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The Best Way To Nail Your House Deposit

The part where we dissect the whole building a house deposit thing

Before we get to the reality side of things, let’s take a little journey—you either meditate or daydream all day at work about your next down south weekend (same, same), so this should be familiar. Here goes … you’ve decided to go ahead with building your new home. The whole thing is already designed on your Pinterest board so it’s not a big leap to choose the most remarkable plan. After taking the quiz online you find the space that speaks to you. But, before anyone even whispers the word ‘construction’ or ‘Pandan wallpaper’ you realise there are a few steps to walk on the way towards making your mark on the world. 

What you all came here for, the house deposit 

It’s the first step on this amazingly story-worthy thing you’re planning. The magic number is $3,500 (that’s the non-refundable house deposit) and then you can start counting the milestones—cause after that deposit it’ll be a non-stop whirlwind of remarkable moments. We know that $3.5K is no easy feat but every worthwhile decision—even the ones that begin with a whinge into a glass of red in Margaret River over dead rent money—needs a little seed money to get off the ground (or on the ground in this case). 

Once all the sacrifices have become your ‘new normal’ (sorry for the 2020 flashback), you will be banking over and above the minimum, starting a whole new relationship with money … and an over-due break-up with your landlord!

All hail the PPA

Okay, let’s say the $3.5K is in the bank. Next up is the PPA, a Preparations of Plans Agreement, the sales quota, and the sales sketches. Basically, all the pesky paperwork is required after meeting the financial requirement—dw we make a big fuss about the deposit landing, so you don’t miss ANY chance to celebrate! Our team of paperwork people (don’t actually call them that, they’re really funny about it for some reason) sort and submit everything you need, and your personal portal tracks it all. Plans and costings are all given the tick of approval and you’re onto the good stuff (almost).

Get to the good stuff!

After the deposit and before we dive into getting all the materials and organising scheduling trades, we need to double, no, triple check that everything has made it onto the final quote.

Skipping this would seriously get in the way of building and we would hate for there to be delays or extra costs down the line. So, to ensure you don’t end up with the wrong specs, elevations, or an incorrect layout, we have to be extra careful in these early stages. You’ll thank us later, we promise! 

What if I wanted to change something?

This is your chance. We give this part of the process a lot of time to breathe so that you review everything in close detail, make any changes, and ONLY move forward once you’re 100% ready. There are two types of changes, and you’ll need to know which one’s which. 

Non-structural or cosmetic changes

These are the parts of the build that don’t affect the actual structure of the house and would be addressed at the pre-start stage. It’s things like:

  • Amending cabinetry (not doing a full kitchen/bathroom redesigns)
  • Amending electrical
  • Amending tiling extents
  • Upgrading items (door patterns, basins, appliances, tapware)
  • Adjusting shelving
  • Flooring amendments
  • Stone upgrades


Structural changes on the other hand are a little more serious and can’t be changed once the plans have been signed off. So, if you’ve decided to go this far, we’d say speak up about structural changes or forever hold your peace, because there’d be no turning back! 

When we say ‘structural’ we’re talking about anything related to the ‘blueprint’ of the home. These might include: 

  • Increasing or decreasing ceiling heights 
  • Adding or removing recessed ceilings
  • Changing bulkheads
  • Adding or removing walls
  • Changing alfresco sizes
  • Adding or removing sunken areas
  • Changing setbacks
  • Adding, removing, or amending door heights and/or widths (both internal and external, locations and sizes)
  • Adding, removing, or amending windows sizes 
  • Adjusting garage opening widths
  • Adding roller doors to garages 
  • Any elevation changes
  • All brickwork changes
  • Changes to stormwater 
  • Changing piers to posts, or the other way around 

We want to get this stuff right at the beginning so that if we got the go-ahead from you, we can start ordering all the goodies you need—everything from site surveys to a bushfire assessment, local council approvals, working drawings, energy certifications, and everything in between! Read about every one of these steps on our construction contract blog.

It all starts with the building house deposit

It’s the little bit of assurance to get started and, once you do, it all begins to fall into place one remarkable milestone at a time. Sure, there’s plenty to learn along the way—like keeping structural changes to an absolute minimum—but we guide you through everything from the fun stuff to the PAA (actually, that’s still fun for us). 

And hey, if you’re still at that point where you’re only just beginning to visualise a life without weekly rent transfers, you’re already on your way. The mark you want to leave on this world is ready when you are!

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