When building a Second Storey/First Floor Addition or Ground Floor Extension with 32 Degrees Building you must vacate the premises for a minimum period of two weeks.
Why do you need to vacate?
- We require you to vacate your home for the safety and comfort of your family. We want to ensure that your family are safe, comfortable and have the best possible experience during the build. With this in mind, we require that you vacate the premises for at least two weeks so that we can complete important tasks such as demolition, electrical work and preparation for the build. We want you to be able to avoid the noise, dust and disruption associated with this stage of the build.
- Another reason you are required to vacate is for the safety of our team. When building an addition or an extension we are working with an existing dwelling with existing electrical and structural aspects we need to take into consideration. With these aspects of the build to keep in mind, it is important for us to disconnect the power to the entire home for a two week period. This will minimise any safety issues or risks associated with this stage of the build and also keep our team and your family as safe and happy as possible.
We strive to make building an addition or extension a safe, seamless and as enjoyable a process as possible. With our extensive experience building additions and extensions, we know what works and what doesn’t work. With the safety and comfort of your family of the utmost importance to us, we structure our builds and our process around ensuring that you will have the best possible experience as your addition or extension is added to your home.
Alongside a house price boom, Australia is in the midst of a homebuilding boom with the Housing Industry of Australia expecting that a near-record number of new homes will be built over the next 12 months.
But for many in the residential construction sector, it’s a profitless boom – and several major players have recently gone bust, with the assumption that more will follow.
Why are construction companies folding?
A perfect storm of factors has been brewing for the better part of 2021, and now the rainy season has arrived.
Supply chain issues, with a shortage of building materials worldwide resulting from COVID-19 disruptions, coupled with natural disasters from freak storms and flooding to bushfires, have provided significant pressure on builders.
Those shortages have led to prices rising exponentially, particularly for timber and steel.
On top of that, a labour shortage is making it difficult to find tradespeople, giving workers the power to command huge wages.
So, the overall cost of construction has been pushed up significantly.
Adding to this is the lengthy delays in actually getting the materials, which has led to some homes taking more than 12 months to be built, further adding to building companies’ costs.
With the majority of builders signing fixed-price contracts with buyers, and the margin for escalating costs being inadequate, many are losing money on every single project.
It’s a big problem in exceptional circumstances like we’re seeing at the moment, said Russ Stephens, co-founder of the Association of Professional Builders.
“The average cost of a contract for a builder has gone up between 15% to 20% over the past six or seven months alone – and up to as much as 50% in some areas,” Mr Stephens said.
What we are doing to combat the state of the construction industry landscape
32 Degrees Building has been operating for over 11+ years and we know and understand how to manage our business in turbulent times.
We have been working with our team and talking directly to our suppliers to manage and understand any upcoming supply challenges and supply chain issues. We have been working with our timber suppliers closely to understand their difficulties in obtaining overseas supply and then managing, monitoring and forecasting for our current and future builds. Skills shortage for us isn’t an issue, we have worked very hard to set our business apart from the rest. Our team are employed with us and this enables us to closely manage and develop their practical skills with us over the course of their apprenticeship and retain them into tradespeople and leadership roles – we now employ over 40 team members and continue to grow. By employing our team members, we manage our labour costs.This strategic approach we have applied to our business has allowed us to manage our costs and your build providing you with the security and confidence that we are here to stay.
Our business is always looking forward and planning for the future, we forecast 6 months, 12 months and 18 months ahead to ensure we can stay one step ahead of any market issues and trends.
With the above in mind we have a strong business model and capable management team in place to ensure that the best outcomes for our clients and the business are always achieved.
Australia has recently experienced some severe weather conditions including high winds and heavy rainfall. These weather events and other similar events that have occurred in recent years, can at times be so severe that they exceed the Building Code of Australia (BCA) design benchmarks for homes constructed within Australia.
In such extreme weather conditions rainwater can be forced through closed windows and sprayed up rooves in a manner which homes aren’t designed for and therefore water may enter some homes. The resulting water ingress may cause damage to your home, often this damage may only be of a minor nature, but can still cause considerable stress to you as the homeowner.
What can you do to prepare your home for a severe weather event?
As part of your ongoing home maintenance we recommend the following check measures are undertaken to avoid any water ingress to your home;
- Check all gutters and downpipes are clear of debris, leaves etc…
- Regularly check your roof for signs of slipped roof tiles, cracks and possible water ingress entry points – especially if you have recently had a contractor attend your property eg. Foxtel or solar panel installer
- Check your stormwater drains for blockages
- Check your window and door seals aren’t displaying signs of cracks and ageing
- Check for other possible entry points and seal if required
If during a severe weather event you do get water ingress – who do you call?
- If it is an emergency please call the SES for immediate assistance
- In most other cases, do what you can to stop/reduce the incoming water and then contact your home insurer as the first step to understanding what you can do
When these severe weather events happen most owners contact the builder of the home to request an inspection or even rectification of the damaged parts however if this issue hasn’t occurred until now then it is likely it is due to the severe weather event and these items will be claimable under your owner’s home insurance or alternatively are maintenance issues as the homeowner for you to attend to.
How to Decide Whether to Move Out or Live Through a First Floor Addition, Ground Floor Extension or Renovation?
Whether you are building a First Floor Addition, Ground Floor Extension or Renovation, the one question that our clients always ask us is can they stay in the home and live through construction or should they consider temporarily moving out? This is a big decision to make — with a lot of factors to consider other than your budget when entering into significant construction works to your home.
We have outlined below some of the factors to take into account when looking to stay or move.
