Alongside a house price boom, Australia is in the midst of a homebuilding boom with the Housing Industry of Australia expecting that a near-record number of new homes will be built over the next 12 months.
But for many in the residential construction sector, it’s a profitless boom – and several major players have recently gone bust, with the assumption that more will follow.
Why are construction companies folding?
A perfect storm of factors has been brewing for the better part of 2021, and now the rainy season has arrived.
Supply chain issues, with a shortage of building materials worldwide resulting from COVID-19 disruptions, coupled with natural disasters from freak storms and flooding to bushfires, have provided significant pressure on builders.
Those shortages have led to prices rising exponentially, particularly for timber and steel.
On top of that, a labour shortage is making it difficult to find tradespeople, giving workers the power to command huge wages.
So, the overall cost of construction has been pushed up significantly.
Adding to this is the lengthy delays in actually getting the materials, which has led to some homes taking more than 12 months to be built, further adding to building companies’ costs.
With the majority of builders signing fixed-price contracts with buyers, and the margin for escalating costs being inadequate, many are losing money on every single project.
It’s a big problem in exceptional circumstances like we’re seeing at the moment, said Russ Stephens, co-founder of the Association of Professional Builders.
“The average cost of a contract for a builder has gone up between 15% to 20% over the past six or seven months alone – and up to as much as 50% in some areas,” Mr Stephens said.
What we are doing to combat the state of the construction industry landscape
32 Degrees Building has been operating for over 11+ years and we know and understand how to manage our business in turbulent times.
We have been working with our team and talking directly to our suppliers to manage and understand any upcoming supply challenges and supply chain issues. We have been working with our timber suppliers closely to understand their difficulties in obtaining overseas supply and then managing, monitoring and forecasting for our current and future builds. Skills shortage for us isn’t an issue, we have worked very hard to set our business apart from the rest. Our team are employed with us and this enables us to closely manage and develop their practical skills with us over the course of their apprenticeship and retain them into tradespeople and leadership roles – we now employ over 40 team members and continue to grow. By employing our team members, we manage our labour costs.This strategic approach we have applied to our business has allowed us to manage our costs and your build providing you with the security and confidence that we are here to stay.
Our business is always looking forward and planning for the future, we forecast 6 months, 12 months and 18 months ahead to ensure we can stay one step ahead of any market issues and trends.
With the above in mind we have a strong business model and capable management team in place to ensure that the best outcomes for our clients and the business are always achieved.
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 addition? Are you renovating the kitchen and bathroom? These are two areas of your home that you often cannot live without for more than a few days. Is there going to be demolition? Are you renovating a completely isolated part of the house (e.g. second floor)? Can you live under the addition while being built?
These are the questions to consider when deciding whether to remain living in your home or move out and allow the builders to work their magic.
Keep in mind that construction is disruptive in nature. It can cause inconveniences and interrupt your daily routine. It is also possible that you will interfere with the builders and slow things down.
Therefore, if you are:
- Conducting a large scale renovation (50% of the house)
- Doing ground floor renovations including areas like the kitchen
- Doing a demolition
- Removing toxic materials (e.g. asbestos and mould growth)
- Removing and replacing the roof
- Doing a total kitchen and bathroom overhaul
You should consider moving out to make way for the builders who will work on your home.
Factor # 2 – Budget
Can you stretch your budget to be able to afford temporary accommodation?
Budget is often a major concern for many renovators or addition and extension builders. The truth is that both moving out and staying in will incur additional expenses.
If you are planning to move out, you must prepare for the costs of short-term renting.
To save money, you could stay in an Airbnb, or a cheaper hotel/motel, go on a budget vacation, or you could ask a friend or a relative if you can stay and live with them temporarily.
If you choose to stay amidst a large-scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition be prepared to order takeaway and bottled drinking water. All these are going to add up to your expenses.
Factor # 3 – Basic cooking facilities and a working bathroom
If you choose to live through the large-scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition, you might need to set up a makeshift kitchen and a temporary dishwashing area. Cooking using your outdoor kitchen or BBQ is a great idea.
In general, a makeshift kitchen almost works for most builds, but it is going to be a huge adjustment for everyone with them. You should be prepared to be without a full working kitchen for a least 6 weeks.
Living through a large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition is also easier when you already have two bathrooms in the house, and one remains functional while the other is being renovated. Otherwise, you need to buy a portable toilet. If you are renovating both as part of your build, be prepared to pay more if you request for them to be renovated separately instead of at the same time as the builder will incur additional travel, labour, time and site costs.
Access to water is crucial too. If you’re staying, ask your builder about the times that they need to turn off the water supply so you can create a bathroom schedule and store clean water for cooking and doing chores.
Factor # 4 – Level of tolerance and patience
Can you deal with the noise coming from jackhammers, electric saws, welding machines, dump trucks, cement mixers, cement cutters, tamping machines, sledgehammers, and drills as early as 7AM and as late as 6PM?
How about that fine gyprock dust that gets everywhere despite sealing up some parts of the house?
Can you deal with all the waste from the construction and scaffolding around your house?
Would you feel comfortable doing your daily routine with the builders and tradies walking around the house? Do you think they can do more when you’re not around?
