Considerations To Keep In Mind For Hiring Home Builder


Building a new house is a huge investment and emotionally it can be one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do. Luckily I love the process! I’ve built three times and renovated a few times so learning how to stick to a budget (but not comprise on what I want) has taught me a few new tricks

Make a Pinterest board and file all of your images in there.

This gives you a good reference point. Also as you get carried away with the building and you start to get overwhelmed with the choices, you’ll be able to come back to this and sort yourself out again. You may find it hard to describe to a builder/plumber/chippy what your vision is for a room, but if you have an image ready then it helps

Ask your builder if you’re allowed to add/change things during the process.

I’ve built twice with a local builder who have allowed me to make changes during the process – like move a door, adjust the verandah, position the vanity. But I have also built with a project building company who does not allow you to make changes after you’ve signed off on your plans. This style of building can be a little trickier. If you’re not a visual person, then your planning stage is crucial as you’ll need to get everything sorted (right down to the position of a mirror in the bathroom) before the house starts being built. Make sure you are clear on this process before you sign off on anything. Ask your building company how much leeway do you have on minor things when the building process starts?

Make a non-negotiable list.

Unless you have a bottomless pit of money, then start out with a list of things you MUST have in the house. Try and get that in to your initial costing. It’s hard to put things back in after your builder has gone to a lot of trouble to start your quote.

Don’t be in a rush to finalise your plans. Get an electrical plan.

If you find it hard to read your plans and you can’t visualize every last detail, then it’s worth paying an interior designer or colour consultant to help you through this. When I was working with a building company I saw a few doozies being built. (Not the houses I sold of course!) Make sure you also get an electrical plan before you build (that’s if your builder won’t let you decide during frame stage), because some builders need you to have this decided before they start building. It’s important you think about the powerpoints



When you’re building, extending or renovating your own house, there are obvious advantages to doing it yourself—especially if you’re a qualified tradie. You can save money on labour, you get to oversee the job yourself, and you can be flexible with the timeline. But there’s also a lot to consider as an owner builder, especially as some state-based regulations are starting to change

What is an owner builder?

Essentially you meet the definition of ‘owner builder’ if you’re one of the following:

a tradie who’s extending or renovating your house using your own skills;

a home or land-owner who’s overseeing a build or renovation on your property by managing sub-contractors to do the work;

a registered builder who’s building, extending or renovating your own home.

No-matter which category of owner builder you fall into, you’re taking on a lot of responsibility—from checking the licences of any specialist contractors to organising permits and inspections, managing work health and safety on site, and arranging insurance.

Getting a permit

The rules around owner builder permits differ by state, and these differences are mainly to do with the market value of the work being undertaken, whether or not it’s you who lives in the home (or will live there), the types of structures being built or renovated, what level of training is required, and how many permits can be granted to individuals over time.

If you’re not already a registered builder, the first thing you’ll need to work out is whether the value of the work you’re undertaking requires you to apply for an owner builder permit


Home Builder Marketing Ideas: Tips for Success

In case you didn’t know, single-family home sales are hitting all-time highs. The last few years have been exceptional for our homebuilder clients and most indications suggest the future will be the same. With this positive outlook moving forward, and so many new homebuyers – who start (and finish) their home search online – entering the market,

Foreword: The Importance of Having a Search Engine Optimization Blueprint

So, things have changed, right? Well, somewhat, but some things have not changed as much as in recent years. I realize you may want to jump to number 1 and start learning, but it would be best if you brushed up on your general knowledge of SEO (search engine optimization) first.

One thing’s for sure: Competition for Google Rankings is FIERCE and getting tougher by the day. Everyone sees the value of a top ranking for the ‘right’ Google searches. And, yes, mobile-first is the real deal since Google switched over to mobile-first indexing. Your site is being judged by the mobile results even though lots of people visit on desktop.

At one point or another you’ve heard the term Search Engine Optimization or SEO, but do you understand what that phrase really means?  Generally speaking, SEO is a complicated, detailed, labor-intensive, and ever-changing process with the goal to assure your website appears higher in search results for specifically selected keyword terms.

take great pride in strictly adhering to an honest, truthful and customer-centric approach to everything we do. With that being said, I feel it’s important to point out a harsh reality regarding this vital marketing strategy: successful Search Engine Optimization is best performed by dedicated specialists—period. Throwing keywords against the wall to see what sticks simply won’t produce results and can even harm your results. Even trying to implement every technique found in the most up-to-date SEO manual, by yourself, can prove to be ineffective. But, that doesn’t mean SEO isn’t important.


