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    First Floor Additions

Why you need to move out for 2 weeks during the build

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.

Take A Holiday On Us

Nobody wants to live through construction. Take a holiday while we build.

We invite you to take a holiday on us at the start of your build. Let us take over whilst you relax. Think about how amazing a couple of weeks break will be when we kick off the addition or extension of your dreams.

We want you to take some time off, kick back and enjoy some relaxation and recuperation that we know you truly deserve. Celebrate your new addition or extension with a holiday courtesy of 32 Degrees Building.


 

Go ahead with any addition or extension valued over $200K, and for a limited time only, we will cover the costs of your holiday, terms apply*


  *Terms and Conditions: Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Upon payment of the 10% deposit towards your HIA fixed-price contract, we will provide you with a $3,000.00 Flight Centre Voucher or give you a $3,000.00 holiday cashback into a nominated bank account. A condition of our building contract is that you vacate the premises for a minimum of two weeks while power is cut to the home and the build commences. During this time we invite you to take a much-needed break and take a holiday on us. This promotion is valid for anyone who signs a preliminary agreement with us from 1 April 2022 till 30 June 2022. Building must commence within 6 months of the preliminary agreement being signed. 

What we are doing to combat the state of the construction industry landscape


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.

A number of major builders have gone bust in recent months despite a home construction boom. Picture: Getty Images


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.

Australia is in the midst of a residential construction boom, with a near-record number of new homes to be built in the next year. Picture: Getty Images


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.




What you can do to prepare your home for a severe weather event?

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.

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.




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.

 

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.

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.