Designed for Life

Avoid these Five Common Mistakes When Planning a New Home

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Deciding to Build a New Home

Building a new home can feel daunting. There are many factors and layers to consider, making it a complex decision-making process. In saying that, building something from scratch is often a really rewarding experience.

Many people rush their decision-making and don’t spend time doing the right research when building a new home. This not only makes for an unenjoyable experience, it can also lead to long-term dissatisfaction with your home.

To help you simplify your home building journey, we’ve broken down a few very common mistakes that people make, and how to avoid them!

Inadequate planning

As mentioned, building a new home can be complex and so it is very important to put the necessary time into planning. The three most important factors to consider during your planning process are; your lifestyle, your ultimate goal and how these two things should be reflected in your home’s design.

Considering your current and potential future lifestyle is very important in the initial stages of planning your new home build. This means that you’ll need to start thinking about what you and your family may want or need later down the track.

Do you have children? Are you planning to have children in the future? Do you work from home and need a home office? Will your elderly parents come to stay or one day, live, with you? Do you host BBQs on the weekend with friends? Is a movie room important to your family (…and sanity)? These are just some of the questions you will need to consider during your planning process to avoid ending up with something you don’t want, never needed or that is just impractical.

What is your ultimate goal or ‘end game’? Is this going to be your forever family home or is it just a stepping stone to your dream house? Are you building for investment only?

Perhaps you’re downsizing now that the kids have moved out, or building a home for your retirement – if so, is a multi-storey home a wise choice? Knowing what your ‘end game’ is will help you decide what is important to spend your money on and/or get you the best return on your investment.

Considering your lifestyle and ultimate goal will make it much easier to design your new home to meet your needs. Spend plenty of time considering the layout of rooms, placement of fixtures such as vanities, the kitchen sink etc. and final finishes such as tiles. All of the decisions that you have made so far based on your goals and lifestyle, should come into play when working out your home’s design. When this process is rushed, it can mean you end up paying a lot of money for something that doesn’t meet your expectations, so take your time.


This is a big one! It is extremely important that you review your budget carefully when you’re building a new home. There are some items that are often forgotten in these budgets, remember to factor in your site conditions (is your land sloping? Will you need retaining walls?), desired upgrades and finishes, and access to utilities. Lastly, once you move into your new home, you’ll need to have budget left over for furnishings.

Be wary of getting architecturally designed plans drawn up prior to speaking with a builder. On many occasions, we have had customers come to us with beautifully-designed plans and are left disappointed because the cost to build exceeds their realistic budget. This ends up being a waste of time and money for the customers, as more often than not, they have to get their plans redrawn.

Lastly, do your research. Find out if there are any Government grants or superannuation benefits available to you, such as the First Home Buyers Grant.

Be sure to add contingency within your budget, in order to cover any unexpected costs.

Does the home design suit the land?

Often, home buyers do a lot of research into what they want their home to look like and end up falling in love with a design that doesn’t suit their block of land.

So, should you choose a builder or purchase land first? Although there are multiple schools of thought, we recommend contacting a builder first. An experienced builder will be able to help you identify any site conditions that may restrict building, such as easements, or incur future building costs. A builder will also be able to highlight local council guidelines and codes that need to be adhered to when building your new home, such as boundary setbacks.

The fact remains, that without the knowledge that comes from working in the industry, it is difficult to pick a block of land that is right for you. Choosing a builder first will give you the knowledge and experience you need to pick a home design and a block that will meet your requirements.

Avoid taking shortcuts

Without the proper industry experience and know-how, taking shortcuts when it comes to your home build can become a dangerous game.

We have time and time again seen people fall into the trap of trying to build their house themselves (also referred to as ‘owner-building’). The reality is unless you have a lot of time, money and building expertise, this is unlikely to pan out successfully.

Building a home is a complex task that involves sourcing the right trades for the best possible price. Quality builders have strong relationships with their trades and suppliers, allowing them to buy at competitive rates that owner-builders are not able to access.

On top of all the build and design work, one must also consider inspections of works carried out, certifications for different parts of the works, various approvals required, the list goes on. The consequence of owner-building without the appropriate knowledge and resources is often a lot of wasted time and money.

Another shortcut to be wary of is foregoing items and inclusions during the build process, thinking it will save money or time. For example, not installing carpet or driveways, in the hopes of being able to move into the home sooner, and get a cheaper quote for these things later on. Most quality builders have long-standing relationships with their suppliers, meaning they are able to buy at competitive rates and offer solutions you may not otherwise have access to. It is worthwhile doing more research, before cutting any items from your list, to ensure the decision is right for you.

Choosing price over quality

We understand that budgets can be restrictive sometimes and people are going to want the most ‘bang for their buck’. That being said, it’s important to prioritise quality while still working within that budget by ensuring you’re getting a fair, right price for your home.

Cutting corners with subpar workmanship and cheaper materials will only cost you in the long-run. Doing so can be detrimental to the structure of your home, the longevity of products such as taps and ovens, shorter warranty periods and overall home maintenance. It may mean you need to sacrifice a particular upgrade or the extra space in the walk-in-wardrobe, but the end result will save you time and keep money in your back pocket!

Ultimately, you are in charge of satisfying your own requirements. Do your research, find a high-quality, trustworthy builder to work with and ensure you understand how your budget ties in with the things that mean the most to you when it comes to building your home.

Want to assure yourself that Vogue-Homes should be your builder of choice?

Contact Us to talk to one of our consultants who will be only too happy to answer any questions that you may have.