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Handy hints for the owner builder

20 July 2017

Choose a home design that suits the size and setting of your block. Generous acreage with an expansive outlook, for example, deserves a decent-sized home. You don’t want to undercapitalise your property.

Have a secure area where you can store the first delivery. Galvanised steel frames won’t go rusty, but you need to be sure everything is safe and clean. Try to store the materials in the reverse order that you’ll need them, so that you don’t have to search for or shift components to get at what you want. Our drivers know the best way to store your materials, so talk to them before they unload the truck.

Some people build a storage shed, workshop or garage before they start their home. This is a good idea as it’s a great place to store your tools and hardware. The second kit delivery isn’t such a concern, as it can be stored under cover in your locked-up home. Read the manual entirely through to familiarise yourself with the process before you commence building. That will give you an idea of the scope of the project. Then start again at the beginning.

Assess what your skills are and what tasks you feel happy undertaking. Some owner builders enjoy learning new skills and have even gone so far as to excavate their own foundations. Others prefer to leave these tasks to specialised tradespeople. You can do as little or as much as you choose.

Consider hiring tradespeople to help with larger tasks such as roofing, cladding and plasterboarding, especially if you are building one of our larger designs. You can partner with the tradesperson, or focus on other parts of your home while the tradie makes short work of these sometimes lengthy jobs.

A strong start on the home at the end of winter or early springtime will yield benefits later on when you are working undercover during the hottest months of summer.

For our larger homes, a portable scaffold can be a good idea for erecting the roof trusses, rather than a stepladder that has a limited working range and must be constantly shifted.

Don’t hesitate to call one of our technical staff, if you get stuck during the building process. They’re there to help and available Monday to Friday. A quick phone call can often sort out a problem that will seem straightforward in retrospect.