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Prestart Guide

Tamlin Prince from Prince Design is a qualified Interior Designer with more than 8 years of extensive experience in the building industry, specialising in unit developments, first home buyers homes, custom single and two storey builds, luxury builds and renovations.

‘Having worked as a Prestart Consultant for a number of years in the new home building market, I have found that it is quite common for people not to realise what is actually included in their contract or quote. Also why these important features must be taken into consideration in the initial planning stage, as they can be very difficult and expensive to add or modify later.’

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Building a new home can be a daunting prospect due to the huge array of options that are readily available to choose from. It is easy to miss some of the finer details when you are so busy focusing on the big picture.


Here are some few very useful tips on how to prepare for Prestart and building your new home…

  • Firstly it is very important to have a good understanding of what has been included in your specification addenda or quote from your builder.
  • Take the time to think about how you are going to live in the home and most importantly do your research.
  • Visit showrooms and display homes and look at the basins, tapware, toilets and other items that have been included.
  • Look on websites like Pinterest. Photos are a great visual tool and will help you to define the style you are trying to achieve.
  • Take as many photos to your Prestart Consultation as possible. This will help your consultant put together the home you are dreaming of.
  • Be clear about the budget you have if you are looking to upgrade or change any items. While most builders are happy to provide you with a few options when pricing your upgrades, there is no point having your Prestart Consultant suggest a basin that is $600 when your budget is $300.


Below are a few pointers for things to look out for and some practical ideas that you may not have thought of.



  • Make sure you have a kitchen bin concealed in a cupboard or drawer. There is nothing worse than having a beautiful new kitchen and seeing a bin on the floor at the end of the bench or tucked in a pantry!
  • Add a sensor to your pantry light
  • Make sure you have enough power points above your bench or have one installed on the end of your island bench
  • Check that the fridge recess dimensions on your plans suit the fridge you plan to install and add a water tap if your fridge makes ice or filtered/chilled water
  • Put a power point in your pantry for a microwave rather than having it out on the bench
  • Check that your breakfast bar overhang is a minimum of 300mm. Anything smaller than that and you will be hitting your knees on the back of the cabinet.
  • Add as many pot drawers as you can without breaking the budget. These are ergonomically better and can store more





  • Add a niche or nib wall in your shower to put your toiletries in/on
  • Check the placement of your towel rails, toilet roll holders and hand towel rings
  • Make sure your bath is big enough for you to enjoy it
  • If you have a wall mounted outlet for your bath, consider one that can be swiveled out of the way to avoid bumping little heads
  • Tall people should check the height of their shower heads
  • Add a mirrored shaving cabinet for additional storage





  • Make sure the bench will suit the type of washing machine you have – Top loader or front loader
  • Add a hanging rail to the underside of your overhead cupboards
  • Make sure you have a broom cupboard and add a power point to it to charge your portable vacuum
  • Add a laundry hamper drawer





  • Plan out your furniture placement. This will help you make sure you have power, TV points and lights where they need to be
  • If you are building a 2 storey home, have the builder include a TV antenna for you as it is much easier to install this when the scaffold is up than when it’s not.
  • Add 2 Way switches to hallways
  • Use exhaust fans with a light in toilets and powder rooms rather than having a separate fan and light
  • Consider the heights you want your TV’s if you are planning on mounting them on the wall
  • Consider where your tech hub (modems, printers etc) is going to go and make sure you have enough power and data points
  • Add provisions for garden and landscape lighting
  • If having downlights in your bathrooms, ask for gimble downlights so they can be pointed at the mirror for better lighting when doing makeup
  • Add day/night sensors to driveway and porch lights





  • Rebate the sills of your sliding/stacking/bifold doors for a seamless transition from inside to out. Also, check that these are opening in the correct direction
  • Ceiling heights, door heights and passage widths. Little changes to these can make even a small home seem spacious.
  • If you have a 4WD or a boat you will be storing in the garage, check the height and width of your garage door opening
  • Cavity sliding doors to theaters or rooms with double doors will offer more option for furniture placement than hinged doors. Or consider 180-degree hinges so the doors can open all the way up and not jut into the room.
  • Take into consideration the direction your windows are facing and add low e glass
  • Add skylights to internal rooms with no natural light


If you are still feeling overwhelmed about making the selections for your build, consider hiring a professional.


For what is really a very small outlay when considering the overall cost of the build, you can have an Interior Designer guide you thought the myriad of choices. Their expert knowledge of the industry, product availability and current trends will ensure that you get the home you want without all of the hassle.


Tamlin Prince

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Level 1, 99 Erindale Rd Balcatta
0406 258 987

If you have any further questions or would like more design idea’s please do not hesitate to ask.