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Construction work can restart on Saturday 31 July – NSW

The NSW Premier has confirmed today (28 July 2021) that the lockdown for Greater Sydney will be extended for four more weeks, to end on 28 August. Despite this extension of time, the Premier has also announced that some types of building work can recommence on 31 July.

Under the new restrictions, work can recommence on home building sites and home renovations in local government areas not listed as restricted local government.

Which home building sites can reopen?

Home building sites and renovation sites in Greater Sydney may reopen from Saturday 31 July except for sites within the eight restricted local government areas.

Building sites that can reopen will also be allowed to start preparatory work tomorrow, 29 July to prepare for work starting on 31 July.

The eight restricted local government areas are Fairfield, Blacktown, Cumberland, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool, Parramatta and Georges River.

Building sites permitted to be open will need to meet new strict health and safety requirements and have a COVID Safety Plan in place.

Limits on the number of workers allowed on a site will apply based on whether the building site is unoccupied or occupied.

What are the restrictions for home building and renovation work on unoccupied sites?

  • Only one trade team may be on-site at any given time, for example, bricklayers and carpenters cannot be on-site at the same time.
  • Trades may only attend a maximum of five different sites per week.
  • These limits are not applicable to certain specialist roles that are on-site for relatively short periods of time such as site supervisors, certifiers and professional services, engineers, surveyors, delivery drivers and specialist installers working on their own.

What are the restrictions for home building and renovation work on occupied sites?

  • Workers must remain separated from all residents when on-site.
  • Only one trade team may be on-site at any given time.
  • For internal areas a maximum of two workers are permitted at any given time and for external work a maximum of five workers may be on-site at any given time.
  • Trades may only visit a maximum of five different sites per week.
  • These limits are not applicable to certain specialist roles that are on-site for relatively short periods of time, such as site supervisors, certifiers and professional services, engineers, surveyors, delivery drivers and specialist installers working on their own.

What additional restrictions apply for permitted home building and renovation work?

All worksites must have an updated COVID Safety Plan in place.

Masks must be worn at all times, both indoors and outdoors, subject to exemptions.

Builders must appoint a COVID marshal, such as the site supervisor, to ensure all restrictions are complied with on-site. One marshal is required per 50 staff/tradespeople.

Workers must adhere to the 1 person per 4 metre rule (where ever possible).

Deliveries to site must be contactless as far as is practical and workers must maintain a 3 metre separation from anyone not in their team, including delivery personnel.

Builders must maintain a register of all people who have been at their sites and ensure all people, including delivery drivers, ‘check in’ using the Service NSW COVID Safe Check-in QR code.

Can home building continue in the eight restricted LGAs?

No. Building sites within the eight restricted LGAs must remain closed at this time and trades and workers who live within those LGAs are not permitted to leave their LGA to undertake building work.

As has been the case for the last two weeks, urgent works can continue to be undertaken after 31 July in the restricted LGAs.

Can engineers, certifiers and other professionals still carry out inspections?

Yes. The restrictions do not apply to roles that involve inherently short and contactless visits to sites, such as supervisors, certifiers and professional services such as engineers and surveyors.

All people carrying out these roles are still required to wear masks, maintain a 3 metre separation from any other workers on-site (wherever possible) and ‘check in’ to the site using the Service NSW Check-in QR code.

Want more information?

More details on today’s announcements are available on the NSW Government COVID-19 website.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Hot tips to help you survive your renovation

Tips for homeowners living through a renovation, extension or addition

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. We’ve put together some tips to help you survive your renovation – whether you stay or go for the duration of the build;

If you decide to stay and live through the renovation, your number one priority is to preserve your sanity:

Before the renovation:

  • Declutter. It will be easier for you to live with the essentials before you start the renovation.
  • Stay far away from the work area to ensure you’re not in the builders’ and tradespeople’s way.
  • Tackle the dust debacle by placing all essentials in one room that you will not renovate, cover them, then seal off the area.
  • Take all your fragile items and store them far from the work area. If you are going to store them in boxes, don’t forget to label them as fragile.
  • Prepare a lot of drop sheets, tarpaulins and blankets. You are going to need a lot of them to cover important furniture pieces and other items.
  • Label every sealed storage box, so you know where to find the items you need. It is a hassle to move things around every time.
  • Ensure you have made all of your decisions and finalised all of your selections BEFORE your build starts. This will take away the stress of feeling rushed to make decisions and ensure clarity when heading into the build. The last thing your builder wants is to work out variations during the build following a last-minute change of mind. Believe it or not, most builders’ would prefer not to have any variations during your build!

