What to consider if you're an owner builder

What to consider if you're an owner builder

So you are considering taking the plunge and becoming an owner builder. There are many challenges ahead, however, with the right attitude, tools and knowledge you can rise to the challenge. Here are some of the things to consider for a successful build.

Build your Knowledge Base

What do you know about building a home from the ground up? It is time to strengthen your knowledge because dealing with contractors in the construction industry is not always a walk in the park.
It is important to form effective relationships with contractors and trades people – after all, you’re going to need them to make your dream a reality. Don’t assume that trades people are always right. Learn about aspects of your build that match your vision and find builders and contractors who can get the job done.

You will want to acquaint yourself with the building requirements in South Australia. Luckily for you, the South Australia Government Website provides extensive information to assist owner builders and contractors. You will find resources on rules, regulations, energy saving, sustainability and much more.

Licensed Contractors

It is important to check that all the contractors you deal with are licensed. There are separate sections of the SA.gov website that provide all the information you need to come prepared when you engage contractors. You can check occupational licenses here, and find out who needs a license and more here.

Although working with licensed contractors is a legal requirement, there is another concern you need to consider. If contractors are not licensed, there is a very good chance you are dealing with an unqualified and inexperienced individual or company. The likelihood that the contractor is a charlatan who will take your money and leave work unfinished all increases if you don’t check credentials.

Budgeting for your Build

Getting what you want from your build will largely depend on how well you manage your budget. A budget should be realistic, first and foremost. Don’t be too conservative when you are estimating costs. In reality, you may have to pay significantly more for the features and services needed to build your dream home.

Leave as much wiggle room as possible, without leaving yourself broke. Remember, you still have to repay the finances you secured to complete the build. All too often, first-time owner builders don’t budget beyond the handover of keys. In construction, a build is all but guaranteed to cost more than expected. Factor costs such as insurance.

Homeowner Loans & Finances

How do you intend on financing the build? If you have the cash to pay contractors and take care of all the other costs associated with a new build, great. However, most people need to secure an owner builder loan in order to finance the project. It is important to research the different types of loans and rates and then compare them to your project needs. You do not want to run out of money or fail to meet the terms of the loan. Shop around and make sure to ask plenty of questions to determine which lender is the best fit.
You may qualify for grants as a new homeowner builder. Check the requirements on the Revenue SA Website. It is also important to check which taxes and duties you need to pay, including potential concessions on the Government Taxes and Concessions page.

Construction Inspections

Once your build is underway, you will need to hire a construction inspector to provide reports based on stage inspections. Separate inspections are carried out at each of the major construction stages to identify defects. For all your construction inspection needs, reach out to Houspect.