While The House Is Built

If you are getting a house built you can feel lost with not much to do between the contracts being signed and being ready to move.

Here are some suggestions for you to be doing during the wait.

Inspect Progress

I have always made at least weekly visits to inspect progress during construction.

It’s surprising how it gives you a better idea of what’s behind the walls. Y

ou might even discover some mistakes at an early stage and avoid time wasting corrections being needed later.

Growing Plants

With a new garden you will probably need lots of new plants.

One we way we saved money was by buying lots of plants in 50mm pots, some compost and 100mm pots.

We then replanted all the new plants in the larger pots and refilled the smaller pots with either seeds or cuttings from our garden.

To make it easier to water them I set up a very basic spray system.

By the time we were ready to move we had over a hundred reasonably sized plants ready to go.

Making Garden Features and Furniture

I quite like making mosaics so for our last house I made a number of mosaics on concrete paving slabs, which were then set in paths around the house.

These made interesting features.

I also used mosaics to make a small garden table.

Another project could be to build wooden benches and garden tables.

Start a Worm Farm

With most new houses by the time the builder has finished there isn’t much good soil left.

Although you can buy compost and top soil there aren’t many worms and other organisms in it.

Starting a worm farm can help.

To make mine develop faster I used to collect the coffee grounds and tea bags from the kitchen at work to add to the stuff from home.

You could also used paper from the shredder or ask you favourite café to save you their coffee grounds.

Build a Dog Kennel

If you have got a pet that spends part of its life outside you need to be sure its got somewhere to keep out of the weather.

You are getting a new house so why not make sure your pet gets looked after.

Make Pelmets

One way of keeping the heat in the house is to fit pelmets above the windows.

These, together with Curtains, stops the heat being drawn down the cold windows at night.

These can be reasonably easily made before your move and fitted as soon as you get possession.


What things have you made, or wished you had made, before you moved into a house?

Also see Settling In

Building Certification Inspections

All house builds have to be inspected to check on their compliance with the Building Code of Australia.

These Certification Inspections used to be carried out by the Local Council. Nowadays there is no requirement for a builder to use any particular certifier so many builders choose their own private certifier.

There are a limited number of inspections as follows:

All Houses

  • After excavation for, and prior to the pouring of, foundations;
  • Prior to covering of the frame;
  • Prior to covering waterproofing in wet areas;
  • For the issuing of the Occupation Certificate.

Additional Inspections

If required the following will be added to the basic four inspections

  • Prior to pouring any in-situ reinforced concrete building element ;
  • After the construction of a swimming pool is completed to inspect the child resisting barrier has been erected.


These inspections are a confirmation that the building meets a basic level of construction. They do not inspect every element of your house  and are not an indication of the overall quality of the build. (See Compliance not Quality for more information)


Building Inspection – Compliance not Quality

Guest post by David Swinson, BDC Building Design Compliance Pty Ltd

One of the key misunderstandings by new house buyers is the role of the building surveyor with respect to building quality of their New House.

Many consumers  believe that inspections by building surveyors against the minimum standards of the Regulations are also an inspection of work quality specified in the contract. This belief is incorrect, some of the key objectives of compliance with regulation are:

    • To protect the safety and health of people who use buildings and places of public entertainment; and
    • To facilitate the cost effective construction and maintenance of buildings and plumbing systems.

The House contract between the owner and the builder for a new house construction includes the following aims.

  1. To provide for the maintenance of proper standards in the carrying out of domestic building work in a way that is fair to both builders and building owners; and
  2. To enable building owners to have access to insurance funds if domestic building work under a major domestic building contract is incomplete or defective.

An example of the differences would be:

If a builder ran out of bricks during the project and finished the wall off with another type of bricks.

  • As far as the building surveyor was concerned the wall would be structurally sound and would therefore meet the objectives of the regulations.
  • As far as, you the owner, is concerned a wall of two different types of bricks would definitely not be what you required.

Your remedy however, would be through your building contract, not the regulations.

David is the author of the informative Building Regulations Blog where you will be able to find more articles on Building Regulations Issues


For more posts about quality see Gettting It Right