Home renovation tips from owner-builders

“The walls were almost leaning in on each other, the only toilet was outside and there were no kitchen appliances to inherit.” DIY projects come in all shapes and sizes but one of the biggest to take on is home renovation.

“Even the studs for the front two bedrooms, joists and bearers that did stay in place we had to straighten.” So if, you are thinking you’ll tackle your home renovation yourself, how do you know if you are up for it? And what do you need to know?

The novice owner-builder

Doing your own renovating basically means you are becoming an owner-builder and you will need to be across all stages of the project from start to finish. You’ll be up for hiring, managing and coordinating professionals, schedules and budgets, and even getting on the tools yourself.

The couple started work on their place a few days after settlement. “We got the keys on the 15 December, 2016 and made it our mission to lift all the old floorboards and get the house restumped before Christmas,”

The experienced owner-builder

“We enjoy the physical work and the sense of satisfaction that comes from seeing the results come from your own hands where possible, and I inherited this.”


Tips for Buying a New Construction Home from a Builder

Purchasing a new construction home in a planned unit development can be an overwhelming task. There are many more factors to consider compared to an ordinary residential real estate transaction. I’ve developed a comprehensive list of tips ensuring that your home buying experience goes as smoothly as possible.

Understand the types of new construction

There are three major types of new construction. The best option for you largely depends on your budget, time frame, and preference. First, you can purchase a spec home. A spec home is a new home that has already been built to the builder’s specifications. They’re built to the tastes of the average customer and are cost-effective. Unfortunately, you don’t have much of a say about the floor plan or any of the amenities present. However, you can move into these homes much quicker than semi-custom or custom homes.

Next, we have a semi-custom home, the most popular option in new construction. You’ll have the opportunity to select from different floor plan options and request alterations before the start of construction, such as adding additional rooms or upgrading finishes. These homes are typically built on lots that the developer owns but you choose which lot you want the home built on.

Lastly, you can opt for a fully custom home. An entirely custom home would be the most time-consuming and expensive option out of the three but provides the most customization. You can design a fully custom home from the ground up and have a choice in literally everything about the home, from the color of the doorknobs to the type of sink. Depending on the project, you may also need to hire an architect. This option is for those who have a very particular vision about their home and refuse to compromise.

Consider hiring an agent

It’s a great idea to hire an experienced real estate agent. An agent will be obligated by law to represent your interests in the transaction and ensure that you secure the best deal with the most favorable terms. An experienced agent is a local expert that has an intimate understanding of the real estate market. They will analyze past comparable sales to determine if you’re getting a good deal.

Best Kitchen And Bathroom Remodeling Tips

How long does it take to renovate a bathroom?

Do you want to know how long does it take for a bathroom renovation?

It’s always a good idea to get a rough timeline for your bathroom renovator before you get started. While no two bathrooms are the same (because every bathroom is unique) we’re going to attempt to give you a projected timeframe of how long it takes to renovate a small bathroom and a full size bathroom. In this article, we’re going to break down each renovation stage and give you an estimated time frame for completion.

Step 1: Demolition of old bathroom

Time frame: 2-5 days

If your bathroom is made up of timber and sheet walls, demolition can take a mere two to three days at most. If your bathroom was constructed using solid bricks then it might require a bit more time to demolish. Keep in mind that during this stage, if you’re planning on changing the outlay of your bathroom, new structural beams will be added at this point.

Step 2: Plumbing and electrical wiring installation

Time frame: 1-4 days

After demolition has taken place, and the bathroom is now a skeleton, plumbers and electricians are brought in to re-route and restructure any plumbing lines and wiring to fit in with your new bathroom plan. For small bathrooms this can take a day to do. If you are changing the outlay of the old bathroom, this will require plumbing to be re-routed and wiring to be re-directed to fit in with the new design.

Step 3: Relining of new bathroom

Time frame: 1-3 days

Step 4: Waterproofing new bathroom

In this step, the new walls and new ceiling will be sheeted, set and prepared for the next stage. This can all be done within three days.  Some homes requirer rendering which takes longer due to drying time.

