Find all the tips, advice and new home inspiration with our Home Blog
Know what you want or need in a loan and shop around. Fixed rates, variable rates, redraw capabilities and the length of the loan are all important factors. Make sure the structure of your loan is right for you straight off the mark – this is a long-term commitment.
Builder quotes can vary by thousands of dollars, so while it may be tempting to go with the cheapest option presented to you, it is important to realise that comparing quotes based purely on monetary value may in fact cost you more in the long run. This is because you are not always comparing apples with apples. Some builders may not provide you with all the expenses upfront, and there are many items that may be inclusive with one builder and non-inclusive with another. It is important to recognise what sort of variations may be affecting your quote including things like labour rates and the quality of the materials. Take the time to understand why your quotes may vary so you know what you are paying for.
Take the time to work out what you can really afford. Many people are excited to buy their first home, but forget the extra fees or underestimate the cost of actually owning one. Find out what kind of fees may be applicable to you including home insurance, stamp duty, moving costs, council rates and transfer fees. Also, be prepared for maintenance costs which will now fall back onto you.
Review your floor plan thoroughly. Work out where your power points and light switches are best positioned, consider the location of your bedrooms to noisy areas like the laundry or living room and always ensure you have plenty of storage.
READ MORE: AVOID COMMON FLOOR PLAN ISSUES
Increasing the standard ceiling height to just 2700mm can instantly offer a more spacious feeling in your home! Highly recommended by almost every builder, it is worth the initial extra cost.
Building a new home offers the opportunity to make massive savings by increasing your energy efficiency. This can be as simple as orientating your home correctly, installing eaves and double-glazed windows and ensuring your insulation is adequate, or you can look at more complex solutions such as solar power or energy-saving appliances. New homes offer new home technologies, so now is your chance to cut down on your energy bills and decrease your carbon footprint!
You can never have too much storage in your home! A clever builder should be able to help you find extra nooks and crannies where you can include additional storage space for your belongings. Finding room for extra storage is highly recommended and your builder will have some great tips on ways to avoid a cluttered home.
It can be very difficult to predict where the future will take you, however it doesn’t hurt to consider possibilities like future pets, children or family. Make sure the home you choose accommodates for future plans too, to get as much out of the home as possible.
Having finally built or found the perfect home, the last thing you want to think about is selling it. However, your home is an investment, and it is important to think about a time where you need to sell it. When searching for your home, consider what other typical home buyers may want and accommodate for this if possible. The location is also extremely important, and while your preferences should be paramount, thinking ahead is important too.
Are we overlooking something? Let us know in the comments below!
At Hotondo, we pride ourselves on releasing new home designs suited to a wide range of home buyers.
The 2017 release features two single storey homes and three double storey homes. Check out each of them below, and follow the link for more information!
Forever Retreat Range
Narrow in design, the Meridian is perfect for a smaller allotment. The bedrooms are all at the front of the home which maximises the available space in the living area at the rear, as well as providing much-valued privacy.
Forever Sanctuary Range
The Willowgrove is one of our new favourites. Featuring a large alfresco, home theatre and formal living area this home provides the perfect space for entertaining whether you’re enjoying a beautiful summer evening, hosting a movie night or simply enjoying your family’s company.
Forever Sanctuary Range
With reverse living you can take advantage of local views with the Esplanade 260. The master bedroom can also be found on the top floor along with a walk-in-robe and ensuite creating a perfect private sanctuary for parents.
Forever Sanctuary Range
The Esplanade 281 adds an additional bedroom for a larger family. The large kitchen features a stunning walk-in-pantry and island benchtop to help make cooking a breeze.
Forever Sanctuary Range
The Tarwin 301 is a massive family home where the ground level boasts a large open-plan kitchen, dining and family area that opens up to the undercover outdoor alfresco. There is plenty of space for a family in this design!
Have you fallen in love with any of the home designs? If not, Hotondo Homes has over 90 other flexible floor plans to choose from! You can check them all out at hotondo.com.au/new-home-designs/
To help you get started, we’ve put together 10 essential questions to ask your builder before you start your dream home journey. Be sure to have your questions written down, and if you are unsure about the answer, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification! Remember, this is perhaps the biggest purchase of your life, it being as well-informed as possible can help keep your mind at ease.
1 – Do you have a builder’s licence?
All registered builders have a builder’s licence, which is something they will be more than happy to show you.
