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    32 Degrees Building Blog

Trainee’s Efforts Rewarded With Full-Time Role

It is always great to see a trainee excel and be rewarded with a full-time role once they complete their qualification.

That’s been the case for Kelsey Ray, who has just completed her Certificate III in Business Administration with us here at 32 Degrees Building.

Kelsey is “delighted” to be staying on with the business, which specialised in custom built new homes, first floor additions and ground floor extensions. She will continue in an administration type role, utilising the skills she has developed in customer service, processing payroll and navigating MYOB.

“Kelsey has been a positive addition to our team,” said Victoria Size, Operations Manager at 32 Degrees Building.

“She is assertive in her ability to step in and assist in other areas where she can and is always willing to learn more. Kelsey now has a great understanding of accounts payable and payroll and is continuing her learning path with sales, client support, HR and accounts receivable, which will ensure that she is a great asset to any company she works for.”

The skills and knowledge Kelsey has learnt in her traineeship have been invaluable to her in regards to working in an office environment.

“Being able to develop the skills I need to start my career in business administration in a practical, real world application,” Kelsey said of what she’s enjoyed the most about her traineeship.

A key element to any young employee getting the most out of their traineeship is the support they have around them. Kelsey described the support she received the last year as “excellent”.

“Everyone at 32 Degrees Building have been so willing to share their knowledge and experience with me, and it was comforting to know that My Gateway was always there if I needed help with anything.”

Prior to beginning her traineeship at 32 Degrees Building, Kelsey worked in the veterinary industry and had limited administration experience. This didn’t pose an issue during her traineeship though, with Kelsey displaying an eagerness to learn and to help her colleagues when necessary.


Kelsey (left) pictured with her supervisor, Victoria. Photo credit: My Gateway.

“From the start Kelsey was all about the “why” – she had to understand why she was doing what she was doing and as soon as she understood this, she was able to effectively undertake her new role,” Victoria said.

Kelsey’s development throughout her traineeship has provided her with some great lessons and advice to help anyone looking to do a traineeship.

“Ask for help when you need it,” Kelsey said. “You’re there to learn and no one expects you to know how to do everything straight off the bat, so ask questions when you need to so you can get the support you need.”

“If you’re willing to put the effort in, you won’t regret it. The opportunity to learn on the job is truly invaluable and My Gateway will be there to help every step of the way.”

We are stoked to have Kelsey employed with us full-time as a valuable member of our team and thank My Gateway for their support throughout the process.


Start your career with us

Leading Hands, Carpenters, Carpentry Apprentices and Administrative Staff Required

Due to recent growth, we are looking for leading hands, carpenters, carpentry apprentices and administrative staff that live in the surrounding suburbs along the M4 & M5 corridors to join our team.

To apply, please call 02 4647 2324 and send your resume to admin@32degreesbuilding.com.au

Must have a drivers licence and a ute, an immediate start is available for the right applicant. Attractive packages available to the right candidates and based upon skill level. Apprentices are paid as per the Award.

What do we offer in return?
A challenging, rewarding and safe working environment where you can develop your skills and gain a variety of experience across the residential construction industry. We will help you to cement your future in your chosen trade and offer exciting career opportunities for you.

Apply Here

How to save money building a First Floor Addition vs a Ground Floor Extension

We often have clients that approach us looking to add more room to their home.

A common question we are asked is ‘Should I build an extension or an addition?

We look at the benefits of building an Addition vs an Extension below.

What’s the difference between an Extension and an Addition?

Extension

In the building industry, the term ‘extension’ refers to extending an existing building; to extend its overall floor size. Basically, it means to add another room or make a room larger whilst remaining at the ground level. To add an extension to your home, you will need to sacrifice some of your backyard or front yard to accommodate the extra room.

Addition

Similar to an extension, an addition can add more living space to your home. However, with an addition (also known as a second storey addition/first floor addition), you do not need to give up any of your yard space as an ‘addition’ goes up and not out like an extension is required to do. In other words, when you have an addition done to your home, you will gain another floor level. Adding height rather than length.

