Kassy Savage Building and Design Consultant

The A To Z Guide To Building Your First Home

Kassy Savage Building and Design Consultant

There’s something truly special about building a new home, especially as a first home buyer. From choosing the perfect design for your lifestyle to seeing your dream home come to life, there’s nothing quite like it. Below we look at some of the steps in building your first home.

Assessing Blocks of Land

Each block has unique natural features, slopes, contours and shapes. Designing a house and then making changes to the block to incorporate it is expensive. It’s better to choose a home design with the features of the block in mind to save on construction costs. Keep existing mature plants where possible instead of removing them in favour of new landscaping.

Construction Stages

A building project typically occurs over several stages:

  • Preparation - Includes plans, permits, insurance, etc.
  • Base - Includes concrete slab, base brickwork, etc.
  • Frame - Housing frame built and approved
  • Lock-up - Roofing, windows, doors, exterior and insulation completed
  • Fixtures - Includes cupboards, appliances, plumbing, electrics, etc.
  • Completion - House is painted, fences are up and site tidied.

How long each stage takes depends on the specifics of each project.


Whether you have significant savings, hold investments you can cash in or have other money you can access without incurring debt, using your own money to build a home has a lot of benefits. It’s more straightforward and less risky than borrowing. Paying out of your pocket is a rare luxury for most Australians.

Some of us may be able to borrow money from our family but many of us need to borrow from a professional lender. There are two key options when borrowing to build a home:

Standard Home Loans

Standard home loans are simple financial products. You borrow a specific amount of money from a lender or financial institution and then repay the debt with interest over an agreed term. The problem is that construction projects often involve delays and unexpected costs. Personal loans don’t have the same flexibility as construction loans to deal with these issues.

Construction Loans

When you’re building a new home, your finance needs are different to buying an existing property. Construction loans are designed to reflect these needs. Rather than receiving a lump sum, these loans are paid out periodically by the lender at different stages of the construction. This means you only pay interest on the money you use.

Our MyChoice Home Loans team are specialists in construction home loans and can tailor a package to suit your unique requirements.


Taking orientation into account when choosing your floor plan offers big savings with energy efficiency and creates a comfortable home in all seasons. Position living areas and windows north to ensure good natural light and warmth when the sun is at a lower angle during winter. In summer, the arc of the sun will go above the house, minimising the number of direct rays hitting windows.

Contact McDonald Jones Homes to Build Your First Home

If you’re interested in building your first home in ACT or NSW or just want to find out more about the process, explore our house and land packages or get in touch with the experts at McDonald Jones Homes. We also offer financing for new builds to make the entire process as smooth and convenient as possible for you.