You’re in the market for a renovation or addition on your home, but where can you find a builder that is reliable, will minimise the disruption to your family and deliver maximum quality on your investment that will stand the test of time?
You may have been referred to builders by people you trust, however that doesn’t necessarily mean that the builder will be trustworthy. So who do you contact and what should you look out for when contemplating taking the first steps on your building journey? We’ve put together a list of things you should consider when making your decision to select a builder;
1. Do they specialise in your type of build?
You might assume this is obvious, however, it’s vital to ensure that the builder you choose is well-established and reputable. Search for a builder who has experience in the type and style of build you are looking for and see if they are able to provide references for a number of jobs they have completed.
Always do your research – look at their website, social media pages and online presence. Are their projects active and up to date? Can you see samples of their work? How long have they been operating for?
2. Do they belong to a builder’s association?
Builders that have a professional membership in the industry eg. Housing Industry Association (HIA) and Master Builders Association (MBA) participate in continuing education and stay up to date with best practices, new technology and innovations within the field. This ultimately means that these builders will use the newest and correct practices when constructing your home.
3. Are they licenced and insured?
A good indicator of a high-quality builder is one that’s fully licenced and
insured – and that they can provide you with those details upon request.
It’s vital for you and your builder to be protected and insured in the event
that something goes wrong.
Examples of insurance that may be required by the builder are;
- Public Liability Insurance
- Workers Compensation Insurance
- Contract of Works Insurance and;
- Home Warranty Insurance (for all builds over $20K)
You can do a licence check of your builder through the Fair-Trading website, however, we also recommend that you request a copy of their insurances before engaging with them to ensure your family and your investment are protected.
4. Are they able to provide client testimonials or reviews?
The sign of a reputable and successful builder is one that is able to provide
a list of client references from the past, most recent and from those currently going
through the building process with them. This is a good indication that they have been
delivering high-quality service to their clients consistently throughout their years in business.
5. Is there clear communication from the beginning?
Good builders are responsive right from the beginning of your interaction with them. This shows that they invest in their team to ensure that customers and their experience is at the forefront of their business. A builder and their team should be available to communicate with you throughout the project, even after practical completion.
6. The cheapest quote may not result in a quality build
Be wary of going with the cheapest estimate a builder may put in front of you. When searching for a builder ensure you are making as direct a comparison as possible. It is always important to compare apples for apples; a higher quoted price may result in less unforeseen costs and expenses. By choosing a significantly cheaper quote be aware that you can run the risk of finding out halfway through your build that you have been underquoted and the builder is unable to fulfil your project, leaving you stranded and stressed, putting a strain on the family and your investment.
7. Do they offer fixed priced contracts?
Beware of quotations and contracts with a long list of ‘estimates’ and ‘TBA’s’. To avoid a blow-out in costs which could end up exceeding your budget or not being to afford to complete your build, ask for a fixed price contract.
There will be items that a builder cannot foresee such as soil removal, asbestos removal and termite damage, however, the builder should be upfront and discuss these items with you during the planning process. This allows you to properly plan things and have a contingency plan in place.
8. How does the builder operate?
Does the builder utilise sub-contractors to complete your build or do they employ their own team? A benefit of choosing a builder that employs their own tradespeople to complete your build is that they invest in the proper training and management of their team. This also means that they have greater control of the quality and the speed of the build as they will be coordinating the trades across their builds. By limiting the number of sub-contractors being used, your builder can ensure that you know who is working at your home, giving you peace of mind that your family is safe and secure and that disruption is kept to a minimal.
At 32 Degrees Building, we specialise in additions, extensions and renovations. We believe in putting the clients first and have a support team there for you during your build to address any of your concerns throughout the process. We are licenced, fully insured and are more than happy to provide you with references from our clients, past, recent and in progress if you would like to discuss their building experience.
If you have any questions surrounding your future renovation or addition on your home, call the team. We are available to talk to you and run through all of the details with you.
In today’s world the time of waiting is over. The lightning speed in which mobile technology has developed and is continuing to drive forward has put us well into the digital age. It has sped up the process of being able to find an answer to a question as we now have access to a wealth of information at the touch of our fingertips. We can purchase items online and from overseas, book holidays and catch up with loved ones who are far away…the list goes on and the possibilities in the ways of communication are endless!
