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One of the biggest challenges clients face during the building process is wanting to save money while also upgrading on things they like. Unfortunately, you can’t have it both ways so it’s important to carefully consider your budget at the beginning of the project to ensure you can achieve your desired outcome.

One of the best ways to do this is through Design + Build – a method of building that sees you work closely with a builder and designer or architect from the start of your project to lock in all design, layout and styling options. Making these decisions early on will help you get the most out of your building budget.

Avoid variations

Once you’ve locked in all of your design preferences, it can be tempting to change your mind once construction has begun. Perhaps you’ve thought about a new feature you want included in your new custom home or want to tweak the floorplan of your upcoming multi-unit development project. Maybe you’ve just changed your mind on your kitchen tapware?

Making changes to your building contract once you’ve signed on will mean your builder has to create a ‘variation’. Of course, you’re more than entitled to make changes, but you will be required to pay for anything that exceeds the initial estimated price or selection. Variations are the number one source of budget blowout in a building project and we strongly advise against these unless absolutely necessary. That’s why it’s important to take as much time as possible to finalise choices that will support your lifestyle and suit your needs and wants at the start of the process.

Focus on what matters to you

Your custom home or investment property is just that – yours. Don’t build a property in a style that’s trending simply for the sake of it. Take the time to Design + Build a space that will both achieve your goals and suit your lifestyle. If you’re building a new home, think about how you use your existing space and how it could be improved. What spaces are important to you? Do you need to consider more room for new family members, extra yard space for pets or spare bathrooms for guests?

If it’s a multi-unit development you’re embarking on, perhaps your goal is to sell immediately. In this case, we recommend considering the most cost-effective design and maximising your budget by using durable and long-lasting materials that are readily available within your budget.

Limit your selections

As with anything, too many choices can be a bad thing. Think about when you’re ordering dinner – the sheer number of options available online can be overwhelming – sometimes it’s easier to have a choice of only a few. It’s the same with building selections. Keep things simple and easy for yourself by only looking at a few options within your budget. This will ensure you can find a great option, without adding unnecessary stress to your build.

In saying that, don’t cut yourself off completely – the last thing you want is to discover a better choice in three months’ time and have to undergo a variation. Be smart about your decisions, do your research and you’ll maximise your budget in the best way possible.

Work WITH your builder, not against them

Of course, the key to any building project is to work alongside your builder, collaborating on your project from the very beginning. Your builder has many years’ experience and has likely worked on many similar projects to yours – even if it is a custom design. Ask them about material selections, trust their design advice and ask for their opinion when you’re unsure. Your builder is your number one asset when it comes to getting the most from your building budget.

If you’re looking to maximise your building budget on a custom home or multi-unit development project in Melbourne, get in touch with the expert team at RODA today!

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