The Prepared New Home Builder

Apps to help you build your dream home

Building a home from the ground up can be fun and rewarding, but it can also be anxiety provoking. There is good news though with iPhones, iPads and Androids offering homeowners a tool that isn’t already in their toolbox, but is necessary to every home project; the app. Regardless of what stage you are at, apps offer design inspiration, budget management, building measurements, DIY tutorials, renovation ideas and so much more. Furthermore they are time savers that can help you cut costs and work more productively.


All great dreams start off with inspiration and so when you’re about to build, you can’t have enough of it. Houzz is your interior design app on the go and it’s filled with a large database of design ideas, creative concepts and product reviews. The app is free, easy to use and beautifully designed to create different rooms and browse ideas. To top it off, Houzz also gives you the opportunity to look up professionals in your area, like architects, builders and suppliers to help you complete your project

Palette Cam

Palette Cam is a great free tool for creating colour unique colour palettes and schemes using inspiration found in everyday life. The app allows you to grab colours from your camera or saved photographs – it will match them and generate individual HEX and RGB values (colour codes) for each shade. The built in zoom view gives you pixel level precision when picking colours making this a fabulous tool for creating colour schemes and making paint colour and textile selections.

Home Design 3D

Home Design 3D allows you to build a 3D model of your home so you can test out ideas before lifting a hammer or fetching the toolbox. The free app gives a floorplan and room layout which you can draw in 2D, creating openings, adding walls, changing the shape and orientation – even the thickness of the walls can be drawn up. Designing your home becomes quick and intuitive, with customised textures, 3D project modes and night/day function to show you exactly what side of the house the light will fall at different times each day. You can also select furniture and décor items to really give you a sense of the final feel.

iHandy Carpenter

For $2.99 you can have a protractor, ruler, bubble leveller, plumb bob and surface leveller all in the palm of your hand. Visually engaging, it’s the handiest and prettiest carpenter toolkit on the market to help you with any home project, big or small

Understanding Insurance When Building a New Home

Before you buy or build a home, make sure you can get insurance in the first place

One of the biggest mistakes I see when people want to build or buy a home is that they don’t even think about insurance until the last moment. The problem with this is there may be a reason why an insurance company won’t be able to insure a property or a home, and it’s obviously better to find out about this before you start the process.

Building a new home can save you tons of money on your homeowners policy

One thing I am happy to share with people who are building a new home is that insurance companies love new homes! Most of my clients are shocked to find out how inexpensive their homeowners insurance policies are when they build a new home.

You should know that your builder’s insurance covers your builder—not you

Just because your general contractor “has insurance” doesn’t mean you or your property are covered when your home is being built. I hear all the time from people who are building homes “my builder has an insurance policy on the property.” But that doesn’t satisfy me—I always tell them to ask the builder exactly what the policy is, and who is covered on it.

When shopping for insurance, beware of “Actual Cash Value” policies

Actual Cash Value policies (often abbreviated as “ACV”) are policies you should run away from. If you’ve ever heard a horror story about how someone lost a home in a fire and didn’t have enough insurance coverage to rebuild, this is usually because they had an actual cash value policy.

Look for ways to lower your insurance costs by building smart

There are all kinds of new technologies and building materials available in new homes now that can either reduce your potential for having an insurance claim, or even lower your insurance premiums. I recommend you find out what they are and take advantage of as many of them as you can.

Questions to Ask When Buying New Construction

The possibility of owning a brand new home has obvious appeal. Many new home buyers have the option of getting the home customized, making the property even more desirable. Additionally, with a new home, you don’t have to worry about all the problems that come with older homes – right?

Not really. In reality, there are a lot of things you need to be aware of when buying a new home, some of them issues that are unique to new construction. For this reason, I am going to tackle the most important questions to ask when buying new construction!

First and foremost, it is important to have a real estate agent representing you when buying new construction to help you ensure that you ask all the right questions. As amazing as it can be to own a new home, it can be equally frustrating to discover that your dream property doesn’t come close to meeting your expectations.

Who is the builder and what is their reputation? How long have they been building?

The abilities and experience of the builder will have a significant impact on the quality of the final product. You are spending a lot of money, so you deserve a well-built home. Ask around and talk to several different recent buyers, and maybe even a few other builders or related contractors in the area that will know the work of the builder you are considering. Understanding the builders reputation is one of the most important factors before committing to them.

What type of homes do they typically build?

Different builders specialize in various types of construction. It makes sense to choose a builder that has a proven ability to build the kind of home you want. For example, if the builder typically builds economy homes and all of a sudden jumps into selling luxury homes, this is something you may want to think twice about. There is so much that goes into building a luxury home. Building an economy home vs a luxury property are night and day!

Things To Consider When Designing Your Own Home

Your DIY dream could sour if you don’t think through the whole project and what to consider when designing a house. For instance, how many bedrooms should we have? Can we have a games room? And what about that study I was always promised?

Make sure your land is right for you

Site constraints are clearly going to affect the design of your home and could even mean added construction costs. Soil conditions are particularly important for slab and footing construction, and the wrong type of soil conditions can provide many difficulties for home construction

Make sure your living spaces face the right direction

A common mistake is simply facing your most commonly-used living spaces in the wrong direction, which is likely to result in a hot house in summer and cold house in winter. If you want the best of both, orientate your bedrooms and living areas to face the north in order to provide sun penetration to as many rooms as possible (get the advice of an architect!)

Think about how “open plan” you want to be with your design

Open plan is not the be all and end all, and can cause privacy and acoustic problems that are difficult to reverse, according. However, an open plan house can also bring many benefits; light flows much easier throughout the house and they generally look more aesthetically pleasing.

Make sure you design your house for your family

Unless you want to pay for some extensive renovations later on, make sure you analyse the way you and your family live and ensure this is reflected in the design of the home.

Reasons to Choose New Home Construction

New home construction or resale? This is a question many home shoppers ask when beginning their new home search. Which one is right for you can depend on many factors, including lifestyle preference and personal priorities.

Peace of Mind

Buying a new construction home can offer increased peace of mind. You see your home being built and know everything from the foundation to frame is new. When purchasing a resale, there is uncertainty as to what the inspection may uncover, causing added stress up to settlement and beyond.

Less Maintenance

One of the main benefits of buying a new construction home is that EVERYTHING is new. From the appliances to heating and cooling systems to the windows and the roof, everything in the home is new and less likely to need repairs. Taking care of home repairs requires time and can be costly. New home construction offers a low maintenance lifestyle that allows you to spend more time doing the things you love.

Increased Energy Efficiency

Energy efficient homes offer benefits to both the homeowner and the environment. Homes built today are subject to much stricter standards for energy efficiency than previously built homes. Energy efficient features, such as an airtight building envelope, properly installed insulation and Energy Star windows and doors, can help improve comfort in the home and significantly reduce your utility bills. In addition to saving money, homes built using the best in green building practices minimize the impact on the environment

Ability to Personalize

Even if you aren’t purchasing a custom home, most builders offer the opportunity to personalize home features. Personalization may include structural options such as the number of bedrooms and baths and/or selections options such as upgraded appliances, finish choices and more. If you prefer to have your home customized prior to moving in, then new home construction may be the right choice for you.