Planning, designing and building your new home should be an enjoyable journey. In this simple step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how easy and stress-free building a new Webb & Brown-Neaves home will be, with each stage clearly explained so you know exactly what to expect before you set out on this life-changing journey. We hope that providing you with as much information as possible ensures you can relax and enjoy this special time with our experienced team, knowing there’s no nasty surprises around the corner!
Step 1. Determining Your Budget
Knowing your budget right from the beginning is the single most important part of the construction journey - it will determine the ideal home size, specifications and design for you. How much will my dream home cost? There are a number of different costs throughout the process of building and finishing your home. Here are some elements you’ll need to budget for:
- The land: When buying a block, remember to factor in stamp duty and settlement costs on top of the price of the land.
- Site works: To prepare your land for building, you will likely need to demolish existing buildings or vegetation, level the site, build retaining walls, and connect services such as water, power and gas. The cost of completing site works is dependent on your block size, slope and other factors.
- The house: When visiting display homes, ask the Consultant about which fixtures and fittings are included in the display home price. If they’re not, you may have to spend more to achieve the same quality home. If you’re making significant modifications to a plan, or creating an individual design, allow for extra engineering costs. The finishing touches In addition to the cost presented by your builder, there will be finishing costs required to complete your home. Some internal finishes include internal wall painting, window treatments, air conditioning and heating, additional lighting or power points and any upgrades on fittings. Some external finishes include landscaping and reticulation, pools, water tanks and outdoor kitchens. Ask your builder if they include any finishes in their standard home cost. Also consider the cost of furniture and decorating if you plan on upgrading.
- Living arrangements: Depending on your living situation during the build, you will be making rental or mortgage repayments at the same time as building payments.
We recommend you speak to an independent broker about your finance situation before we begin working on your home. We can connect you with our trusted partners at Resolve Finance early in your home building journey. Resolve Finance are experts in property finance, winning numerous industry awards for their products and service. They can help you optimise your financial situation and decide whether building with Webb & Brown-Neaves is right for you.
Step 2. Designing Your Dream Home
This is when your dream home vision starts to take shape. We recommend you get your creative juices flowing by visiting display homes, taking photos of elevations when you drive down suburban streets, talking to family, friends and work colleagues and exploring building forums. To get things started, we’ll introduce you to your Building & Design Consultant (if you haven’t already met). This is the person who will work closely with you to achieve the best design, price and specifications for your home. Your consultant will first inspect your block to understand its surroundings, orientation, shape, size and potential issues. If you haven’t bought your block yet, it’s a smart idea to make this site inspection a condition of your block purchase to avoid potentially costly site works later down the track.
To book your inspection, simply call your consultant and we’ll usually be able to complete it within 24 hours. Next we’ll sit down with you and go through all your research, ideas and inspiration to craft a clearer vision and list of priorities for your new home. From here, there are two ways to get the right design for you:
1. Standard design: We’ll explore our vault of over 2,000 designs to see if we have an existing floorplan that matches your vision. Make a few tweaks to make the plan yours and you're set.
2. Custom design: If we can’t find a plan that suits your block, orientation or needs, we can call on our in-house design team to develop a customised design. This effectively involves drawing a whole new plan from the ground up, including elevation designs and 3D modelling.
Step 3. Planning & Preparing Your Building Contract
Once you are completely happy with your home design, you’ll undertake a six-stage preparation process before we start building.
We’ll write up a detailed quote for you to consider, which includes the cost of planning fees, shire charges, site costs and all other costs relating to the construction of your home.
2. Preparation of Plans Agreement
If you’re happy with the quote and ready to proceed, we’ll provide you with a Preparation of Plans Agreement to sign. This document gives us your permission to complete all the technical planning for your home’s construction.
3. Partial deposit
Once you have signed this agreement, we’ll ask you to pay a 3% deposit (less the 1% custom design charge if paid earlier). This covers all the costs associated with the lodgement of planning, engineering and assessments. This deposit is nonrefundable, but does not mean that you are obliged to build with Webb & Brown-Neaves.
From here, we’ll start work on planning applications, working drawings, engineering, obtaining energy ratings, and preparing your contracts and addenda. Meanwhile, you will have a ‘preparation meeting’ with your dedicated Prestart Consultant. This meeting is designed to provide you with all the information you need to prepare for your upcoming Prestart meeting (the next step). At this stage, all you need to do is familiarise yourself with the types of products available to you so you can get a feel for the things you like.
Webb & Brown-Neaves has two distinct levels of specifications for you to choose from as a general basis:
1. Signature specifications – our standard level of options for fixtures and fittings. This includes a range of Webb & Brown-Neaves approved quality products.
2. Display specifications – the same level of specifications that has been showcased in the display home itself. If you choose to build one of our display home designs, you will be able to physically see and experience the level of specification included in its price.
5. Presentation of Proposal
After all these details have been sorted out, we’ll meet with you in person to present:
- Working drawings - these are detailed plans that show everything about the construction of your home; from how the house will sit on the block to the cabinets in your kitchen and bathrooms.