During the renovation:

  • Be prepared; it is an emotional journey. Give the builder and their team breathing room to complete the build, communicate with them on their expected finish date and let them work towards it.
  • There will be times when you will feel like everything is slow and one task is taking so much time. When this happens, try to relax – it could be simply due to the number of different trades required to be coordinated for 1 area, or the team is ahead of schedule or waiting on a delivery.
  • If you have been provided with a timeline, generally, your builder should be on track or thereabouts. As long as they are still confident of achieving your end date, it’s not so important how each specific item progresses in between. If you are concerned, discuss the issue with your builder during a scheduled meeting.
  • For large scale extensions and first floor additions
  • Try to avoid unnecessary chats — the type that goes on for hours.
  • If you have zero background in construction, do not be tempted to work alongside the builders and tradespeople. Let them deliver what is agreed in the quote. Also, you do not want to mess up, then pay extra to have it fixed.
  • For better indoor air quality, turn off your air conditioning system.
  • Always wear your shoes and slippers.
  • Keep the kids and your pets away from the construction site at all times. If you have dogs, consider keeping them away for the duration of the build, as doors and gates can be left open, and the builder is not responsible for keeping an eye on them for you.
  • Yes, the portaloo stinks. They are cleaned fortnightly, but it doesn’t take away the youthful nostalgia of festival toilets!
  • Water ingress – it happens. Your builder will do everything in their power to prevent it; however, water can still work its way in during the initial construction stages of a large scale project. Don’t stress though, as your builder will make good the areas that are impacted – just communicate with your builder when this happens.

Based on experience, it is possible to stay in your home and live through a large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition, but expect changes in your daily routine, and sometimes you may be without water, electricity or internet. You also need to be extra careful to avoid accidents on site.

If staying in is becoming too difficult for you, there is no shame in moving out. Here are our tips:

Tips for homeowners temporarily moving out

  • Make sure that you have the funds for it, discuss with your builder the recommended duration so you can look at accommodation.
  • Look for a decent rental property close to the construction site, school, and workplace, so travelling back and forth won’t be an issue.
  • Conduct regular drivebys to see your home take shape and, if needed, schedule a meeting every few weeks with your builder to discuss progress.
  • Never enter the construction site without notifying the builders for security and safety reasons.
  • If you’re going to live with a friend or a relative, try not to make them feel like you’re conquering their space. Shop for your own food and use your own toiletries.

Deciding to live through a large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition, or moving 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.




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 additionAre 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.





Planning and Approval Timeline

Building smart energy efficient and sustainable additions

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
✔ Lighting
✔ Sustainable building products
✔ Design

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.

What comes first? Plans or Quote?

We often get asked: “What should I do first? Should I get a quote for my home extension/addition or should I get plans drawn up?”

These are our top 5 tips on why you should get a quote from a builder BEFORE getting plans for your project when building an addition or extension.

    1. Obtaining a detailed written quote or proposal for your addition or extension comes with many benefits. In your quote the builder should provide you with an indication of the size of the build (how much room is going to be added to your home), the number of rooms being added and what materials and inclusions are being used so you know what is included and if you can afford what you are planning to build.

 

    1. A builder can arrange to assist you in drafting plans inhouse or have relationships with draftspeople or architects that specialise in the type of build you are after. This can make the whole process smoother and faster saving you time and money.

 

    1. When you work with your builder they can review your plans with you and the draftsperson to ensure you are staying on track with costs and may pick up on items that may be of concern from a construction viewpoint. This input is important in ensuring that you achieve what you set out for in your build while staying within your budget and avoiding issues that could arise during the build if not picked up during this critical planning stage.

 

    1. A builder can help and advise you on the true costs for different material options before you commit to plans and approvals. This can in turn ensure that you get the right materials, resulting in the right look for your build at the right cost.

 

  1. A builder can consult and guide you with on how to achieve what you want while managing what you can afford. This is best done prior to plans being drawn up due to the builders expertise in the type of build you are looking at. This can reduce the amount of plan revisions and save you time and money in the short term and long term.

If you are thinking of planning or building an addition or extension contact us on (02) 4647 2324 or fill out the form below to get things started.

 

Extension of the HomeBuilder Grant to 31 March 2021

HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant to build a first-floor addition/ground floor extension/substantially renovate an existing home. HomeBuilder assists the residential construction sector by encouraging the commencement of new home builds and renovations.

On 29 November 2020, the Government announced an extension to the HomeBuilder program to 31 March 2021.

Changes to the HomeBuilder program include:

  • A $15,000 grant for building contracts (new builds and first-floor additions/ground floor extensions/substantial renovations) signed between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021, inclusive.
  • An extended deadline for all applications to be submitted, including those applying for the $25,000 grant and the new $15,000 grant. Applications for the new $15,000 grant can now be submitted up until 14 April 2021 (inclusive). This will apply to all eligible contracts signed on or after 4 June 2020.
  • An extension to the construction commencement timeframe from three months to six months for all HomeBuilder applicants. This will apply to all eligible contracts signed on or after 1 January 2021, but will also be backdated and apply to all contracts entered into on or after 4 June 2020.

Other than the above, the existing program criteria applies. That is, the other existing eligibility criteria remains in place and the $25,000 grant will still be made available for eligible contracts signed on or before 31 December 2020. More information can be found here: https://www.32degreesbuilding.com.au/get-a-25000-contribution-towards-your-addition-extension-or-renovation-through-the-homebuilder-program/

To take advantage of the HomeBuilder Program and secure your HomeBuilder Grant, it is important that you start the planning process now.

