It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of building a new home.
For some of us, the potential of a blank canvas means hours of joy, researching and planning for your dream home, and for others, the pressure of wanting to get everything perfect can put a dampener on the whole experience.
So, you’ve decided the take the plunge, visited some (or quite a few) display homes, created your dream home Pinterest board, chosen a builder, fallen in love with a design, signed on the dotted line and are now eagerly awaiting your Prestart appointment.
For most of us, building a home is a delicate balance between your aspirations and your budget, and Prestart is where this struggle often comes to a head.
Here’s our guide on how to take the stress of out of your pre-start appointment.
1. Get Organised.
Your pre-start appointment is for choosing your colours and finishes and is not the time to make structural changes. Structural changes include altering ceiling heights, windows, moving internal walls, and bathroom and kitchen layouts, including any extra internal cabinetry you would like.
There are a few reasons why we urge against making structural changes this late in the game
If you’ve had to submit your home to the local council for planning, making structural changes at pre-start can add further delays to your planning application approval, meaning that it will take longer for construction to start on your new home. There are several kinds of plans that automatically require council planning approval, such as double-storey, unit and house behind house developments, and homes which have a boundary wall.
We recommend addressing any structural changes that you want in your home within the letter of quote with your Sales and Design Consultant so you know the cost upfront and whether you can service this within your borrowing capacity.
2. Think About The Future
Have you got your eye on a whole new house of furniture for your new home, or are you hanging on to a few key pieces which you are planning the layout of your new build around?
There are many free websites and programs that allow you to visualise how different finishes will look together, and allow you to upload existing floor plans to virtually furnish to help you get an idea of flow.
Check out this link to explore 10 of the best free online virtual room programs and tools.
Which brings us to the next item,
3. Power Points.
As per the Plunkett Homes specification, each new home comes with one double power point per room, and adding extra while your home is being built is the cheapest and easiest way to do so.
We’re sure it’s a proven fact somewhere, there is no such thing as too many power points.
If you’ve had a good, long think about the furniture placement in your new home, then it will make your power point placement a whole lot easier at Prestart.
Here’s a checklist of some areas of the home that can get overlooked
- Island bench
- Hallways, great for vacuum cleaning
- Where ever you are planning to do your ironing
- Where ever you are planning to have your Christmas tree
- Under the eaves for Christmas lights if you’re inclined to make your home extra festive
- Inside walk-in linen for charging appliances such as stick vacuum
- In the pantry for your microwave if bench space is at a premium
- Next to your bedside tables
- In your alfresco for lights or speakers
If your budget is tight and you absolutely can’t afford to throw in some extra power points during construction and plan to address this further down the track once the home is built, then prioritise locating the power points on your internal walls over external, as external walls are a whole lot easier to add later on.
4. Firm Up The Basics Before Your Appointment
Your Prestart appointment will generally take two to three hours to complete, however, appointments for larger and more complex homes may take longer. Remember, this appointment will be taking place during business hours and you may need to take time off from work to attend, so having as much information squared away before you arrive will make the appointment considerably quicker.
At Plunkett Homes’ Studio 34, you can explore the fully interactive selection centre allowing you to get a feel for the fixtures and finishes available to you, but when it comes to bringing it all together to see how it looks, that will generally happen at your chosen tile centre.
The tile centres have all of the laminate and stone samples that we have in Studio 34 available to match with the tiles available from that supplier, to help you visualise the how your bathroom or kitchen will look when completed.
You will be making your selections at the tile appointment, and bringing the information with you to Prestart to get it officially documented by the builder.
5. Absorb Everything
Looking at a display home is a great way to get inspiration, but not everybody is building a high-spec home with all the extras, however, standard doesn’t have to mean basic.
Take a drive out to newly built-up areas and cruise the streets to see what colour combinations appeal to you, and take plenty of photos. Our New Home Administrators have the experience to be able to look at a roof colour or a brick and be able to point you in the direction of the same if not similar material available in the Plunkett Homes specification.
It gets a little more complicated when matching the colour of render as we don’t store the full range of paint colour cards in Studio 34, so we recommend going to Bunnings or a paint shop and browsing through the colour sample cards with your inspiration photos handy, and bringing sample cards those to your appointment so you can be confident with your colour choices.
No doubt, your Pinterest account will be getting a work out in the lead up to your Prestart appointment, which is great for beautiful and inspiring images, but have you thought of searching the likes of houzz.com.au, realestate.com.au and domain.com.au for established, newly built homes that are for sale for colour combination ideas? The benefit of doing this is that the products such as laminate cupboards and flooring will generally be from Australian suppliers and you may be able to recognise the product on our Studio 34 selection wall, allowing you to easily replicate the look.
6. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Have you made a bold choice that is keeping you up at night? Chances are if it’s keeping you up all night stressing about whether you’ve made the right decision, then err on the side of caution and choose something that makes you feel a little safer.
Coming into your Prestart process full of doubt about your choices always leads to unnecessary changes, meaning extra paperwork, and in our experience, when people chop and change after their Prestart appointment, they end up back at their first choice anyway. So trust your gut!
7.Unleash your type-A personality
If you’re a big fan of lists, excellent. We encourage you to make a list of questions for your pre-start consultant about all aspects of your build and the process. There are no such things as silly questions, and the more transparency both parties have, the easier the whole building journey becomes.
Our New Home Administrators are there to guide you through this exciting process and have the knowledge and experience to help you choose the best products and finishes to help you live in your home the best way possible depending on your needs. By getting to know you and the way you live, they may be able to suggest finishes and products that you may not have considered.
Got a shedding pet? Then trying to keep those black carpets you were considering clean might drive you insane, better off going for a beige. Or got little kids? Be prepared to be constantly wiping down those dark matte kitchen cabinets. You get the idea.
Let our 117 years of experience help guide you into your perfect home.