- Contract - this is a legal document supplied by the Housing Industry of Australia (HIA) - an independent body that ensures the contents of the contract reflect a fair process for both the client and the builder.
- Addenda - this is a document outlining the range of fixtures and fittings that are included in the price of your home. It gives you assurance of the level of quality, brands and product ranges that you can choose from later down the track. When you get to the Prestart stage, you can then select the individual items with the help of our Interior Designer and your Prestart Consultant.
6. Pay Deposit
Once these three documents have been signed, all that’s left to do is pay the remaining 3.5% of the required 6.5% deposit. You are now officially building a Webb & Brown-Neaves home!
Step 4. Prestart (The Selection Stage)
This is where the fun of prestart really begins! We’ll arrange a prestart meeting where you’ll work with your dedicated Prestart Consultant. They’ll help you choose the finer details of your home to ensure you get the look and feel that best suits you.
Before your prestart meeting, you should:
- Speak to your financial institution and be aware of what’s required from the prestart meeting to get formal finance approval. Banks need to be informed of all prestart variations when formalising finance approvals to finalise their paperwork. You will need to obtain formal finance approval before the construction of your home commences.
- Meet with your external contractors for items you are arranging yourself (like your pool, air-conditioning or landscaping) so you can provide their plans to us at your Prestart meeting. We will use these plans to include all the necessary information on our construction documents.
After this preparation has occurred, it’s time for your Prestart meeting! Your Prestart Consultant will work closely with you to make sure every selection for your home is just right, as they’re the key to expressing your unique style. This is your chance to go through all of our products in the Webb & Brown-Neaves showroom (or display home) with your Prestart Consultant to help you make the right choices. By the end of the meeting, all your selections will be made for your new home, or if necessary a follow-up appointment is scheduled.
Any changes or additions to your contract during prestart will become part of your documentation by way of a variation. Your dedicated Prestart Consultant will prepare the variation document through the following process:
1. Collate your variation items following the Prestart meeting.
2. Obtain a price for these changes. If you’re happy with the price, you authorise the variation document by signing it.
3. Amend your plans to reflect these changes.
4. Present you with the revised final plans & addenda. For simple variations, the variations process can be completed within a single day. For longer or more complicated variations, the process can take up to two weeks and therefore may affect your construction timeline. If the total value of your prestart variations exceeds $20,000, then this amount will be added to your contract value and paid at key stages throughout the building process. (Please see step five for more information on the payment schedule). If the total value of your prestart variations amounts to less than $20,000, the amount will simply be added to your final payment at handover.
Step 5. Building Your New Home
Your new home is now on the verge of coming to life! We'll introduce you to your Site Manager and Client Liaison Manager, your main points of contact during this stage. You'll receive a fortnightly phone call from your Site Manager with updates on the progress of your home. Your Client Liaison Manager is there to answer additional queries particularly around the administration side of your home. At key stages in the building process, you will be required to pay a percentage of the total value of your contract (rather than paying one large sum). These are called ‘progress payments’ and help cover the cost of work that has been completed at different points. This is where using Resolve Finance will really help you, as they’ve worked closely with Webb & Brown-Neaves for years and are integrated with our processes. They know exactly how much money is needed and when it is needed, which means they can help arrange smooth delivery of your progress payments. The following table shows you exactly how much you will be required to pay at each stage.
|Key stage of your home’s construction||Progress payment required|
|Your ground slab is poured and set.||10%|
|Plate height: when your ground floor brickwork is complete.||10%|
|Second storey slab (aka suspended slab) is poured and set.||15%|
|Second storey plate height: when your second floor brickwork is complete.||15%|
|Your roof cover is installed.||15%|
|‘Lock-up’ stage: work starts on the inside!||15%|
Once these key construction milestones have been reached, we get started on all the technical elements like internal carpentry, floor and wall coverings, plumbing and electrical work. This is where you’ll see the personal style of your home really come to life. Once we’ve completed the finishing touches, all that’s left to do is meet your Site Supervisor at your new home for a prehandover meeting. You’ll have the opportunity to inspect your finished home and ensure you are 100% happy before we start the official handover process.
Step 6. Handing Over the Keys to Your New Home
Now that you’re happy with your finished home, we’ll hold an official handover at the Webb & Brown-Neaves office. Here you’ll pay the final 13.5% of the contract value, and we’ll handover your keys, homeowner’s manual and more. Congratulations, you have built your very own Webb & Brown-Neaves home! Looking to the future, you can rest assured knowing that your Webb & Brown-Neaves home has a 10-year structural warranty (far exceeding the required six years). So in the unlikely case that maintenance is required, you’ll know we’re there for you.
We'd love to have the opportunity to answer any further questions you may have about the new home building process with Webb & Brown-Neaves. You can get in touch with a Webb & Brown-Neaves' Building & Design Consultant by visiting a WB Display Home or simply call 6365 4060 or click here to get in touch.