Brisbane Building Designers and builders are busier than ever before – COVID-19 hasn’t slowed demand (despite rising costs and supply issues). If you’re one of the many contemplating a new build, an extension, or a renovation (after truly getting to know your home and your family’s needs and wants during the lockdowns), here are our top tips for making your design and build process smooth, cost-effective, and time-efficient…
- First – be realistic re: your ‘move in date’. This will allow you to properly enjoy the building and interior design, selections and build process, without worrying about leases ending, timing of booked overseas trips, etc
- At the very beginning – hire an experienced Building Designer who has a significant portfolio of work and great client references. Industry award wins are obviously a strong indication of high quality also. A seasoned Building Designer will help you negotiate the exciting design period and achieve your project goals with ease and expertise. We also recommend appointing a Building Designer who offers a Coordination Service to ensure your building design progresses through each of the complex building approval phases, and that any issues are resolved swiftly.
- If appropriate, consider a smaller initial renovation, as part of a master plan (drawn by your Building Designer) that can be executed at a later stage. This will allow you to get some of the most urgent building work done in manageable pieces. Whilst overall you might end up paying slightly more, you will find this strategy far less intrusive on your day-to-day life.
- Ask your Building Designer for builder recommendations, as well as friends for referrals. You might even wish to pop a note in a letterbox at a home you admire and ask who built it. Once you’ve selected your builder – and there are many brilliant ones in Brisbane – book a spot in advance with a good lead time between signing the contract and build commencement. Waiting means your builder can plan and book trades, and order materials in advance. Allowing for delays on materials whilst simultaneously waiting for your builder to schedule your job will help these two aspects align more closely.
- Work in consultation with your builder and engineer during the design phase to limit additional costs, such as minimising spans of beams and using readily available and local (Queensland) materials.
- Similarly, engage an experienced Interior Designer who knows the best products at the best prices (with warranties), and where to purchase them. Using an Interior Designer will ensure you can avoid provisional cost amounts (estimates) from your builder for specifications that you can have a fixed-price contract on, thus avoiding variations.
- Have your Interior Designer provide a Fixtures, Fittings and Equipment (FF&E) specification document to your builder. This will prompt you to choose your fixtures and fittings early. Making selections at the last minute will often mean less choice, higher costs, and poorer-quality items. Having your selections completed close to the beginning will also allow for build times and procurement delivery times to align more closely.
- Maintain great relationships with your Building Designer, your builder, and your trades throughout the process! Respect and kindness go a long way, especially in unprecedented times. We also recommend limiting drive-bys etc – work is always progressing – whether it is obvious or not, and builders receive no benefit from purposefully delaying your project. Sit tight (within reason)!
- And lastly, at the pointy end, consider staggering non-essential work – i.e. cabinetry that can wait, and nice-to-have landscaping elements. Paying more to have things done ASAP is when costs creep upwards.
To end, a drive around Brisbane will see many construction sites progressing and presenting some standout building design choices, despite the pandemic. In starting your home project we recommend patience, planning, a great attitude and a phenomenal Building and Interior Design team. We can certainly help with the last two. Click here and let’s get started.