I haven’t shared as much of our house process as I would’ve liked. There wasn’t anything happening for such a long time so I really didn’t have anything to share and then all of a sudden everything started happening at once.
Instead of sharing a long and detailed update I thought I’d quickly go over what’s happened so far and share the 5 tips for building a house that I’ve learnt in this process.
My last our first home post was all about colours, décor and pinspiration. We’re sticking with the same décor colour palette from that last post – white, grey and charcoal with pops of navy and copper. Since then we’ve actually picked the interior colour scheme as well; a very light grey for the walls, a slighter darker grey for the trim, a creamy grey for the ceiling, a light calico colour for the carpet, a dark charcoal tiled vinyl for the kitchen and bathrooms and a stunning white with pink-grey flecks for the kitchen bench.
When I first posted about our first home we had just gone unconditional and we expected to be in the house by Christmas (which didn’t happen!). The build was supposed to start 25th August but it didn’t end up starting until late December. We’re now hoping to be in by the beginning of March (according to the project manager it could be even sooner). Right now our house is fully constructed and it’s just the subcontractor work we’re waiting on – plumbing, electricity, carpet, paint etc.
WHAT I’VE LEARNT IN BUILDING OUR FIRST HOME
As I mentioned above the build ended up starting 3 months late and boy did this delay take a toll on us. We went from being so excited about buying our first home to being a little disappointed to being very frustrated. Not only was it delayed but we didn’t actually have another start date – we were just playing it by ear. Eventually I learnt to be more patient and tried to just go with the flow (which is not my style at all) but having a bit of patience made the process a bit easier on us and on our project manager.
GET THINGS IN WRITING
This is probably my number one tip – get everything in writing! When we first got the email from our project manager to say that construction had begun we hopped in our car, grabbed our best friends and drove out to the house straight away – we’re a little obsessed with seeing every single stage of the build! When we got there we noticed that something was very wrong! As part of the base package the house has a ranch slider at the back but we’d arranged to have it swapped for french doors (for an extra cost). However, the builders made a mistake and put a ranch slider in. Luckily we had this variation in writing so they have to change it and cover the cost themselves. My mom has always taught me to get everything in writing and now that I’m dealing with huge things such as houses and mortgages (and thousands of dollars) I’m so thankful for this.
This tip kind of contradicts the first but I think a balance of the two is key. Whether you’re building a house in a huge subdivision like we are or on your own piece of land your project manager probably has a lot going on. We’ve found that for the most part when we’ve followed up with our project manager he has been on top of the task at hand but from time to time it’s completely slipped his mind. Following up ensures that everyone is on the same page and nothing is left unfinished.
Whenever I’m doing something new – whether that’s trying a new product or hobby or in this case buying a house – I like to be very informed and I research everything thoroughly! This habit has definitely paid off for us! A few months after we’d gone unconditional an article was published which stated that the 3 bedroom houses in the future stages of our subdivision would have a second toilet downstairs. This wasn’t an option we were offered so I approached our project manager about it. After a few discussions we arranged for the extra toilet to also be added to our house. If I hadn’t been thoroughly researching the subdivision and keeping up to date with news articles published about it then we never would have known about this possible addition.
ENJOY THE PROCESS
Last but certainly not least – enjoy the process! Whether it’s your first house or your fifth this should be an exciting time so remember to savour the moment and enjoy it! One of the ways I’m doing this is by scrapbooking the journey. I’ve snapped a few photos here and there but about a month ago I really started making an effort to take more photos and I’m now scrapbooking it.
If you’ve got any questions about a particular part of the build, buying in an affordable housing area, being a first home buyer or anything else to do with our first home then leave them below and I’ll try to address them in a later post.