2 – Can I see examples of your work?
Walking through a home that your builder has constructed is often the best way to see the quality of their workmanship. This could include visiting their display home (if they have one), a client’s open home or a home currently under construction. You can also ask to see their collection of testimonials and photos.
CHECK OUT OUR LATEST CLIENT STORIES HERE:
3 – What insurances do you use throughout construction?
Check what insurance cover your builder has throughout the construction process. Every state has different policies.
4 – How many homes are you currently building?
Find out how many homes your builder is building at once. This will help you gauge their professionalism and the attention that you will receive.
5 – When can you start and how long will it take?
Getting an idea about when construction will start on your home and when you will move into your new home is essential to know. This will help you plan where to live during the building process. However, it is important to remember these dates can never be guaranteed as issues out of the builder’s control, such as the weather, can cause delays.
6 – Do you have a range of home designs?
Most builders have a great range of home designs that you can choose from. These designs should also be flexible so you can turn their standard design into your dream home.
VIEW OUR FULL RANGE OF OVER 90 DIFFERENT HOME DESIGNS HERE
7 – What brands do you use throughout the home?
It is important to know the brands, reputation and products of suppliers that go into your home.
8 – How do I choose the fittings and colours of my home?
Putting the finishing touches to create the look and feel you want for your home is a fun process, but it can be stressful. A good builder will have someone to help you through this process to make it as easy as possible.
9 – Are you a local builder?
It is always best to choose a local builder. A local builder knows and loves the local area as much as you.
FIND YOUR LOCAL HOTONDO HOMES BUILDER HERE
10 – Can I be assured the price will remain the same?
Builders should offer you a fixed-price contract. Once that is signed you can be confident knowing you won’t have any nasty or hidden surprises.
What other questions did you ask your builder? Let us know in the comments!
Being able to choose appliances, colours and the interior design of your home is a fun and exciting way to help achieve this and make the home really yours.
From style tips to modern conveniences, we asked several industry experts what 2017 home trends we can expect to see in the upcoming year.
Although brick veneer or rendered brick veneer is still a popular façade choice, the future lies in designs that incorporate different materials, colours and textures.
“Homeowners are looking for a contemporary style with that architecturally-designed look rather than a manufactured one,” James Hardie Marketing Manager, Christian Hansen says. “We are seeing this mixed materials trend increasing in popularity.”
James Hardie Scyon Walls are a great way to achieve this modern look. Designed to stylishly brace timber frames, Scyon Walls open up a world of design possibilities by allowing individual personality and style to shine through with clever use of styles and colour.
“By mixing and matching Scyon Walls, a wide variety of styles and moods can be created,” says Christian. “Think outside the bland brick box of the past and embrace the design freedom of the future.”
Measuring in at up to a gargantuan 1000×3000, slab tiles are about to make an enormous splash in the home-design market, and is one trend that is guaranteed to stick around.
The elegance of stone slabs lie within the simplicity of their almost seamless laying style which minimises grout lines, leaving you to marvel in the natural movement of the stone.
“With today’s technology able to perfectly emulate the look and feel of natural stone, stone-look slabs are a durable, beautiful and practical alternative to an otherwise expensive design choice,” Beaumont Tiles Communications and Design Specialist, Christie Wood says.
“The added luxury stone walls provide is never questioned and with stone-look slabs the home can be transformed to a calming sanctuary.”
From external facades to bathroom walls, the slab look is an ever transformative addition to a home that is both minimalistic, modern and classically designed.
Clean, uninterrupted lines and a sleek finish are the go-to trend for kitchens right now. With these smooth cabinetry finishes, rangehoods have taken a new and exciting direction.
Undermount or undercupboard rangehoods have shot to prominence as an alternative to the otherwise bulky canopy style hood. These rangehoods are concealed in the cabinet base, and don’t intrude on the cooktop or users headspace.
“An undermount rangehood is perfect for those who love to cook but don’t like ducking and bobbing to avoid protruding canopy styles,” Omega Senior Product Manager Michael Sultana says.
There has also been a big shift towards Black Glass finish products rather than stainless steel, in particular for ovens and gas tops. Offering plenty of modern appeal, you will be seeing more of these products over the next year.
Tapware design is continuing to be refined with even thinner edges and lines become more prevalent.
While the trend has been predominantly applied to tapware, new casting techniques and materials have allowed other products to adopt the thin edge trend as well. This is reflected in vitreous china basins, baths and toilet seats.
