Protecting your home investment

In the wake of another big building firm collapse, architect Craig South offers insights on safeguarding your home for the future.

For those preparing to make one of the biggest investments of their lives, building a new home, it must be terrifying to read about the failures of building companies which go into receivership on a regular basis.

How do you protect yourself against this kind of risk and other potential perils when planning for your future nest?

Investing in a new home is such a huge undertaking. Many people will only do so once in their lives and are likely to be unfamiliar with some of the risks involved. As architects, we are keen to help our clients avoid potential pitfalls and to make the design process as pleasurable and productive as possible. As part of our service, we often provide guidance on how to select a trusted builder and also what to look for in a contract. The right builder will already have a strong track record and reliable working relationships with designers.

Who you choose to work with can make such a big difference to the final outcome. Selecting a build and design team with a strong and consistent record for success is the ideal for achieving a great home that will fit you and your lifestyle. It requires a robust, collaborative approach that demands clarity on key factors including the brief, the budget and design parameters.

Of course, the financial risks are not the only issues you will need to be mindful of on your journey towards your new home dream. Poor design, inadequate communication, inferior materials and construction techniques can also result in a home that falls well short of original expectations, with value negatively affected.

Protecting your investment from risk requires a multifaceted approach, and we believe the broader solution lies in building a home not just for today but for the future. A well-thought-out design is intrinsic to that goal, but it also means choosing quality, reputable materials that will endure. For example, cladding that has stood the test of time rather than the latest trendy product on the market. At the same time, it’s about having the discernment to embrace quality innovations where they offer real advantages.

There are so many options when it comes to deciding on your preferred building methodology, ranging from prefabrication to low energy use buildings. Good design should never be forfeited, but it makes sense to favour a low maintenance, low energy input home. It is part of futureproofing your investment to seek a design and build that will produce a house well above current code on features such as insulation and energy efficiency.

Risk will evaporate if the fundamentals are addressed to achieve sustainable, inspiring results. If you place value in the design process, you ensure this transpires into the end product, a home that reflects the significant investment that it is.

Published on Thursday, September 13th, 2018, under The Architecture


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