So, with this fast moving technological society that we now live in, why are we still waiting for quotes? Why is it ok to wait 2, 3, 4+ weeks to obtain a quote from a builder? A quote doesn’t need to be posted anymore, it can be sent via email and accessed on your device. So why the long wait?
We receive many enquiries through varying communication channels each week with each one at a different stage of their thought process. Below, we have outlined two of the main types of enquiries that we commonly see coming through and explain how we are responsive in providing them with the information they seek;
The Impulsers – these are the typical enquiries that we see from people (usually over the weekend). They have suddenly had the lightbulb moment that they want to extend or renovate their home to gain the additional space they need for the family and or lifestyle. They love their street, love their location, why move, when you can extend? Right? We get it, these enquiries want a quick response, they’re not interested in a detailed building quote yet, they just want to understand how to go about it and how much it is likely to cost, as let’s face it, expectation vs reality in terms of cost is not always on point so this needs to be cleared up right away.
This is why for every initial enquiry made with us we will respond within 24 business hours and let you know if;
a) we believe what you are asking for is achievable at your property and;
b) an indication of price range;
c) an explanation of the process and what is involved.
Boom. Answer given, simple as that. AND In just 24 business hours. Easy. Simples. Like it? Love it.
Now you can move forward and talk to your lender and partner about the financial aspect to see if you can progress forward with your ideas ahead of booking your appointment with the builder for your detailed quotation.
We usually find at this stage that we sometimes hear back from you straight away to book in an appointment, or we may not hear from you for another 3, 6, 12 months while you consider your finances. Regardless, we will remain in contact with you and on hand to answer any further questions. It’s what we do.
The Majority – these are the enquiries that come through and have already sought a preapproval to see how much they can borrow, or know how much of their money they can allocate to a build. Some may even have plans prepared. Again, we treat these enquiries the same as the impulsers they will receive that quick indicative guide price, however, we find that from here they are already keen to get moving and make an appointment for a builders tender.
We sense your urgency here, we get it, you are excited and we love that! The possibility of making your dream a reality is the next chapter towards creating that future home with your family! We get moving and book your appointment for the builder to come and meet you. The appointment with the builder is imperative. Here, we will commit our time to understand you, your family’s needs, dedicating ourselves wholly to ensuring you understand the possibilities of what you can achieve with your home and discussing those ever important solutions with you, while managing your budget expectations.
So how long after your appointment will it be until you receive our detailed quote I hear you ask? We will deliver your detailed build cost estimate via email within 48-72 hours of an appointment! Yes, just like that! No waiting for 2, 3 or 4+ weeks. Just 72 hours!
Why so quick? Because you have invested in us for your consultation, we have invested and committed our time into you to ensure that you are provided with the answers you need as quickly as possible so that we can help get you going.
It’s all about moving forward, helping you get to that next step quicker, helping you understand what is required, helping you and your family get what you want.
So, when you think about it, we can deliver you a price guide within 24 hours and a quote within 72 hours. We can do all of this in less than a week. Within 4 weeks we could already have your plans lodged to Council! So why are you still waiting?
We’d be interested to hear your thoughts and feedback on any of our content as it helps us improve and deliver a better service to you, our future clients. Get social with us across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Direct message us, make an enquiry, we’re available and we’re responsive.
More often than not, when you moved into your home, you didn’t prepare for any future life changes to happen that require you to extend your house either outward or upward. But here you are and what do you do? There are advantages to either option.
If your property still has room for a ground floor extension, then you can build out and keep everything on a single level, however, if your property is smaller and you would like to keep the backyard space then you should consider building a second storey addition. Doing so also means the least disruption to the existing house below and you can practically live at home throughout the extension project.
Before you decide to build a second floor addition or ground floor extension, there are some things to consider.
This must be taken into consideration when creating house plans for a new addition to your home and should be well-integrated into existing sections of your house. A building sustainability assessment is required to ensure an extension meets the minimum sustainability benchmarks.
Ensuring thermal performance can be a simple as fine-tuning the size and orientation of your window or a bit complex as adding skylights or light tubes.
All new constructions are required to be insulated to climate appropriate levels. This could mean existing insulation in the original building may have to be retrofitted to prevent leaks of any kind.
Heating and Cooling
It is possible that your existing HVAC system will become insufficient once the new addition is completed. Increased living space often means increased heating and cooling requirements. So you should take this into account when developing house plans and when estimating a budget. Don’t forget the amount of work and costs needed for the ductwork if you go for a ducted AC.