Factor # 1 – Scope of works
How much work is going to be done to your home? Are you doing a large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition? Are you renovating the kitchen and bathroom? These are two areas of your home that you often cannot live without for more than a few days. Is there going to be demolition? Are you renovating a completely isolated part of the house (e.g. second floor)? Can you live under the addition while being built?
These are the questions to consider when deciding whether to remain living in your home or move out and allow the builders to work their magic.
Keep in mind that construction is disruptive in nature. It can cause inconveniences and interrupt your daily routine. It is also possible that you will interfere with the builders and slow things down.
Therefore, if you are:
- Conducting a large scale renovation (50% of the house)
- Doing ground floor renovations including areas like the kitchen
- Doing a demolition
- Removing toxic materials (e.g. asbestos and mould growth)
- Removing and replacing the roof
- Doing a total kitchen and bathroom overhaul
You should consider moving out to make way for the builders who will work on your home.
Factor # 2 – Budget
Can you stretch your budget to be able to afford temporary accommodation?
Budget is often a major concern for many renovators or addition and extension builders. The truth is that both moving out and staying in will incur additional expenses.
If you are planning to move out, you must prepare for the costs of short-term renting.
To save money, you could stay in an Airbnb, or a cheaper hotel/motel, go on a budget vacation, or you could ask a friend or a relative if you can stay and live with them temporarily.
If you choose to stay amidst a large-scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition be prepared to order takeaway and bottled drinking water. All these are going to add up to your expenses.
Factor # 3 – Basic cooking facilities and a working bathroom
If you choose to live through the large-scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition, you might need to set up a makeshift kitchen and a temporary dishwashing area. Cooking using your outdoor kitchen or BBQ is a great idea.
In general, a makeshift kitchen almost works for most builds, but it is going to be a huge adjustment for everyone with them. You should be prepared to be without a full working kitchen for a least 6 weeks.
Living through a large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition is also easier when you already have two bathrooms in the house, and one remains functional while the other is being renovated. Otherwise, you need to buy a portable toilet. If you are renovating both as part of your build, be prepared to pay more if you request for them to be renovated separately instead of at the same time as the builder will incur additional travel, labour, time and site costs.
Access to water is crucial too. If you’re staying, ask your builder about the times that they need to turn off the water supply so you can create a bathroom schedule and store clean water for cooking and doing chores.
Factor # 4 – Level of tolerance and patience
Can you deal with the noise coming from jackhammers, electric saws, welding machines, dump trucks, cement mixers, cement cutters, tamping machines, sledgehammers, and drills as early as 7AM and as late as 6PM?
How about that fine gyprock dust that gets everywhere despite sealing up some parts of the house?
Can you deal with all the waste from the construction and scaffolding around your house?
Would you feel comfortable doing your daily routine with the builders and tradies walking around the house? Do you think they can do more when you’re not around?
There are the clients who can and the clients who can’t handle living through a construction zone! Which one are you? Based on experience, a lot of people commencing a large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition decide to move out in the middle of construction because they cannot bear the noise, dirt, and lack of privacy. Not having to live through the mess and chaos is a lifesaver, especially during these stressful times. You may also find you will be more excited with your new space when you move back in rather than living through the chaos to get to the end.
Factor # 5 – Length of the renovation
When the large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition takes over your home for weeks or months, moving out is the ideal option. The builders work faster with you out of the way, which results in quicker turnaround times and more money saved on labour costs.
Factor # 6 – Who are you living with?
Most couples with no children decide to live through the renovation process, but only when smaller-scale work needs to be done.
But, if you are doing major building works and you have small children, teenagers, pets, and are living with elderly members of your family, consider moving out. It would help if you got out of the way so the builders would be able to get more done quickly.
Factor # 7 – Which is more stressful? Moving out or staying in?
Whether you stay or move, your large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition can cause stress. Of course, stress is simply par for the course when building, and nearly everyone — regardless of whether they moved out or stayed put – experience some sort of challenge during the build.
Deciding to live through a large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition or to move out is a personal decision. It is up to you and your family to weigh up the pros and cons, depending on your situation. Assess the amount of work to be done and the time the builders need to finish construction. Once you know the scope of the project and the specifics of the construction and design, you’ll figure out where you will stay while the work is being done.
The most important thing is communication – confirm your selections and questions before your build commences and then allow your builder and their team breathing room to get stuck in and complete the project at hand.
The demand for green housing is getting bigger by the minute. The HIA GreenSmart program offers up-to-date information on practical, affordable and durable environmental solutions for residential design and construction.
Today there is more demand for builders to create sustainable homes using environmentally responsible housing design ideas, building techniques and products.
A GreenSmart house will:
✔ Improve the water and energy efficiency of the home and reduce energy bills and costs
✔ Create healthier homes for occupants
✔ Provide options to make the home more adaptable for all stages of life
✔ Reduce waste from the building process
✔ Improve site management during construction
Our Builder Alistair has completed the GreenSmart Professional training and is Accredited as a GreenSmart Professional.
Some things that we have been integrating into our first floor additions, ground floor extensions and renovations are:
✔ Improved thermal performance
✔ Passive solar design and natural ventilation
✔ Design and operational issues for water and energy efficiency
✔ Selection of water and energy-efficient appliances
✔ Sustainable building products
When planning your build consider asking your builder or planning team these questions:
Have you thought about the orientation of your addition?
What windows and type of glass to use in your build?
What energy efficiency and sustainable products can you use?
When you meet with our builder and work with our drafting team for your project, we will take these important things into consideration for the design and build of your addition or extension.
Contact us today to discuss how we can integrate environmentally sustainable building solutions into your build.