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Building Your Dream Home: Plans First or Builder First?

When embarking on a Second Storey Addition, Ground Floor Extension or Large Scale Renovation project, one of the critical decisions you’ll face is whether to start with architectural plans or consult a builder first. It’s a topic that often divides opinions, with some advocating for plans first and others for the builder-first approach. At 32 Degrees Building, we believe that choosing the builder-first approach can save you time, money, and unnecessary headaches down the road. In this blog, we’ll explore why it might be in your best interest to consult a builder before diving into architectural plans.

1. The Budget-Conscious Approach: One of the initial concerns when starting any construction project is budgeting. Will your dream design align with your financial resources? Architects are experts at creating beautiful designs, but they might not fully understand your budget constraints. By approaching a builder first, you can get an accurate quotation upfront, allowing you to make informed decisions about your project’s scope and financial feasibility.

2. Realistic Cost Assessment: Builders are well-versed in construction costs, market trends, and material expenses. When you consult a builder first, you tap into their expertise. They can provide valuable insights into cost-effective design choices and suggest alternatives that can save you money without sacrificing your vision.

3. Holistic Project Management: Opting for a builder-first approach means you’re not just receiving a quote. You’re partnering with professionals who can handle the preliminary aspects of your project, including architectural plans, engineering, and approval processes. This holistic approach saves you time, money, and the stress of coordinating various services independently.

4. Avoiding Costly Redesigns: Imagine spending a significant sum on independent architectural plans, only to discover that they don’t fit your budget or your vision needs adjustments. The cost of revisions or a complete redesign can be substantial. When you consult a builder first, they will work with you on your plans early on and provide valuable feedback, helping you avoid expensive changes later in the process.

5. Standard Preliminaries Simplified: At 32 Degrees Building, we offer a comprehensive preliminary service that covers all essential aspects of your project, such as architectural plans, surveys, BASIX compliance, environmental assessments, waste management planning, external colour scheduling, structural adequacy certificates, engineering plans, stormwater plans, Sydney Water Tap-In Approval, and assistance with the application process to Council or Certifier. Our bundled service not only streamlines the process but also offers cost savings compared to sourcing these services independently.

6. Cost Efficiency: Contrary to popular belief, obtaining preliminary services independently may not save you money. Our integrated package is designed to be more cost-effective while ensuring that all necessary aspects are handled efficiently.

Conclusion: In the pursuit of your dream home, the choice between plans first or builder first can significantly impact your project’s success. At 32 Degrees Building, we advocate for the builder-first approach, which provides you with a realistic cost assessment, holistic project management, and valuable insights to align your vision with your budget. Our comprehensive preliminary service simplifies the process and offers cost-efficiency.

To learn more about how our builder-first approach can benefit your second-storey addition, ground floor extension, or large-scale renovation, please contact us. We’re here to help you turn your dream home into a reality while keeping your project on track and within budget.

The days of waiting for a quote are over? Aren’t they?

In today’s world, the time of waiting is over. The lightning speed at 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 client 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, 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) a discussion of available packages;
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. Again, we treat these enquiries the same as the impulsers they will receive an explanation of our process and we find that from here they are already keen to get moving and make an appointment for a builders tender. Some may even have plans prepared. Through our extensive experience building additions and extensions, we have found that when we are presented with plans provided by an external provider, these often do not take into consideration the real cost of building. To address this challenge we make sure that we look after the entire process from start to finish. We will work with you to create plans that will align with your quote.

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 3-5 days of an appointment! Yes, just like that! No waiting for 2, 3 or 4+ weeks. Just 3-5 days!

Why so quick? Because you have invested in us for your consultation, we have invested and committed our time to 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 quote within 3-5 days. We can do all of this in just 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.


Why you should invest in a professional build cost estimate

What makes paying for a professional build cost estimate a good investment? By paying for a professional build cost estimate a builder is enabled to dedicate their time and care in which they can apply a holistic approach to an entire project (with or without plans) delivering a detailed build cost estimate. They are providing you with a valuable time-based service that should leave you feeling educated, empowered and aware of the possible next step(s) forward with your investment. This is inclusive of the builder not only meeting with you at your home; but also spending time researching your needs, sourcing prices and products, liaising with relevant trades and suppliers, it can also include contacting the council, a draftsman, an engineer and any additional specialists (such as a bushfire consultant) before delivering you an accurate tailored solution which will enable you to make an informed decision on your investment. Through this process, you are also being educated about the build and the valuable information you receive should be followed with a responsive service that will lead to an accurate proposal and tailored solution for your home – your investment, your family, your lifestyle, and your goals. By investing in a professional build cost estimate; You are investing in yourself. 

When I say you are educating yourself, what does that mean? Throughout their career, a builder will work across multiple projects and gain a valuable wealth of knowledge and experience often leading to specialising in specific build types. (eg. additions, extensions, project homes). It is always recommended to engage in a builder that specialises in the type of build you are interested in.

When engaging a builder through a professional build cost estimate, the builder is dedicating their time with you to impart their knowledge and educate you. They should be able to explain the building process and provide solutions based on their extensive knowledge and experience within the building industry. They should be able to listen to your needs and then respond with information to help you understand what is a viable investment and what isn’t. A builder should be able to discuss specific building materials, their features, benefits and their associated costs and make recommendations based upon your project, Council requirements, budget constraints and your lifestyle. You should be provided with information and advice to help you understand how you can improve the aesthetics and streetscape of your home and also provide quality and cost-effective solutions for the interior and exterior of your project that will add value. Alongside this, the builder should be able to explain the best practices to achieve energy efficiency, working towards the sustainability of your home – which is a major factor in today’s building. Read More