New Home Building and
Investment Property Tips and News
I had a quick chat to The New Daily last month about what trends are popular at the moment and how you can spruce up your home on a tight budget . With everyone spending alot of time at home these past couple of months, DIY is the special BUZZ word!!
Alot of the big display builders are offering large cash discounts at the moment. But did you know you will be paying for the discount later on in the build?
Most of the bigger builders' contracts are not fixed priced. Meaning that the build contract price will most likely be added onto during the build, due to extra site costs and extra Basix or Council requirements that are not covered in the contract.
A common example is rock, alot of blocks have rock that needs to be removed when the builder is cutting the block. The builder needs to dig it out, which is costly and time consuming, the rock has to be loaded onto trucks and the rock needs to be disposed of. Most of the big builders have a rock clause in their contracts stating that they are not responsible for this cost , this can mean an extra bill of around $20,000....and remember it is not only when they are digging for the slab that they can strike rock, but also when the plumber is digging to connect the drainage that they can encounter this problem.
Another example is fill, either the import or export of soil is needed to level the land for your slab. This is another clause in bigger builder contracts that can cost up to $3,000 extra
A further example is piering, the majority of builders will set the amount of piering allowance. Piering is drilling down to solid ground so the slab can be stabilised. The majority of times the piering allowance is not enough and it is not uncommon to see a bill for $1000 extra.
In regards to Turn-key-it means that the builder provides everything inside and out, the client does not need to organise any trades to pour the driveway ,or put up a retaining wall, it is all completed.
Again most of the big builders do not provide this service, at the end of the build the client is left with a lovely house but they have to move a big pile of dirt from the front yard and have sheets at the window because the builder did not provide blinds.
The price of Landscaping without retaining and a driveway is around $20,000 and retaining walls could be anywhere from $3000-$5000 depending on what is needed. A big cost if your block has over 1 metre of slope.
Just ask the question when you receive the build quote from the big builder who is offering a huge discount, what isn't included in the build price?...and if you have an extras bill of around $50,000 at the end of the build ,how will you pay for that? Are you on a strict budget?
You may be surprised at how affordable a fixed priced and turn-key builder is, they may not have the gorgeous display homes to look through but their pricing is honest and genuine with no hidden surprises..it's worth thinking about!
One of the big colour trends at the moment is black with brass or gold accents.
Whether it is a white kitchen with black taps and brass lightfittings over the island bench or black cupboards as above with a crisp white top and gold and brass accessories....these are all on trend.
Reece plumbing have some wonderful taps in black and brushed gold to help with this colour scheme. Beacon lighting have some amazing brass pendants ideal for the kitchen with some with a slightly industrial edge. Polytec have the gorgeous colours to achieve the dark rich look for kitchen cupboards matched with Silestone who have an array of stone benchtop colours to choose from,Ariel being similar to the above. All completed with National tiles subway tile in marble grey and their timber laminate flooring or a tile lookalike. With Lexicon quarter on the walls for the finishing touch!!..Perfect!!
I have just realised it has been a while since I have posted a blog about our house. Our house is nearly completed....yay!! Our PCI date(Practical Completion Inspection) where we walk through the home with the supervisor and a building inspector is in a a couple of weeks. After this inspection the builder has 10 working days to fix any defects that are noted at the PCI. During this time the bank will send out a valuer to look at the home to make sure it is completed as per the building contract. So around 2-3 weeks from the PCI handover occurs...we get the keys!!very exciting!!
I am very excited about our Insulation!! We have had a lot of hold ups with the building of our house...things that I warn my clients may happen have happened to us!
Anyway our building journey continues...we now have insulation in our walls..the internal and external walls and between the ground and top floor.
The standard insulation is normally a wall wrap with the external walls , sarking under the roof (if in a bushfire area) and batts in the roof cavity.
We paid extra for a thick blanket under the roof(it looks wool wrapped in foil), insulation in the walls(pink fluffy batts) and the floor and some extra acoustic insulation(pink compact batts with mesh) for the bathroom, ensuite and rumpus walls.
We will be toasty warm in Winter and Cool in Summer and our son and his friends won't bother us when they are in the rumpus playing video games!!
The gyprockers have started and the next step will be the carpenter finishing the trimmings around the doors and the skirting boards.
It 's definitely looking like a house now...yay!!
What your builder isn’t telling you
We all love looking at the display homes and being dazzled by all the shiny tiles, huge rooms with high ceilings and gorgeous outdoor BBQ areas.
But are all these inclusions and the display home plan exactly what you are getting when you sign on the dotted line?.
More often than not No.
With some of the big building companies the display home Inclusions are anything but standard.
You want downlights? No... you only receive the baton, you want carpet and tiles…no they are not included in the standard price and a driveway …well who needs that??
Before you sign any building contract you need to ask your builder about their standard inclusions and these items as well:
*BASIX The Building Sustainability Index-this accesses the energy efficiency of the home and is a requirement of NSW Councils…is the correct Water tank and the right water saving taps included.