Time frame 2-3 days

Waterproofing is arguably the most important part of your entire bathroom renovation process. Done right it should ensure a leak-proof room for many years to come. Failure by the waterproofer to do their job properly will lead to a very big problem. Always work with reputable bathroom renovation experts. Allow up to three days for the waterproof coating to dry.

Step 5: Tiling of new bathroom

Time frame: 1-3 days

In this step, tiles will be installed, as well as doors and new walls. Once this is finished,

Step 6: Fitout and painting of new bathroom

Time frame 1-3 days

This is the homestretch, where the final finishing touches are laid up in the new bathroom. With the major basins and fixtures installed, and the tiling and sheeting all done, the bathroom can now be painted according to your specifications. Once this is done, all minor new fixtures such as tapware rails, toilet paper holders, mirrors and other trims can now be installed.

So how long does it all take?

In essence renovation of a small bathroom should take up to four weeks maximum, with a full bathroom renovation taking anywhere from six to seven weeks.


Factors Affecting Remodel Time

The reality is that it is a very rare bathroom remodeling project that goes exactly as planned, and a variety of factors can wreak havoc with your best efforts at scheduling:

  • Is the project a cosmetic remodel or a strip-to-the-studs rebuild? Depending on the nature of the remodel, the work can take as little as a few days or as much as many months.
  • Are you doing the work yourself or are you hiring a contractor? More than one good-intentioned homeowner has found that doing all the work yourself, squeezing in work time when you can, leads to a project that can take as much as a year to complete.
  • If you’re hiring the work out, is the contractor an owner-operator, or is he subcontracting electricians, plumbers, and carpenters? Working with a single owner-operator remodeler can be the cheapest way to go, but they’ll likely be juggling your job with several others as they try to do all the work themselves. This means that a job that requires 10 or 15 actual workdays can take two or three months to see completion.
  • Are all materials readily available or are they special-order goods that may cause you to wait for delivery? Waiting on imported ceramic tile to arrive, for example, can delay a project by several weeks.


Preparing for your bathroom renovation

To understand how long your project could take, you need to know what happens during a renovation from start to finish. We’ve identified five clear stages and, working on the assumption of no hiccups, given an estimated timeline of how long each phase takes.

Phase 1: Planning and development

The planning and development phase is by far the longest. It includes time spent researching the bathroom style you want, working out the cost of your bathroom renovation, hiring a renovation company, and making a blueprint for you and your tradespeople to work from.

Depending on your project scope, you may have to apply for planning permission. This is also the time to order your fixtures and fittings, so all the parts arrive ahead of the onsite start date.

Estimated time: Anywhere between one and six months.

Phase 2: Stripping your old bathroom

Ripping out all the fixtures and fittings of your existing bathroom can take a couple of days. But this may depend on whether it’s a first or second-floor bathroom, whether you’re keeping any existing fittings, and whether any structural changes need to be made to the walls.

Estimated time: One or two days.

Phase 3: Groundwork for new bathroom

A bare canvas makes it easier for the plumber and electrician to come in and do a rough-in fit. This means they put all the wiring and plumbing in place, but don’t actually connect any of it while building work is still going on. Carpenters, plasterers and tilers come in next, working on walls that need putting up and rendering, and surfaces that need to be  prepared for tiling.

Estimated time: Two to five days.

Phase 4: Fitting your new features

The fourth phase is perhaps the most exciting because you’ll finally see your new bathroom design come to life. It’s when all your new fixtures are installed, so there’s a lot to be done.

Essential tasks such as tiling and painting, grouting on the walls or floor, and waterproofing will be completed first. Some of these tasks involve drying time, which means there can be periods of inactivity during this phase. With everything in place, the plumber will complete the connections for your shower, bathtub, toilet and basins. And your electrician will reconnect the electrics for lights, underfloor heating, towel rails and extractor fans.

Glass elements like shower doors and mirrors are fitted last, so there’s minimal risk of them getting cracked or damaged while work’s going on.

Estimated time: Anywhere between five and ten days.

Phase 5: The finishing touches

Once everything has been installed and had time to dry, we’ll carry out a final inspection and clean. With that done, your bathroom is all yours to enjoy.


