New Home Building and
Investment Property Tips and News
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!!
One of the most exciting things when building a new home is that you get to pick all your own colours!! This can either be from prepared Colour Boards or totally from scratch.
We did a mixture of both with our builder G Developments.They have 10 external colours and 6 internal colours,so we mixed and matched some and picked tiles outside of the standard range at their supplier National Tiles.
The Colour Selection Stage can be the time when people get carried away and spend alot of money on extras,so having a budget is the key!Also with some builders it is the stage where you get a rude shock and find out simple inclusions like downlights, flyscreens,carpet or a dishwasher are not included in your build price.
Luckily for us our builder is fixed priced and turn-key-so that means everything is included and if we want something outside of the standard inclusions we pay extra,this is what we did with the tiles.
We have decided on a light grey tile for the main living areas that looks like timber ,which I am obsessed with!!,with pale grey walls and a white and grey kitchen... I plan to add touches of blues and Hampton Style furniture when we move in. Our main bathroom will be white and grey with the ensuite a more neutral sandy stone colour
Our plans are still with the architect...
We are still being patient...the drafting process does take 4-6 weeks...hopefully the next update will be about the plans being ready for Council!!
Our soil tests and contour plan are back from the surveyor and engineer.
Now we are in the line up for drafting!
This can be the most frustrating part of the process...waiting for your turn!
We had some concept plans drawn beforehand by the architect so we have an idea of how our home will look.To have concept plans drawn it is around $1000-$1500 this is normally an out of pocket expense but is a great idea if you have your own plan in mind,a tricky block of land or want to change a few things with the builders standard plans. Having a concise Concept plan of your home gives the builder an exact idea of what you are after and he can price it accordingly.
When our plans are in front of the architect he will draw the "Working Drawing" or
"Pre Construction" plans.These plans are around 10-15 pages long and have exact details for example... they show cross sections of the bathrooms and the kitchen, have a landscaping plan showing the position of retaining walls and plants and an electrical plan that shows exactly where all the powerpoints and downlights will be.
The architect will also look at the heating and cooling of the home in relation to how the house is positioned on the block and will submit a Basix and Nathers thermal report.
All this takes time and normally the plans are ready to look at in 4-6 weeks.
So patience is the key for us at the moment!!
After we have signed off on the plans they will then be submitted to the certifier who guides the plans through Council....the next exciting stage!!
Our land has settled yay!! All documents were correct for the bank and the land settlement occurred without a hitch thanks to Fiona at Impero Conveyancing!
The next step is the building process!!
With the land settled the builder can order a Contour survey and soil tests.A contour survey accurately records the boundaries and the slope of the land.Soil tests are ordered to determine the class of the soil.The type of soil determines the thickness of the slab.This process takes around 2 weeks.
The next stage will be the drafting of the plans for Council.
Opinions expressed in this blog are personal opinions and are not to be taken as financial or investment advice.
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