Contact us now to discuss your first-floor addition, ground floor extension or large scale renovation project.

 

Partnership with One Tree Planted

We care deeply about the planet and creating a business that gives back to nature. That’s why we’re thrilled to share that we’re partnering with One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every building project we complete.

Trees clean our air and water, create habitats for biodiversity, contribute to our health and wellbeing, and create jobs for social impact. We’re honoured to have reforestation through One Tree Planted as an integral part of our business model.

One Tree Planted is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to global reforestation and reforestation in Australia. They plant trees in Australia and around the world to restore nature and biodiversity.

They also raise awareness about the importance of trees, while offering businesses like ours a simple sustainability solution, and motivate younger generations to do something positive for the environment.

Australia experienced one of the largest natural disasters in history. This year’s fire season has brought about unprecedented destruction as wildfires have spread across every Australian state, burning up nearly 6 million hectares (15 million acres) of bush as of January 2020.

But the devastation witnessed in the state of New South Wales is nearly unfathomable – 3.6 million hectares (8.8 million acres) have been lost, over 1,500 homes destroyed or damaged, and 24 people have been killed. New South Wales is home to some of the most iconic of Australia’s wildlife – koalas, wombats, and kangaroos to name a few – and their habitat is rapidly declining.

At the moment, the focus in Australia is on assessing the impact they have had on local communities and environments. Plenty of support will be needed to restore this landscape back to health.

For every addition or extension we build, 32 Degrees Building will plant 50 trees in Australia to assist with reforestation and rebuilding habitats for native wildlife.

How we are keeping you COVID safe during your build

With the current challenges associated with COVID-19 and our clients’ safety and well being at the top of our priorities, we have implemented several measures to ensure that we keep you COVID Safe during your build.

We are a NSW Government registered COVID Safe business with a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place and we are committed to keeping you and your family as well as our team safe.

Some of the measures we have implemented are:

  • We keep our team isolated from the existing home and our clients for the maximum time period that is practicable. This includes not penetrating the ground floor for as long as possible when building a first-floor addition and utilising scaffolding to complete the majority of the build until we are required to create the entry hole for the stairs.
  • We have introduced hygiene stations (pictured below) across our sites, which ensures that there are adequate facilities for our team to enable good hygiene practices (e.g. soap, hand sanitiser, signage and reminders).
  • We have developed and implemented infection control policies and procedures.
  • All of our team have been directed to comply with the latest quarantine measures if they are experiencing any flu-like symptoms or are feeling unwell.
  • Every individual that enters any job site is required to complete an induction and we keep log of their details.
  • Rather than face to face communication, we can communicate with our clients via video calling/conferencing, messaging (Whatsapp, text messages etc.) and email before, during and after the build, to enable a seamless contact-free build process, eliminating any unnecessary contact.

Your family’s and our family’s safety is of the utmost importance and we have implemented the above strategies to ensure that we all remain safe and healthy during these challenging times.

We appreciate your continuous support and business during these times and would love to create more space for your family to live comfortably and happily together.

Should you wish to discuss your build or enquire about the safety measures we have in place, please contact us on (02) 4647 2324.

This Is Why People Love Custom First Floor Additions

First floor additions, also known as second storey extensions are increasingly popular for those homeowners who don’t want to lose valuable garden space but want to increase their family living space. Best of all, going up is easy and our team will do their best to ensure the process is smooth and the build is completed on time and with minimal disruption to your daily lives.

You can have a modern, liveable home with plenty of space for your family – without giving up the location you love.

Our team are the experts in planning and building custom/tailor-designed First Floor Additions

We are often approached by clients who would like to create an open plan living environment downstairs, whilst adding more room for the family to live comfortably upstairs. The best way to achieve this is with a Custom First Floor Addition.

As specialists in these types of builds, we have many years of experience enabling us to easily offer solutions and suggestions on products, layout and how to get the most from your investment. We are able to share with you relevant quality projects that have resulted in many of our clients becoming raving fans.

No Plans? No Worries!

If a client comes to us without plans, part of our service is to organise for a building designer to assist with the plans and design process. This is will be included in our Preliminary Agreement if required.

We can arrange for our draftspeople to consult with our clients at their home and discuss their project requirements. From there we will then provide plans based upon their specifications and work hand in hand with our clients and the draftsperson to ensure the plans continue to work within the tailored build cost estimate that we have provided.

Improve your lifestyle and bring your family together

When building their addition our clients often decide to open up downstairs living spaces, renovate their kitchen and bathrooms and create new living spaces internally and externally. Once the addition and renovation are completed they are left with a finished product that is like moving into a brand new home.

We are able to create open plan living spaces and improve their current living situation. Our mission is to bring families closer together.

Take away the stress, let us help you plan, manage and design your build

We have a streamlined process which is stress-free and fun. When you are building with 32 Degrees Building you don’t have to worry about anything other than choosing what you want to add to your home and we will work with you on the design to suit your home and your lifestyle.

Contact us to start your building journey today

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