opinion from an interior designer on it. We can also advise on colours, fixtures, fittings and finishes and ensure your choices not only look good but remain within the budget allocated by the builder.

When you engage your builder, they will generally allot provisional sums for different elements of the build i.e. they will include a general price for things like electrical, flooring and cabinetry and what have you. You need to be aware of this and make choices that fit the budget. If you go high-end in one area of the house, you might have to go budget in another area of the house, which can lead to an uneven look and feel to the house. Alternatively, going big in one area might mean you try and match it in every area, leading to a huge budget blowout.

Ask your builder if he has specific suppliers he uses and start there. Often, they have 3 levels of fixtures and fittings – an entry level budget option, a mid-range option and a high-end option. Try to choose a range that best suits your house, your budget and your vision.

It can be quite a challenge to get the look you want and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the volume of choice available. Get in touch with me if you want to have a chat about your new build home. I’d love to bring some clarity to your plans and help you create that fabulous home you’ve always dreamed about!