“This theme is explored in both product and spatial design, with furniture and cabinetry construction adopting it as well,” Caroma Design Team Manager, David Giorgio says.
“We are seeing it everywhere, including items like thin stone benchtops.”
“The second major trend relates to texture. Timber laminates, both natural and synthetic are featuring coarsely textured grains. Machined marble tiles are appearing as feature walls, vertical surfaces and splash-backs, while brushed and satin metallic surfaces in a myriad of colours are being applied to tapware, giving surfaces that were once polished and glassy a new tactility.”
What do you think of our 2017 home trends and forecasts?
Converting a garage is typically cheaper than taking on a full-blown extension, but the downside is you will lose your indoor parking space (obviously).
There is much more to converting a garage to a bedroom than simply adding furniture. While it is considerably cheaper than an extension, renovators should prepare for significant upfront costs.
To that end, there are a few structural changes you will need to attempt first.
Proper insulation, flooring and waterproofing
Garages typically do not have the same insulation as the rest of your home would. When poor weather comes through, the tenant is likely to either freeze or fry depending on the season. Correctly insulating the room is your first step. You should also cover the cold concrete flooring with new carpet or floorboards. Nothing screams “this was a GARAGE” quite like tire treads and oil-stained concrete. Since garage floors are not elevated, you will also have to make sure water cannot enter the room. You may need to elevate the floor or have an expert check it out. Below is a garage that has been converted into an office:
Windows, lighting and power
Adding appropriate lighting will do wonders for the liveability of the room. If there are no windows, you will need to add some. Windows will increase the light and ventilation of the room, which will make it feel much more like a part of the home.
You will also need to arrange for an electrician to install power points for lighting, heating and cooling units if required.
If you are looking at three walls of brick, you may want to consider installing new walls. You may also consider building an insulated wall in front of the existing garage doors to complete the illusion the room is a part of the rest of the home. Just like a quick paint job can instantly lift a room, so too can adding standard plaster.
Once you have the structural elements ready, you can begin on the design. If you have a double garage you are generally going to have a fair amount of space to play with to add a bedroom suite, lounge suite or whatever your family requires. A garage typically does not come with built-in storage space, so allowing for free-standing wardrobes, drawers or shelving is wise. Don’t be afraid to move things around to look for the optimal and most efficient design.
READ MORE: How to create a bedroom you will love
Whenever adding extensions or additional rooms to your home you will need to contact your local council to obtain the correct permits, so be sure to do this straight away. If done correctly, a garage renovation can be a great benefit to your family. Be sure to get professional help if you are not confident, and do not cut corners to ensure your new bedroom will be a safe and comfortable one.
What do you think about converting a garage to a bedroom? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
While all three options have benefits and drawbacks, considering a knockdown and rebuild project can be highly beneficial and profitable in the long run. It can also save you from the stress and costs involved in renovating or extending your existing home.
You don’t need to compromise on your dream home. Committing to a knockdown and rebuild project will mean you have the opportunity to create a home to suit your current taste and lifestyle, without having to move away from a location you love. It will also mean your home will be in line with current building and design standards.
Whether you want a cutting-edge modern design, a coastal-themed home or something with a bit of country charm, you can build it to your liking. You can also include features in the home that support your lifestyle such as an alfresco area for outdoor entertaining, an open-plan kitchen, a dining and living area, a study nook or extra bedroom for visiting guests.
Here are three other compelling reasons to knockdown and rebuild your home:
A knockdown and rebuild project can be cheaper than extending or renovating your current home. Why? Because a big renovation often means working in and around existing structures which can be costly.
Building a new home on your current block of land can also save you money when it comes to your heating and cooling bills. Installing new energy efficient products and appliances can save you thousands. You will also have the chance to introduce passive home design elements, which can further influence your bills.
Renovating or extending your existing home can be a risky process because they can often run over time and over budget. It’s often impossible to know what lies under the surface of your home or land until you rip it up, therefore you can run into unknown costs and time delays.
You may also be required to upgrade existing aspects of your home during the renovation or extension in order to adhere to current regulations, whereas a new home will always be built to current standards.
Most importantly, you can stay in an area you love! The design of your home shouldn’t be a barrier to living in the area where you are already established. Stay close to the amenities, schools and people you have come to know, and build your dream home to complement your lifestyle.
Visit hotondo.com.au to find out more.