Tips To Make A Small Bathroom More Functional

Are you thinking of doing a small bathroom renovation? The bathroom can be an oasis that you can escape to and relax in. Small bathrooms, however, can easily become cluttered and claustrophobic. A few minor changes can be made to not only make a small bathroom look more spacious, but also make it more functional. The best way to get this done is by hiring a team of professionals and looking at some small bathroom renovation ideas with them so that you get a design that is best for you. For more tips, read on!

Get the right accessories:

Accessories are a great way to make your bathroom look more beautiful. The right accessories, however, can do way more than this, they can make it more functional as well. Modern towel racks, new faucets and other basic bathroom accessories can breathe new life into your small bathroom without breaking the bank. Talk to your bathroom design specialists for some more ideas on which accessories would work for your bathroom.

Update the colour palette:

Something as simple as changing the colours you have in your bathroom can make it look more spacious. Pastels, cream and white make it look more open and inviting. To make sure that the bathroom does not end up feeling like it is overwhelmed with colours, use a minimalist colour scheme or just little pops of bright colours here and there. If you have a colour scheme that you love, you are less likely to clutter up the bathroom and you can stick to a few functional accessories.


Get the right lighting fixtures:

Lighting fixtures work in pretty much the same manner as colours. The right lighting can make a bathroom look open and spacious. Large windows, for example, provide more depth and brighten up the bathroom. If you have a low ceiling in your bathroom, choose lighting options that do not draw more attention to the ceiling. Hanging chandeliers will not work in such a space, you can opt for nice bright wall sconces instead.

Get high a quality bathtub and accessories:

In order to get a small bathroom to look stylish, functional and practical, you need to invest in a high-quality bathtub and accessories. When choosing these, you can get colours that match your colour palette. At Belle Bathrooms we have a wide range of beautiful bathtubs and bath accessories for you to choose from. We have a long track record of helping clients get the bathrooms of their dreams.

Trick To Find The Best Home Builder

Tips To Finding The Best Home Builders

Verify their credentials

The first step in hiring a building is to find out whether they have a license. In most instances, you will out that a good number of builders have the license. That is not supposed to be the end of the process. You need to take another step of finding out about the originality of those papers. Before signing any papers with the contractor, you need to make sure that everything is in order.

Talk to people

Another important thing that will help you find the right home builder is talking to people. Talk to those people who have used the company’s services before. Get to know what they like about the company and what they dislike. You also need to know if they were pleased with the services that the home builders offered them. If not, then be sure to know the reasons behind that unsatisfactoriness.


You also need to make sure that you hire a home builder who will not ask for more than you can afford. Here, you need to understand that some builders tend to be expensive for nothing. Such builders need to be avoided by all means possible. Before you sign a contract with any builder, it is always good that you do a comparison before deciding on a particular one. Always go for the best. Check out home builders austin for perfect building services.


How to Choose the Right Home Builder

Look for Signs of Quality

Look for signs of quality construction and attention to detail when you visit the homes above. Also consider the building products that a builder uses. Are they brands with well-earned reputations for quality? What about the homes under construction you passed on the way to the completed model home? Were there signs of care and attention there, as well?

Tour Model Homes and/or Homes of Past Buyers

Once you’ve narrowed down a list of prospective builders using the criteria above, this is the most important step. Nothing substitutes for touring a home built by a builder on your short list. It can be a furnished and decorated model home that’s open to the public. Or, it can be a home the builder constructed for a past buyer that you visit by appointment. In either case, pay careful attention to the look, feel and quality of the home.

Industry Involvement

Not every good builder chooses to join their local Home Builder Association, so don’t place too much emphasis on this. However, such membership does tend to show that a builder is committed for the long-term to the area. It’s also a sign of commitment to new home community developers, building product suppliers and trade contractors that work in your city or town.

Resale Value

Good reputations follow good builders, among homeowners and Realtors. Look for builders whose homes tend to hold or maintain their value. Look for Realtor ads that specifically mention the name of a builder for a home for sale that’s now five or seven years old. That Realtor clearly sees the builder’s brand name as a big plus.