The roof on your second floor addition should blend well with the rest of the house. Unless, of course, if you prefer the extension to stand out. But if you want a unified look, it is important that the roofing matches the existing one, even in the choice of Colorbond tin or tiles.
Continuing with a unified look so that your addition or extension blends in you also need to consider your cladding options. Brickwork, weatherboard, hebel or render. To match existing, to change the entire façade or to use a mix of different materials are all possible to make your addition look like it has always been a part of the home.
Should your second floor addition use the same type of flooring as the original building? The choice is really up to you. Different types would delineate the extension from the not, while similar types will ensure continuity and create the illusion of a bigger space.
Depending on the size of the second-floor extension, 1 to 3 more circuits may have to be added to the electric panel. Not to mention, electrical lines that have to be added and integrated with the rest of the house.
Protecting a home addition from termites should be a priority right from the start. This means choosing termite-resistant materials, adding termite barriers, treating timber products if you use them, or creating house plans that allow easy inspection access.
With these taken into account, it’s time to decide on what type of extension you want to build and the kind of materials to use.
At this stage, it is highly recommended that you consult with professional builders and designers. Tap into their knowledge of the best material to use or the most suitable design for the climate in your location. They, more than anyone, else have intimate knowledge in everything and anything building-related.
To book a consultation with the professionals, contact us.
Article written by: MyChronicles.net
To fund an addition or extension on your home, you may find yourself applying for a Construction Loan with your lender. This is all well and good, however you may find that the lender will not formally approve and release funds until plans, Council approval and a Contract is in place outlining the progress stage payments of the build. So, to get to this point, how much should you expect to outlay? The short answer is that we find for most of our clients it’s around $15K-$20K to complete the preliminary stage.
Here at 32 Degrees Building we break it down into two manageable costs for our clients and below is an explanation of the preliminary process to help you as a client understand what happens before we can issue contracts and start your build:
Preliminary Phase 1: Design and development of your architectural plans
This is the start of your building journey with us. This starts from $6,000 to have a draftsperson come out and meet with you, talk you through your ideas, then design your initial concept plan. Usually a few tweaks may be required and then you can sign off your concept plan and the full architectural drawings can be created and a 3D visual can be prepared.
Once your plans are complete (sitemap, elevations, shadow diagrams, floor plans etc..) the documents required to support your plans and lodgement to Council application are prepared, these include your;
- Statement of Environmental Effects – Details the potential environment impacts the proposed build will have.
- Waste Management Plan – Applies to all homes across Australia and explains how waste generated onsite will be managed, maintained and disposed of.
- BASIX – The Building Sustainability Index applies to all residential homes across NSW and is part of the Development Application process.
There may be additional supporting documents required (e.g. Bushfire Report, Flood Report, Acoustic Report etc…)
Preliminary Phase 2: Council Lodgement – Development Application & Construction Certificate OR Complying Development Consent
This next step is where we will lodge your plans to Council either as a Complying Development Consent OR as a Development Application and Construction Certificate
CDC or DA/CC fees will be advised once plans are developed and a Council fee quote can be provided. The preparation of the lodgement for either CDC or DA/CC starts from $7,500. Here we obtain the additional relevant documentation needed in order for your build to be ready to start and this includes;
- Engineering plans and if a first floor addition a first floor certification to confirm your existing home will support the addition
- Sydney Water check – To confirm that your build will not impact any of Sydney Waters assets
- Sewer Service Diagram – We obtain this for the plumber to see where the existing connections to the home are
- Long Service Levy – Applies to all residential works over $20K
- Home Warranty Insurance – Applies to all residential works over $20K
- and any other supporting documents as required
How long does it this process take? Well, this all depends on the Council, the service providers and you as the client. We find that from planning to Council approval to issuing you with contracts can take around 3/4 months. Once your build cost and inclusions have been finalised and your HIA fixed price contract has been issued you can then provide these to your lender in order to finalise your finance approval.
If you haven’t built before or have no knowledge of the building and construction industry then preparing all of these documents can seem quite daunting. That’s why with us, you would have us as your main point of contact to do all of the hard work for you. We even liaise between yourself and the draftsperson to help you stay within your budget when developing your plans and address any of the questions you have about the build along the way.
To get started on your building journey with us, we ask you to complete our pre-quote enquiry form and tell us what you would like to build, from there one of our team members will be in touch with you.