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your builder

by nat stevens

When there’s a problem


Over years of chatting to families about their home building experience, we’ve come to realise that the things you’ll wish you had done differently will be the things you never knew to look out for. Others had a feeling that something wasn’t quite right, but they just didn’t know what their alternatives were so they didn’t address the issue.

One of the biggest mistakes made by people who are having a home built for them is not speaking up when they know something isn’t quite right. It’s those situations where you see something and you think ‘Mmm, should that be like that?’ Or some people just didn’t have the courage to stand up and say, ‘Hey, that doesn’t seem right’ or ‘That wasn’t what we had planned.’ They are often your commonsense things.

Like lots of things in life, knowledge is power and being empowered means being in control. When you are in control you have courage and so it goes. The purpose of this journey is to give you that control. If something isn’t right, speak up. Trust your instincts, because they’ll never let you down.

build in oz case study

Let me tell you about a recent custom home build I was project managing.  One of the things I love about Custom Home building is that you can improvise along the way.  For example, on this occasion we realised that it would be better to have a single large impressive bathroom rather that a pokey toilet and pokey bathroom.  It was a change for the better.  Tick, great job!  We went on to shuffle other areas around.  Move a wall here a bit this way and a but that way.  It’s the builders job to make sure that if you change one thing, that another isn’t affected and it all flows as it should.  Well on this occasion, one slipped through the keeper.  We’d moved the back wall of kitchen 500mm.  However the domino consequence would be that there wouldn’t be enough space between the kitchen bench kitchen and the wall.  So effectively the kitchen needed to lose 500mm to maintain good design.  Anyway, the builder shuffled the kitchen but forgot to narrow the size of the kitchen leaving the bench far too close to a wall.

The trouble was that it was only on the day the slab was poured did I realise that this had been overlooked.  According to my builder, it was a bummer and nothing could be done now that slab had been poured.  He assured me that it would be ok.  Um, Sorry, did he just try to tell me that it would be ok?  Was he suggesting that I spend $250,000 of my hard earned money to have a kitchen bench in the wrong spot?  Ah, nope sorry, not on my watch.  The tradies spent the next day cutting into the slab to move the pipes the required 500mm to make it function as it always should have.

Would it have been ok?  Probably.  Would it have been perfect?  No, and what’s the point of doing something if you are going to settle for anything that’s less than perfect.  It’s not like your homes being donated after all.  You have the right to speak up.

Had this been my first build, or had I not had the courage hold steadfast, I might accepted the mistake and that area would have been a bugbear to me.  I would have hated putting in the market as anything less that perfect.  I would have failed in my quest to create the best liveable space for a family that I could.

Like lots of things in life, knowledge is power and being empowered means being in control.  When you are in control you have courage and so it goes.  If something isn’t right, speak up.  Trust your instincts because they’ll never let you down.

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