So you’ve done your building completion checklist and your new home handover inspection – what’s next? Here’s how the new house handover process works
The building process can be confusing, especially when it comes time to handover and collect the keys! From inspections to building completion checklists, we’re going to run through how the new house handover process works,
It’s easy to get caught up in shiny benchtops and glossy walls when you’ve waited months to move in but the final stages of the building process are super important to make sure you’re happy with your house and it gets delivered on time.
Estimating a move-in date
If your lease is ending or you’re negotiating the sale of your old house, move-in dates can apply a lot of pressure if they don’t work out as planned. For this reason, the new house handover process can be stressful.
MyHomeBuild understands the constraints customers have when it comes to move-in dates, and keeps you updated on a regular basis as timelines can change due to weather, variations, and things beyond the builders’ control.
If changes to move-in dates could impact your house sale or leave you without a place to stay, it’s always a good idea to give yourself a buffer. Try negotiating your sale or end-of-lease to give you a few weeks of wriggle room in case the new house handover process gets pushed back unexpectedly.
Conducting your first new home handover inspection
MyHomeBuild’s site manager will conduct a preliminary house inspection. These are called practical completion inspections, or building completion checklists, and they give us a chance to fix any defects. It’s like a final rehearsal before the big day. Typically, you’re given some blue stickers and you walk through the house and stick them anywhere there are defects or faults that need to be fixed.
Things to add to your building completion checklist include: joinery, to ensure all the doors are level with even gaps, marks on the wall, plaster defects, doors open and close properly, appliances work correctly. These minor defects can be missed during the building process – they’re also usually easy to fix!
If you’re still in the beginning stages of home ownership, take a look at MyBudget’s home loan repayment calculator here.
Once you’ve done your building completion checklist and placed all the stickers on issues you’ve noticed, make sure you’re on the same page as your builder – literally. Both you and your builder should co-sign a building contract, agreeing on the faults and what must be fixed.
This is also when your builder can estimate a move-in date, based on how long they think it will take to fix up all the issues you’ve discussed.
Getting council approval and releasing final payment
As part of the final stages of your new house handover process, you’ll need your house approved by the council through a Certificate of Occupancy. Although there is no specific building completion checklist for a Certificate of Occupancy in South Australia, the council or certifiers will look at whether your home is suitable for occupancy and that any and all legal requirements and building regulations have been met.
Now you’ve reached practical completion. If you’re happy with the condition of the house, you and your bank can release the final payment for the build (this needs to be paid before you get the keys) – you’ll also be given a copy of all the product warranties and certificates that attach to the property contract. Next step, moving in!
Finalising the new home handover inspection
Once these issues are resolved, you’ll do a final new home handover inspection and building completion checklist. Here, you walk through the house again and make sure all the issues have been rectified to your satisfaction, and you’ll get your keys and a MyHomeBuild handover gift during this exciting time.
This is a pivotal part of the building process. Remember that at the end of the day, it’s your house so it’s up to you to say whether everything’s up to scratch. People can advocate for you and inspect on your behalf, but you’re the one who will be living in the house – you have final say.
Preparing to move-in
Although this isn’t technically part of the new house handover process, because you’ve built a home as opposed to buying an established one, there are a few additional things to do before you move in.
First, you’ll need to set up the internet connection, which might take some time, especially if your property hasn’t had an NBN or other connection before. Second, you should change your mailing address and register your address with the council if it isn’t already (this applies to new builds in streets that haven’t had mail delivered to them yet).
Third, you need bins! Ask the council for rubbish, green waste and recycling bins; they can also tell you about collection dates and times. We arrange your electricity and gas connections and typically fill out forms and apply on your behalf, which is a huge time saver!
You should also prepare the same way you would any other move: book a removal company, organise house insurance, measure your new home to see how your furniture will fit, and redirect your mail.
To make sure you haven’t missed anything, make a list just like you did with the building completion checklist, and cross everything off as you go.
That feeling of unlocking the door to your custom MyHomeBuild makes all the months of tracking the building process and ticking off the new house handover process worth it. So, sit back, smile and soak in your brand new home, you earned every square metre!
We hope this helped you unpack how the new house handover process works. If you’re considering a house and land package and want to build the home of your dreams, talk to the experts at MyHomeBuild today.