Warranty and Service

One of the top advantages of new construction is that your home itself and most of the products, systems and components it contains are brand-new and under warranty. The peace of mind that comes with knowing that major repairs or a new roof are likely years away is important. In addition, look for a structural warranty of ten years or longer on the home itself, ideally transferable to a new owner should you sell. Also look for a builder who provides prompt and courteous service under warranty and who takes time to explain the proper maintenance and care that any home needs.


Tips To Finding The Best Home Building Company

Know Your Needs

What kind and type of home do you want to build? How big is the size, style and what is your budget? It is important to know what your needs are. This is be cause while some building companies construct a wide range of homes, some specialize in a particular type of home. What kind of home are you planning to build are you a first-time owner, a move up, constructing your custom designed house or building a multimillion dollar home. It is important to choose a builder who will be able to fit your need.

Experience is Important

It is critical to know the experience of the firm and the in particular team. Every building company once built their first home. Though one may come across a new company, do not dismiss them find out whether the team has experience in the construction field. Finding seasoned professionals is vital.

Licenses and Insurance

It is important to verify whether permits are required for buildings to be constructed in the state that you leave in. This is because not every state has regulations regarding construction. However, if your state has, it is vital to find a building company who have the proper licensing for constructing. Likewise, inquire and ask for proof whether the company has the appropriate insurance in the event of any accident or loss. The insurance should be able to cover the building company, the building team and you as a client.


Your home is one of your biggest investment and being this it is important to find a company that provides a warranty. Look for one a company that provides a long-term warranty that can also be transferred to another owner and includes a third party warranty. That is if the business would close there is a guarantee that your issue will be resolved. Furthermore, find a building company who have prompt and courteous service.


Tips for Choosing and Working With a Builder

Make one comprehensive inspection list. More arguments happen at the final stage than at any other time in a project, so it’s important to be ready for the common pitfalls.

Consider who will do the rough-in and finish work. With a kitchen or bathroom, for example, the rough-in involves bringing the waste, plumbing and electrical services to the right places. So pipes and cables are installed in walls and under floors, and are left poking out. Typically, walls are then lined and plastered, and floors laid, before the finish work.

Understand the importance of a building contract. A building contract is simply an agreement between a builder, who agrees to undertake a specific set of works, and a client, who agrees to pay a set amount of money.

Embrace bidding. Competitive bidding is the process of getting alternative prices from different builders for the same work. Clearly, it’s crucial that the information against which they are pricing is absolutely clear and specific.

Be specific. I’ve mentioned it already, but I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be specific.


Tips for Choosing and Working With a Builder

Make one comprehensive inspection list. More arguments happen at the final stage than at any other time in a project, so it’s important to be ready for the common pitfalls.

When the main work is going full tilt, everyone tends to be happy, but toward the end of a project, there are typically a thousand small items to attend to, requiring an array of tradespeople, and this can be both difficult and expensive for the builder to organize.

Consider who will do the rough-in and finish work. With a kitchen or bathroom, for example, the rough-in involves bringing the waste, plumbing and electrical services to the right places. So pipes and cables are installed in walls and under floors, and are left poking out. Typically, walls are then lined and plastered, and floors laid, before the finish work.

The finish work is where the cabinets, appliances, faucets, light fixtures, tiling and so on are done, connecting up to the pipes and cables that were set in place before.

Understand the importance of a building contract. A building contract is simply an agreement between a builder, who agrees to undertake a specific set of works, and a client, who agrees to pay a set amount of money.

There are many forms of contract, but the one that I most regularly use for residential projects has the drawings and schedules attached to the contract, so it’s clear what’s included and what’s not. The payment terms and so on are agreed upon upfront.

Embrace bidding. Competitive bidding is the process of getting alternative prices from different builders for the same work. Clearly, it’s crucial that the information against which they are pricing is absolutely clear and specific. (Otherwise how can two prices compare?)

I would generally send a project out to four or five builders for pricing. This involves the builder in a great deal of work, and it’s just not fair, in my opinion, to go to more than five. However, when the prices come back, it’s not at all unusual for them to vary between the highest and lowest by 100 percent or more, so it’s well worth going to at least three or four.

Be specific. I’ve mentioned it already, but I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be specific.

A set of drawings is a good start, but what about the structural detail — are you asking the builder to work this out? If so, make that clear or, alternatively (and, in my opinion, preferably), have the structural calculations done by an engineer before you ask for a price.