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  • Lauren O'Grady

Ready to kickstart your project but feeling unsure about where to begin



Have you spent countless months or even years scrolling through Instagram and Facebook, dreaming about your ideal home? Perhaps you've found yourself in heated debates with your partner about your current living situation or felt envious of friends or family who have embarked on home building or renovation projects while you've remained stuck in indecision.


Many people hesitate to take the first step due to a lack of knowledge and fear. The fear of making such a significant investment and entrusting others with the task can be daunting, especially when coupled with a limited understanding of the building process. It's understandable, given the numerous horror stories about unscrupulous builders.

However, taking the right initial steps can profoundly impact your project experience and the final outcome of your home. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to get started:


Step 1: Create a Detailed Brief

Whether you're embarking on this journey solo or with a partner, start by creating a comprehensive brief that outlines your objectives for your new home. Jot down your wants, needs, and desires. Identify your top priorities, whether it's sustainability, spacious indoor/outdoor living areas, or high-quality finishes. This step fosters clarity and opens communication channels, particularly if you and your partner have differing ideas.


Step 2: Engage a Builder First.

Seek Builder recommendations from friends, family and building communities like @livelifebuild. Avoid construction companies with in-house designers or 'Design and Build' models, as they may prioritize the builder's interests over yours. Meet with numerous builders and choose someone who is open, honest, friendly and informative. Check out my other Insight "

Your chosen builder will facilitate your connection with an architect or designer, allowing you to engage with them separately. Together, you'll form a cohesive team to develop plans that align with your vision and importantly the dreaded budget.....


Step 3: Establish a budget early on.

Now that you've assembled an excellent team, it's time to consider your budget for the entire project. Determine the amount you're comfortable investing. Are you prioritizing travel or dedicating your resources to your home? Is this project a stepping stone or your forever home? Conduct thorough research to ensure you're not overcapitalizing, especially if it's a renovation. Be honest about your budget to avoid designing a home beyond your means.



Here are some common mistakes made in the initial steps:

  • Paying a lot of money for complete Architectural drawings before engaging a builder.

  • Setting an unrealistic budget.

  • Failure to disclose the budget to the designer and builder.

  • Neglecting to consult a financial advisor about available finance options.

  • Using square meter rates to compare builders, which is impractical for custom projects.

You're all set with your team in place and a budget in mind, empowering you to continue browsing through ideas and photos with confidence. Move forward with your planning, knowing that you've laid the groundwork for your project.

If 2024 marks the beginning of planning your dream home, don't hesitate to contact our expert team at L. O'Grady Constructions.

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