Nailing the specification of your new home.

Building a new home is journey that needs to take into account;

  1. Choosing a design that maximises your section and it’s aspect
  2. Your budget , ie what you can afford
  3. Design features you really NEED – i.e 4 Bedroom / Ensuite / Level entry shower?
  4. Design Features that would be NICE if budget allows.

Tying down the fine specification detail is a bit of a balancing act between choosing what is allowed in the specification, budget and all the ideas from magazines you have read in the past where you thought “that’s a good idea” and “if I build again I would get that”.

The challenge is that as human beings we always like to stretch the budget and we also change our minds. Often we need to filter the options available. Finding a builder who is flexible is really important.

Get the specification in writing and the specification should be really detailed – 10 /20 pages long. It’s a big investment and you want to get it right.

At Hallmark we don’t want our client’s to say “That’s not what we thought we were getting”.

Having a dynamic and flexible specification system is really important to capture your ideas.

As you start down this journey ask you builder the following 4 questions:

1. Is your specification clear and does it show photos ?

Tip: Does the specification describe the item and does it have a photo? That way you know what you getting.

2. Can I make changes to the basic specification?

Tracking comments / changes to the specification

Sometimes it’s hard to remember if you have asked about a certain item, if there are alternatives and what is the cost implication. The original item may not be right for you or maybe another item would be better suited? Make sure it is really simple to track questions and comments

Every comment about every particular item should be recorded on that particular item of the specification to make it easier for everyone to keep up todate.

There is no point in trolling back through your inbox or sent mail about questions or changes required. Sending communications via email should be tracked straight in the specification, that way everyone is on the same page.

Tip:Can you track all comments on each item of the specification?
Will the system allow email responses to be tracked?

3. What will the change of xxx cost me?

In finalising most specification often there are items you may want to personalise. Changing from one item to another has the chance of the change being missed and what is the impact on the overall cost.

Tip: Does the specification describe the change item

  • Does it have a photo for you to make sure it is the right item?
  • Do you know what the cost of the upgrade item is?
  • Do you know what impact is to your overall budget?
  • Does the system allow you to have a change of heart and maybe revert back to the original item?

4. How will this change my budget?

More often than not changes of the specification can be an increase or decrease in the construction budget. You want to know where you’re at all the time:

You need to know:

  1. Base Price – Starting point
  2. Selection changes – If you want to personalise the specification
  3. Variations – when you change your mind in the course of the build (post contract)
  4. Total Price – Is the price still within your bank lending limits
  5. How much have you paid and more importantly how much more do you have to pay!

Our online system keeps you instantly up todate with the following information.

Tip: Does the specification describe the change item

Can you view this on line?

If the project is getting too expensive is it easy to go back to the original item?

All of the above assist in the process of making sure your home is all that you could want it to be and you don’t get a surprise at the end and ask “how did we get to that much?”

Once you know you have got your specification correct – that is a fundamental document in the building process, so spend some time on this.

At Hallmark we endeavour to make the specification really clear. Our online system allows you to personalise / tweak your own specification in the comfort of your own home over a quiet period, over a cup of tea or a glass of wine!

The benefit of our system includes:

  1. Online
  2. Photos loaded to make sure the item is correct.
  3. Model numbers recorded to enable to double check
  4. Technical information
  5. Communication is tracked against each line item, including normal emails
  6. Tracking of specification cost implications is really clear
  7. 24 / 7 communication with us

To assist you further in building your new home have a look at the following useful information:

“7 Things you must know”