The cost benefits of building an Addition vs an Extension

  • You can keep living in your home whilst an addition is being built, this saves you the costs related to finding short term accommodation and relocating your family and your possessions.
  • You do not have to worry about soil removal. When building an extension, excavation and site preparation costs can be high. Not only do you have to prepare the site to be built on, you often need to remove any excess soil and other materials to make way for the extension.
  • An addition can add significant value to your home. How much value can vary greatly depending on what you plan to add to your home. Regardless, a first floor addition is said to add between 30 to 60% to the value of your home.
  • If you add extra bedrooms and bathrooms to your home, you can expect a significant return on your investment. This increase in house value is often in line with the difference in house prices from going from a three-bedroom home to a five-bedroom home.
  • Choosing to build a First Floor Addition to your home rather than a Ground Floor Extension will also result in you being able to retain more yard space and this will also further add to the selling power of your property.

Regardless of your decision, our team can assist you with an Addition or Extension to your home. Contact us to discuss how we can add more room to your home.

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 300 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

Book An Appointment Now
The Next Step - Pre-Quote Enquiry Form

Not ready to book? Check out our process and how we do things here.

What type of loans can you use to fund your addition or extension?

If you are building an addition or extension on your home you may find yourself needing to arrange finance to pay for the build. We can help you secure the appropriate finance for your build.

Refinance your current mortgage

To pay for your addition or extension you can opt to refinance your existing mortgage. This means that you will use the equity in your home to obtain a loan for a higher amount than what you currently owe to finance your addition or extension project.

The new loan will replace your old loan and you can choose to stay with your existing finance provider or move to a new finance provider. Refinancing has several advantages for homeowners with substantial equity in their homes.

First, it may allow you to obtain lower interest rates without changing your monthly mortgage payment or adding on a new payment.

Second, some lenders “may approve a loan based on the estimated value of your home once the addition is completed,” which is convenient for projects that require a large amount of money, such as a second story addition or ground floor extension.

Take out a Construction Loan

A construction home loan is a type of home loan designed for people who are building a new home, a first floor addition, ground floor extension or doing large scale renovations. It has a different loan structure to home loans designed for people buying an established or existing home.

A construction loan most commonly has a progressive drawdown. That is, you receive instalments of the loan amount at various stages of construction, rather than receiving it all at once at the start. You generally only pay interest on the amount that is drawn down, as opposed to on the whole loan amount.

A number of lenders offer construction loans that are interest-only during the construction period and then revert to a standard principal and interest loan.

Of course, a construction loan is just one potential source of funding for your project. The Federal Government recently unveiled its HomeBuilder scheme, which will give eligible homebuyers and existing owners grants of $25,000 to help them construct or substantially renovate their home. Strict eligibility criteria apply– for example, you’ll need to meet an income test, and be building a new home that’s worth less than $750,000 or a renovation that will cost at least $150,000. For more information visit our blog post here.

We can connect you with our finance specialist to discuss how to get started today.

Get a $25,000 contribution towards your Addition, Extension or Renovation through the HomeBuilder Program

Eligible Australians will be able to obtain a $25,000 HomeBuilder grant towards their addition, extension or major renovation under the near – $700 million federal government housing package in a bid to boost the economy and act as a lifeline to the home construction industry (Homebuilder program).

The government announced the $688 million HomeBuilder program on Thursday 4 June 2020. In an attempt to boost new projects between now and the end of the year, the Government will give $25,000 grants to owner-occupiers for certain works on their homes.

These works include first floor/second storey additions, ground floor extensions and large scale renovations.

Renovation work does not include structures separate to the main property, such as swimming pools, tennis courts, granny flats and sheds.

The scheme will not apply to investment properties or owners who intend on building or renovating on their own without the help of licensed builders.

The plan will be restricted to people on middle incomes and to new homes and major renovations valued between $150,000 to $750,000.

The pre-renovation value of the house must not exceed $1.5 million and excludes sheds, pools, granny flats and any other structures not attached to the property.