*BUSHFIRE Requirements-most blocks of land have a Bushfire Rating…a BAL rating, if the home does not have the correct Bal requirements for example gutter guards then the home will not be approved by Council.
*CORRECT SLAB rating-all soil has a specific type and classification and the slab thickness depends on this classification …has the correct slab type been included?
*ROCK-has rock removal been included in the price? This not only applies to when the builder is excavating but when the plumber is digging for the drainage.
*WATER/SEWER CONNECTION-is there enough allowance for the water/sewer to be connected to your home-have they allowed enough linear metres?
*SOIL and SPOIL REMOVAL-if the builder has to dig out the block for the foundations, where does the extra dirt go? is this included if he needs to take it away to the tip?
*TREE REMOVAL-Often a block needs a good tidy up before building can commence, is the removal of trees and site clearing of overgrown grass and shrubs included? Are you expected to have the block completely cleared?
*EASEMENTS-check if there are any sewer or water easements on your block this can affect how your house is positioned…if the house needs to be moved will it affect the cost
*ALFRESCO-this area is a must nowadays but check if the roof and flooring are included in the price
*LANDSCAPING-although most people feel they can do this themselves…some estates require landscaping to be completed within 3 months of moving in..Does your builder provide turf and fencing?
All these items if not included can cost up to $50,000 extra…and most of the time people do not find this out till they are half way through the build, or at their colour selection appointment.
Having a fixed priced turn-key builder..and I mean a proper fixed priced builder (not a builder who says Fixed Priced with a huge asterix next to the price)…all these worries are eliminated…all these items are included and the home is completed inside and out…so all you need to do is move your furniture in!!
So when you are visiting that display home that is your dream...and you ask for a quote, make sure you ask for all these items to be included so you won’t receive any nasty surprises!
When the frame goes up it starts to look like a house!!
This is when it starts to get real and our house looks bigger than we thought!!
Next will be the scaffolding,if you have a double storey, the builder needs to put this in place so the fascia,gutter,roofing and any cladding can be installed.
When the roof is on the builder will start with the insulation wrap around the frame. Alot of insulation is needed nowadays for BASIX requirements.This is to do with the heating and cooling of the home and being energy efficient.
We are looking forward to the roof going on with the fascia and gutter and seeing our colour choices of greys and blues coming together!!
It is always super exciting for my clients when they see their slab of their house has been poured...and we experienced that excitement this week!!
We are building a two storey home...so the footprint isn't as long as the standard single storey home...but it is so exciting to see where the garage will be,the downstairs rooms and the alfresco!! We can also see where the pipes for the kitchen,laundry and powder room will be..as well as the drains for the guttering and downpipes.
We have had great weather for the pouring of concrete(not great for our farmers I know)...the concrete will cure in no time and the builder will hopefully start on the frames later this week.
With most homes we are having a termite mesh ,this is normally a green or blue material, placed around the edges of the slab as protection against termites...the termite protection has a lifetime warranty but this is based on our home being checked every year by a pest inspector to make sure no termites are munching away!
Next stage Frame...this is where it starts to look like a house!!
Our plans have been approved and work has begun!!
Like everyone who decides to go on the building journey knows...one of the most frustrating parts of the build is actually waiting for the plans to be approved by Council or the Certifier.
But our wait is over!Our plans have been stamped and our builder G Developments has cut the block...yay!!
The next stage is the plumbing,the pipes need to go in before the slab and then after that the concreter will form up for the slab and pour it.
From when the block is cut to when the slab is down,this can take up to 2 weeks, depending on the weather conditions and if the builder needs to carry out any further work on the block, for example a retaining wall needing to be built prior to the slab being poured.
I will post another update when the slab has been poured...it is very exciting!!
Our plans are now with the certifier who guides the plans through the Council process...so this is the stage we need to have patience...it is a waiting game for plans to be approved...this could take 4 weeks or 12 weeks we just don't know!
If you are at this stage as well you may be starting to get to know your neighbours, you might see them out at your block of land or you might receive a phonecall from them,introducing themselves.
One of the main issues at this stage with neighbours is paying for the fencing on your boundaries.
If you are with a builder like us who offers a turn-key package then fencing is included in the build price and the builder reimburses the neighbour.
However there are generally a few rules with this,mainly that the neighbour cannot organise a fence without the builders approval or put the fence up and then demand payment.The builder generally requires a few quotes from the neighbours and the bill may not be paid until later on in the build of your home. The colour of the fence can also be an issue,with all parties having to agree.
It is best to explain the above to your neighbours as soon as possible if fencing is included in your build contract,otherwise things can get a bit heated!
If fencing is not included in your build contract and you have to pay for it yourself,your neighbours still have to abide by the fencing act and give you notice of the fence they are proposing with a few quotes.
Hopefully it all works out and there are no tensions!!
Opinions expressed in this blog are personal opinions and are not to be taken as financial or investment advice.
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