A house project is the process of building a home from the ground up. It can take anywhere from six to 12 months from ‘breaking ground’ (when trenches are dug for the foundations) until you move in. It is much quicker than a DIY self-build, which can take upwards of three years!

The best way to start a House project is with a well-respected local real estate agent, who can connect you with builders and advise on the most suitable location and block for your new dwelling. They should also have a good understanding of the building costs in your area and can help you with the budgeting and design processes.

There are many ways to build a house project, but the most common is to engage a professional designer or architect to work with you on the whole scope of the project. They will be able to help you with floor plans, permits, interior and exterior finishes, and can even assist with material and colour selections.

Once you have a design in place, the next stage is to get your plans approved by council and to commence construction. This can take a few weeks to get everything in order and then a further week or two to construct the superstructure, which is when you will really see your new house come together. This phase includes the erection of the frame, which is usually made from treated pine or spruce and could include timber slab floors, ceilings, and rafters. Once the frame is in place the sheathing can be installed. Sheathing is a protective covering such as oriented strand board, wafer board or exterior gypsum that is nailed to the frame and will protect your new investment for decades to come.

One of the most significant challenges of a House project is navigating the permit process, which can sometimes take a long time and can impact on your timeline. Having an idea ahead of time about the permitting process will help you identify a realistic timeline and make sure you are aware of potential delays. It is also a great opportunity to run through your house design with your builder again and make sure they haven’t missed any important details!

The House Project Programme provides young people with a range of opportunities and experiences that can support them to have mates, manage their own homes and take a pathway in to education, training or employment. It is underpinned by the ORCHIDS framework.