The temporary scheme that will last until the end of the year, aiming to build 30,000 homes by Christmas.

Construction of a new home or a substantial renovation (including first floor additions, second storey additions and ground floor extensions) must be contracted to begin within three months to prevent a rise in house prices.

The grants will be means-tested, allowing singles who earned up to $125,000 the previous financial year and couples who earned up to $200,000 to access the scheme.

The scheme will work along existing state and territory first-home owner grants programs, stamp duty concessions and other grant schemes, including the federal government’s first-home loan deposit scheme and first-home super saver scheme.

Click the links below to download HomeBuilder Program Fact sheets

HomeBuilder Fact Sheet
Last updated: Thursday 4 June 2020
HomeBuilder – Frequently asked questions
Last updated: Thursday 4 June 2020

To take advantage of the HomeBuilder Program and secure your $25,000 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.

How to compare building quotes

You’ve made a decision to invest in expanding your family home, but there are so many building companies out there, who do you contact and how do you select a builder and feel confident that you are making the right choice? What type of builder should you be looking for? And how can you avoid facing the common pitfalls and horror stories?

It can be a daunting process, and if you’re in the process of obtaining quotations for a potential second storey addition or ground floor extension on your home, you may be wondering why the quotes you do receive are coming back varying in price.

To help, we’ve compiled a list of items to consider when comparing the value of the quotations you are receiving.

What impacts a build cost? Put simply the following items below will all impact your quotation;

  • Builders experience
  • Building timeframes
  • Allowances & inclusions
  • Ambiguous quoting
  • Items missed or not outlined clearly
  • Service delivery and project management

So, how are all of the quotes so different in price?

It is quite normal to receive quotations and see a 5%-10% difference between them, any more than this would raise a red flag, and it is suggested that you approach your builder and ask the following questions to help determine where the cost differences may lie.

Is the quote apples for apples? Is it comparable?

It’s important to understand that allowance items and finishes are different between builders; for example, you may have an allowance for a $10K bathroom package vs a $3K bathroom package in your quotation. Immediately this will impact the build cost and also may be a deciding factor in the quality of the build you will receive.

How does the builder operate? Do they use employees or contractors?

If the builder is a smaller company, they may use contractors or have less employees, if this is the case, what are the timeframes for your build? The duration of the build may take longer, and you then have to weigh up the additional cost to you of a more prolonged disruption to your family and if you may incur potential additional rental or storage costs over this time. If they are a smaller builder, they may only complete 1-5 projects a year vs a medium-sized builder who completes 20-30.

This would then raise follow on questions of how long do they take to complete a build? How big is their team? And how will the project be managed? Will you be able to talk with the Project Manager during the build, will you have a site supervisor, how can you reach management if there is an issue, is there a support team in place to help guide you through the process?

If they use contractors or employees – how is the quality managed and how can they guarantee the timeframes?

By having employees, they are paid to turn up on time, every day as projected; this ensures no downtime and your project can run smoothly. Unfortunately, some contractors work to their own schedules which don’t always work in with the build and can result in delays. If they use contractors, can your builder guarantee the duration of your build and also the quality? What happens when something goes wrong with the quality, can they get the contractor back to resolve it or will there be project delays while they source someone else to resolve it? Where do you stand if there are delays in your build?

What type of contracts do you work with?

What type of contract used is important to understand very early on in the quoting process as this can have significant impacts to the cost of your build. We recommend only choosing a builder who is using fixed price building contracts such as the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and Master Builders Association (MBA) contracts.

These contracts have been made easy to understand and contain space for the parties to fill out information such as the price, contract completion date, any excluded work.

What is a Fixed-Price Contract?

Fixed-price contracts are contracts where the price agreed upon is a fixed lump sum. This is the most common type of contract used for residential building works.

There are several ways in which the contract price can be changed. This includes ‘variations’, i.e. changes or additions to the scope of works. It also includes provisional sum items (allowances) which may not have been decided at the time the contract is entered into, such as bathroom/kitchen allowances. If the amount allowed is more than the cost of the item, then the owner will receive a credit. If the amount allowed is less than the cost, then a variation will be created.