There are the clients who can and the clients who can’t handle living through a construction zone! Which one are you? Based on experience, a lot of people commencing a large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition decide to move out in the middle of construction because they cannot bear the noise, dirt, and lack of privacy. Not having to live through the mess and chaos is a lifesaver, especially during these stressful times. You may also find you will be more excited with your new space when you move back in rather than living through the chaos to get to the end.
Factor # 5 – Length of the renovation
When the large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition takes over your home for weeks or months, moving out is the ideal option. The builders work faster with you out of the way, which results in quicker turnaround times and more money saved on labour costs.
Factor # 6 – Who are you living with?
Most couples with no children decide to live through the renovation process, but only when smaller-scale work needs to be done.
But, if you are doing major building works and you have small children, teenagers, pets, and are living with elderly members of your family, consider moving out. It would help if you got out of the way so the builders would be able to get more done quickly.
Factor # 7 – Which is more stressful? Moving out or staying in?
Whether you stay or move, your large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition can cause stress. Of course, stress is simply par for the course when building, and nearly everyone — regardless of whether they moved out or stayed put – experience some sort of challenge during the build.
Deciding to live through a large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition or to move out is a personal decision. It is up to you and your family to weigh up the pros and cons, depending on your situation. Assess the amount of work to be done and the time the builders need to finish construction. Once you know the scope of the project and the specifics of the construction and design, you’ll figure out where you will stay while the work is being done.
The most important thing is communication – confirm your selections and questions before your build commences and then allow your builder and their team breathing room to get stuck in and complete the project at hand.
The demand for green housing is getting bigger by the minute. The HIA GreenSmart program offers up-to-date information on practical, affordable and durable environmental solutions for residential design and construction.
Today there is more demand for builders to create sustainable homes using environmentally responsible housing design ideas, building techniques and products.
A GreenSmart house will:
✔ Improve the water and energy efficiency of the home and reduce energy bills and costs
✔ Create healthier homes for occupants
✔ Provide options to make the home more adaptable for all stages of life
✔ Reduce waste from the building process
✔ Improve site management during construction
Our Builder Alistair has completed the GreenSmart Professional training and is Accredited as a GreenSmart Professional.
Some things that we have been integrating into our first floor additions, ground floor extensions and renovations are:
✔ Improved thermal performance
✔ Passive solar design and natural ventilation
✔ Design and operational issues for water and energy efficiency
✔ Selection of water and energy-efficient appliances
✔ Sustainable building products
When planning your build consider asking your builder or planning team these questions:
Have you thought about the orientation of your addition?
What windows and type of glass to use in your build?
What energy efficiency and sustainable products can you use?
When you meet with our builder and work with our drafting team for your project, we will take these important things into consideration for the design and build of your addition or extension.
Contact us today to discuss how we can integrate environmentally sustainable building solutions into your build.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Perfect Parents or Teenagers Retreat from $205K
Looking for a dedicated area for you to escape the daily grind and kick back and relax? Our Resort Style Retreat Package is tailored to providing the extra space and lifestyle you are looking for.
Retreat Package from $205K
40m2 Second Storey Addition
1 open plan bedroom with integrated living area
1 large ensuite
This exclusive package is available for a limited time only. Take advantage of low-interest rates, increase the value of your home and get that extra room for your family.
Terms and Conditions:
Build cost only, based on a 40m2 addition. Plans and Council approval excluded – these are estimated at $15K.
A full quotation can be only be provided following an onsite consultation with the builder to undertake an assessment and determine suitability.
Build a second storey addition from only $249K!
We have the perfect Family Value Package for you. Get the extra room and lifestyle you and your family have been looking for. This second storey addition package is packed with value and designer inclusions with plenty of additional room for you and your growing family.
|FAMILY VALUE PACKAGE|| UPGRADE TO OUR |
Premium Family Value Package
|70m2 Second Storey Addition|
3 bedrooms with BIR’s
1 living area
80m2 Second Storey Addition
1 master bedroom with ensuite & WIR
2 bedrooms with BIR’s
1 living area
|ONLY $249K!||ONLY $279K!|
This exclusive package is available for a limited time only.
Take advantage of the low-interest rates and maximise the value of your home by investing in the extra room for your family today.
Terms and Conditions: Build cost only, based on a 70m2 or 80m2 addition. Plans and Council approval excluded – these are estimated at $15K.
A full quotation can be only be provided following an onsite consultation with the builder to undertake an assessment and determine suitability.
Some of our team were over at Belimbla Park recently installing the nailstrip metal wall cladding on stage 1 of the parapet of the ground floor extension.
Here are several benefits of using this material for your wall cladding:
– It’s quick and simple to install, with no clips or special seam tools required
– It achieves an architectural facade with no visible fixings and has a modern clean style compared to traditional cladding
– You can get custom widths for your individual design style
AND our favourite;
– It requires minimal maintenance compared to other cladding materials, such as rendered brick and timber!
This look is definitely the new trend that we are seeing coming in across our builds, with our client in Rozelle also opting for this cladding! Want to know how to incorporate it into in your build either as a feature or across your home? – just ask us!