Building a home: Running your own residential project

The way you manage your residential building project will determine whether your new home is a dream or a nightmare, writes Adelaide Build Assist’s Anthony Buckingham.


If you’re looking to build your dream home, and leading the development of the project yourself, no doubt there’s many questions running through your head.

  • Where do I start?

  • How do I choose the right builder?

  • How much will it cost?

  • How will my vision come to life?

Among many other considerations.

Here’s just a few key tips to think about before taking the lead on the development of your home.

Consider every detail

You’ll need to play the role of project manager and designer, and this can be very complex for someone without construction experience. Before even considering a builder, it will be up to you to engage necessary services like engaging a house designer, surveyor, engineer to name a few, and that’s even before you talk with builders about getting an accurate quote.

If you don’t supply the most thorough of plans and other vital information, or just miss a few details, the quotes you will receive from builders may not be accurate, putting you at serious risk of cost and time blow outs.

And don’t forget to get all of the necessary council and building approvals! Do you get your approvals before or after you talk with builders, what if you get your building price which is above your budget and you already have council approval? What do you do then?

Finding and choosing a builder

You need to find the perfect builder for your project. You need to explore a variety of construction companies, and understand why they are a fit for you (or not). Do they have a track record of success? Credibility? The people capable of achieving your building dreams? Of course, getting a referral from a trusted friend or confidant can be a great start, but unfortunately your project will only be as successful as how you handle your documentation - if this is poor, you’re more than likely going to have issues on site.

Using your complete plans and details, you will then need to invite these firms to present a quote for your project. But the question is - how can you ensure that the prices received are for the same work? Just because one price is higher than another builder’s price, that doesn’t mean their price is more expensive, depending on the works that they have included as part of their price.

Typically this is where a building advisor takes control, tendering the project to trusted builders and ensuring the prices are equalised and therefore properly ranked from the least to most expensive.

Then, at the make or break moment when you have to choose a builder, you should be fully informed to make the right call.

Communication plan

As you’ll need to play a project manager role, you’ll need to communicate with your builders and other experts every step of the way. You’ll need to be on site, you’ll need to be available and you’ll need to be decisive. A misunderstanding could be costly.

Does this sound daunting?

Well, it is. But it doesn’t have to be. You can access an experienced building advisory service, who can take control of your project development from start to finish.

This includes gathering the required documentation, plans, designs and approvals to be able gain an accurate quote, as well as all of the intricacies of successfully executing these requirements to finally deliver the home of your dreams – on time and on budget.

The development of your new home should be a fun and exciting experience, and it absolutely can be when in the hands of an expert.

Adelaide Build Assist

ABA is a premium bespoke building advisory service. Contact us for a free, no obligations discussion about your needs.