Cost Plus Contract

An alternative to the fixed-price contract is a ‘cost plus’ contract. These contracts have a capacity to become very expensive, and you should carefully consider these contracts before entering into them as there is no upper limit for the final price.

These contracts differ from the fixed-price contracts as, rather than agreeing to a fixed-price for the building works, the owner agrees to cover the builder’s costs plus an agreed margin for any overheads and profit encountered by the builder. In other words, the price is the actual cost of the works plus the builder’s margin.

How we can help you with your addition, extension or renovation

Your home is one of the most significant investment decisions you will make in your lifetime, and it is an emotional purchase and, as exciting as it can be, it can also be quite stressful at the same time. You need to be able to put trust into who you are engaging with to ensure a positive outcome and stressfree seamless process and this means that it is not always about taking the cheapest quote. You should feel comfortable with being able to approach your builder and talk over your quotation to understand what is included and how you will fit in and work together on your home.

At 32 Degrees Building, we have a team to guide you through the process to help you understand your quote, the process and work together with you on your build. This includes having your own access to your own project management team during your build for peace of mind and quick response.

If you would like to discuss your upcoming second storey addition or ground floor extension with our team and receive a detailed build cost estimate, please reach out to us.

Renovation Package

RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM, KITCHEN AND FLOORING FOR ONLY $98K!

Thinking of renovating your bathroom and kitchen and revamping your floor?

We have put together the perfect renovation package for you!

We are experienced renovation experts who project manage your home renovation package from start to finish and deliver your project on time and to budget.  You also deal directly with us throughout, which means no sales reps or chasing tradespeople. 

Our Renovation Package includes:

  • 1 x bathroom – Semi-frameless shower screen & $6K to spend at Beaumont Tiles
  • 1 x kitchen – Polyurethane cabinetry, 40mm stone benchtop, glass splashback and soft close drawers, $5K to spend at Winning Appliances
  • Flooring – Hybrid engineered timber flooring to living, dining, hall up to 50m2
  • Includes: electrical, plumbing, plastering, demolition, waste, project management
  • Offer valid to May 1st

Our response to COVID-19 – Coronavirus

The 32 Degrees Building Team acknowledge that we have a duty to provide a safe workplace without risks to the health and safety of our team and our clients.

This includes managing the risk of exposure to the coronavirus, COVID-19 and reducing any impact this may have to our clients, team members and contractors.

We are still conducting business as usual and welcome you to contact us about your build. As a response to the current situation we have implemented the following:

Onsite Consultations
For your reassurance, our builder Alistair will be following strict hygiene protocols when attending onsite consultations. He will refrain from contact and maintain distancing where possible. He carries hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes with him in the car to use before and after each consult. Alistair has also not been overseas in the last 14 days and has not been into contact with anyone that has tested positive with Coronavirus.

Virtual Consultations
For those clients who are looking to build a second storey addition or have plans for an upcoming building project for quoting however you or a family member are unwell, you are self-isolating and/or would prefer to maintain social distancing from our builder, we are offering 20-30 min virtual video consultations*. Alistair can do a virtual walkthrough with you in your home to ascertain the scope and conduct a consultation with you remotely, addressing all of your questions, providing a quotation to you via email in 2-3 business days.

*virtual consultations are not available for extensions that do not have plans already drawn/prepared as an onsite consultation is required for these.

Onsite Team
All of our onsite team have been provided with sanitiser and disinfectant wipes that will be used throughout the day and at the end of each day. Where possible our team members will work in the same groups to minimise the risk of exposure to our members if one person was to become infected. We are also practising distancing by limiting face to face contact with clients and refraining from any contact with each other. If any member of our team displays symptoms, they are being sent home until clearance is provided.

As new information becomes available, we are keeping our team well informed so they can respond swiftly and appropriately. While the circumstances continue to change and we modify our operations as necessary, we thank you for your patience and cooperation. As new developments occur, be assured we are committed to taking care of our clients and team members.