Building your new home is a complex project that involves a large number of people and moving parts. While there are a number of things you can do to make sure it runs smoothly, by far the most important is emphasising great communication.
Clear communication is the difference between a seamless and enjoyable build and a project riddled with problems with no-one on the same page. This is where your choice of builder is so important – a great builder will create an open dialogue that allows you to ask questions or voice concerns at any stage of the project. Consistent updates on the progress of your future home will also give you the confidence that everything is progressing as it should.
At Christou Homes, we recognise the importance of open communication, keeping you updated on key activities and letting you know when decisions need to be made. We are also available to answer questions anytime during the building process, with your project manager just a phone call away.
Keep reading to find out how great communication can lead to great new home builds.
Building your new home requires placing a large amount of trust in your building partner – as the experts, they are responsible for making sure your vision is executed to the highest standard. However, the building industry comes with its own terminology and jargon that can often be difficult for those outside the industry to understand or process. This is why it’s so important for your chosen builder to be straightforward, upfront and clear when describing their services, processes and any particular challenges that may arise.Their assurance in detailing your desired results, financial plan, and schedule will instill the certainty that they can complete your dream home according to your agreed-upon specifications, within the specified budget and timeline.
If a builder employs ambiguous language, leans heavily on construction terminology without offering explanations, or evades your questions altogether, it’s crucial to take heed. This could serve as a warning sign for potential hidden expenses, prolonged timelines, and an overall lack of dependability in the construction process.
How can you avoid this?
The best building projects start with the establishment of communication expectations – all involved parties should make clear their preferred method of communication, how often there will be updates and who is the right contact for questions or concerns. This will help to manage expectations for both builder and client, resulting in a more enjoyable building journey.
At Christou, we conduct dedicated pre-construction meetings to outline our communication protocols and introduce you to our client portal. In this session, we’ll walk you through the crucial phases of the project, inform you about when to anticipate portal updates, and determine your preferred mode of contact, be it email, phone, or the portal itself. Additionally, we’ll set dates for site visits, allowing you to witness the progress of your project firsthand.
From vision to reality
You know what you want your dream home to look and feel like, but no builder is a mind reader – this is where great communication really shows its value. Any building project should start with in-person meetings where you can openly discuss your needs and wants of your home, and your builder can in turn, listen to your ambitions and confidently translate your ideas to reality. Through this and subsequent meetings, emails or phone calls, they can offer advice, recommend strategies and techniques to create a home that ticks all your boxes.
Another perspective to consider is the potential consequences when lines of communication are either absent or break down. Vague project specifics and objectives are a guaranteed formula for misunderstandings and errors, ultimately leading to a home that falls short of your envisioned outcome. This scenario is likely to occur both at the project’s outset, as you define the desired look and ambiance of your home, and as it progresses, especially if adjustments are needed. This can result in extra expenses and potential disputes.
How can you avoid this?
It’s likely that there will be some change throughout the project. At Christou Homes, we follow best practice, first discussing the changes in person or over the phone so you can ask any questions and develop an understanding of why they are happening and any potential knock-on effects. Then, we document everything we’ve discussed in writing and include any answers to the questions you may have had, as well as any necessary changes to the project budget and timelines. This way, all expectations are managed before they become an issue.
The best new home building projects sit on a foundation of tried and tested processes that ensure a high-quality end result. Communication is the key to these procedures running smoothly, and one of the best ways to encourage this is through a client portal. This portal acts as a central database where every involved party can refer back to at any point in the project, with a copy of all relevant records.
Regular meetings and check-ins complement the portal, providing an opportunity for everyone involved to catch up on progress, address any issues and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Without these established check-points, there’s a risk of your builder ‘running away’ with your project, doing what they please instead of what you’ve paid them to do. With no updates, or access to key information, it may not give you the confidence that everything is going to plan…and in some circumstances, that might be exactly what’s happening!
How can you avoid this?
At Christou Homes, our bespoke client portal eliminates the need to chase our builder for updates, with all the information you’d ever need in one place. This is paired with an onsite camera, which allows you to conveniently view the progress of your home construction from anywhere in the world.
Delays are one of the most avoidable, devastating events that can occur when constructing your new home. Clear communication is one of the easiest ways to prevent them from happening – if the client, builder, architect, trades and any other required parties are talking to each other regularly, providing updates and answering questions, this reduces the risk of your project taking more time than it should. If everyone knows exactly what they are meant to deliver and when from the early stages of the project, there’s less chance of things going wrong or being missed.
How can you avoid timeline delays?
The crux lies in having a clear, transparent grasp of the entire process. Prior to commencing construction, we dedicate time to walk you through every facet of the build, ensuring you’re informed about the expected timelines and milestones. We also explain exactly what we’ll need from you and when – in some cases, delays can come from selections not being made on time, or feedback not given. While we’ll never rush you in making a decision, communication is a two-way street, so we do our best to make sure you know when we need something from you.
No budget blowout
Crossed wires can spell disaster for your budget when building your new home – with no clear guidance, there’s a risk of it blowing way out of proportion. Clear communication is key to ensuring that your budget is executed correctly. Your builder should provide transparent and detailed cost estimates and payment schedules and should there be any changes, let you know as soon as it’s confirmed. These figures should also be shared with the architect so that you can be confident everyone is working towards the same goal.
That said, construction professionals will always work to the numbers they’ve been given, so it’s essential that you communicate your budget clearly from the outset. If the figures change throughout the process, there are bound to be delays, re-designs and in the worst case, your new home not coming to life the way you envisioned. While builders can always allow for flexibility, dramatic budget adjustments will have a dramatic effect on your build.
How can you avoid budget blowout?
At Christou Homes, we work with you in the design phase to confirm exactly what your budget is and how we can use it as efficiently as possible. We take the time to understand how much you want to spend and how you can allocate it to best serve your vision of your new home. Additionally, we strive to offer our expertise and recommendations on where it’s worth investing and where you can economise. Alongside this, we furnish comprehensive cost breakdowns and payment schedules, ensuring you have an exact understanding of your financial commitments and when they’re due. Our commitment to transparency underpins all our conversations, minimising the likelihood of budgetary excesses throughout the entire process.
Regular catch-ups and updates provide an opportunity to establish and maintain all expectations throughout the project. This ensures that when the final lick of paint has dried and we are ready to hand over the keys, you are incredibly happy with the final build and know exactly what you’re going to receive.
By clearly communicating expectations throughout the build – from both client and builder – we prevent the potential for disappointment at the end. It allows us to make the necessary changes as we go, rather than at the end, when it’s a little too late.
At Christou Homes, it’s of paramount importance to maintain open, transparent communication with our clients, and it’s a point of pride in our services. Get started on your home journey by contacting us today.