expert advice - off to a great start

Anne Petta, Administration Manager at APG shows you how to make the most of you Prestart experience! 

Choosing colours, fittings and fixtures for a new home can be an overwhelming experience, but it's a good opportunity to stamp your personal style on your domain. 

When it comes to building a new home, there are a number of different things to take into consideration, from the overall design to your furniture selection. Sometimes it can seem like there's always another thing to think of or make a decision about and this can be overwhelming for those with no experience. 

One stage of the building process where many of these decisions are made is the Prestart process. 

At APG, Prestart is basically where our customers choose the internal and external colour schemes and their fixtures and fittings. It is their opportunity to define the style of the home and bring their own personality to the design. 

Generally, the structural design has already been finalised and any structural changes have been factored into the plans. Therefore, the purpose of Prestart is not to modify the design itself. The focus is more on defining the aesthetic and functional use of the spaces. 

When a client approaches their Prestart meeting, they will be choosing the exterior colours for their home. This includes render colours, roof colours, window frames, garage door and paver. This will give us a good indication of how to carry the colour palette through to the home's interiors, where the client will select things such as the colours of their kitchen and bathroom cabinets and stone bench tops.

We will also discuss the general orientation of furniture in various rooms and how they want to use the areas to help to plot power points and maximise the use of space. 

The process will also walk clients through their choices of basins, taps and electrical appliances. 

There are a number of things you can do to make the most of your Prestart experience and create your dream new home.

Be Prepared

Take the time to organise lighting plans and tile selections. Bring these along to the meeting. 

We can look at tile samples and offer advice or we can simply use the samples as an indication of the overall colour scheme the client is aiming for and help them select complementary cabinet and bench top colours.

Lighting plans are important because there are strict requirements for wattage and the amount of wattage you can have in each room. Lighting plans can also help the Prestart Consultant more accurately plot the location of power points as well as generate a basic layout for furniture placement based around the light sources in each room.

Study your plans

Understand your home's plans and think about how each room will be used. 

Looking at each room and asking, "How am I going to use this space?" will help a great deal. 

For example, if you have teenage children, asking if they require a study desk in their room and, if so, where the desk will be in relation to the rest of the bedroom furniture is vital.

Once the use of the room and furniture layout is defined, you can start to ask yourself about what electrical fittings you will need in the room and where the best place for those might be. In this example, you may feel you need a double power point as opposed to a single in order to plug in a desk lamp and computer. The power point should be located where you plan to place the desk. 

You may also want to think about, as any existing furniture you have and how that may impact on the layout of any rooms. 

Know what you like

Come to the prestart meeting with ideas and examples of things that you’ve seen and would like to replicate in your own home.

Do as much preparation as you can. Go back to display homes after you've got your plans and take a close look at the various rooms and identify the features and styling you like. 

Carrying a notebook around and making specific notes about everything - roofing, window frames, benches and doors - will help to make the process far easier. 

When you look at something that you like, write down all the specific details about it because there are so many things to consider that it’s easy to lose track of your ideas. 

Ask a lot of specific questions

Building for the first time can be challenging. Having a chat and going over your house plans with someone who has built before could be a fantastic way to highlight any glaring questions that need to be answered. 

People often spend more time researching and buying a car that's worth $20,000 to $25,000 than they do when making a $500,000 investment. Take the time to consider everything you want in your house. 

By asking a lot of questions and familiarising yourself with your house plans, you can work alongside your Prestart Consultant to dig deep and create a great home.