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Nikkis2000

House Building Queries - Open Thread

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Our evap air con was included and its worked very well and is much cheaper to run that RC but of course you don't get the benefit of heating. However I've managed quite happilywith no heating for two years. My house is fairly warm to be honest.

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The builder we're talking to at the moment basically said AC put in after - it'll be cheaper!

 

Shop around the builders as some will include it for free. Even if you get offered it with a builder you don't want to use, it is then a bargaining tool to the builder you want to use. They might not throw in the free air con, but might throw something else in as a sweetener.

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Love our included Daikin 7 zone, 10 outlet aircon. So much better than the evap we've had in rentals.

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The builder we're talking to at the moment basically said AC put in after - it'll be cheaper!

 

I thought of doing aircon after the build, but because it's a double story (pod type) build, it's impossible to put ducted anything in after the build, our current rental has reverse cycle ducted, we used it last summer for a short time, nearly died when we got the electricity bill, so turned it off, our previous rental for 2 years had ducted evap, we used that most of the year and didn't notice on the electricity bill, and compared to RC we actually preferred it, with Evap you can leave the doors & windows open and you get a cool breeze blowing through, it even kept you cool on the alfresco, with the RC you have to close everything, if you are building a single story I would leave the aircon until after, last year I got some quotes for from various reputable installers and compared them to builders prices, on average it was a couple of thousand cheaper than the builder, our current builder did say that $12k for the aircon was heavily discounted and installed by a reputable dealer using Daikin I think they said.

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Love our included Daikin 7 zone, 10 outlet aircon. So much better than the evap we've had in rentals.

 

Seven zones! Wow. We are only having 3. Though there is only the two of us and have chopped the original house design from a 4x2 to a 2x2.

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Has anyone used or heard anything (goor or bad) about Gemmill Homes.

Their prices and specs seem really good - which makes me suspicious!!:skeptical:

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Gemmel have a very high reputation and are regarded as a quality builder. In the sector, you have 3 build types. The small very expensive / luxury builders such as Diamond. Then in the medium sector which includes things like Dale Alcock, Home Group, Redink and a Humber of others including Gemmel. But Gemmel are in the upper echlon of that group.

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Thanks Stormy. I asked the question on FB and got a couple of horror stories. I do take them with a pinch of salt as people are always happy to expand on a bad experience and not so much the good! It's good to hear that they are of a reasonable quality. It sounds like they're similar to to the other companies we're looking at: Plunkett, Rural Building and Ross Squires.

 

Choosing the right builder seems to be a bit of gamble as I suppose every build is individual and the proof is only really in the final build - but it's an expensive way way of finding out you made the wrong choice if it comes to it!

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I would say there not quiet as good as Plunket or rural building. Close, but not quiet. But, I imagine that is reflected in the price. We loved rural building, but were out of our price range. Just remember that the price quoted is not the final price. Depending on what they include, then there will be significant extras. For example, if internal painting is not covered, then you need to budget for that. Floor coverings are a big one to watch. If not included, then it will be a significant expense. For example, if you want real wood floors, then allow at least $10k for a average size house.

 

The key thing if you are building in a rural area is to plan for site cost over costs. Speak to the neighbours about what there site costs were like as some rural areas can have clay. That can add tens of thousands. It is worth getting a site test done before you buy the block and making any offer subject to the investigation.

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We love Rural too but don't think we can afford them. they do a no obligation site survey to give you an idea of site costs, so we'll probably get them to do that. We can then compare what they say to the quote we've already had from a local contractor. We're right at the top of Lower Chittering so we know it's rocky and are prepared for the worst!

 

One of the reasons we liked the look of Gemmill was that they offer a turn key package that gets you floor coverings, painting , LEDs and a stone benchtop in the kitchen. Their standard spec was really quite good too compared to some of the others. I just went on a review website though and some of the reviews are awful. It seemed to be a 50/50 split of bad vs good but the bad sounded really bad!!

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We went for a similar deal - pretty much everything included, from carpets to a luxury free standing bath. But, be aware that you will still have "extras" and upgrades. For example, it will only include 1 LED per room. I would still budget $5-10k for these things and then $5k for electrics.

 

If you suspect your block has rocks, then I would get a professional engineers report done. It costs about $700 but they will drill a series of boreholes to make a full assessment. Be aware that if it is "bad" it can blow out site costs by tens of thousands - a neighbor just got a $28k over run.

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Really interesting thread..... thanks for starting it!

 

My daughter and SIL are at the beginning of the build process - as are two sets of their friends - and they have all found the feedback on line for the various builders they have considered, very mixed. All three couples are in their late 20's/early 30's, it is their first purchased home, money is tight and they have all been very much limited to the first home owner builder types. But some of the hints and tips here are very helpful - so thanks everyone for contributing and I have passed on your comments to them all.

 

Daughter and SIL have gone with Homestart - part of BGC - as they organise all the financial stuff with mortgage, first home owners grant etc, had a house design they liked and land available where they wanted to live. D and SIL are happy with things so far and have found everyone they have dealt with very professional and helpful. But it is early days.... Everything is signed off... block chosen.... house design chosen... finance approved... just waiting on the land title to be granted to them this week.... and then off to choose tiles, taps, external colours etc next weekend. They have now moved in with me for the duration of the build and I will update as things go forward for them. As it is a first home for them, they are very aware that they are limited financially by what they can afford, but they have done so much research to get the best they can for the money they can afford.... just hope it works out. Best thing is that they are quite local to me (10 min drive) and not way out in some new suburb in the outer reaches of Perth.... they could have done it all much cheaper if they had, but they wanted to be closer to the city and me.... aren't I lucky!!!???

 

Will keep you all posted on how things go and any issues they and their friends come across on the journey. Rossy

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Wow, Rossy they're brave building for their first ever home!!

 

This will be our third (and hopefully final) house, I'm a Project Manager and I'm worried about the whole process and getting all the decisions right!!

 

Sounds like they're a bit further on than us. Hopefully we'll have a builder selected by the end of the month. We're hoping to cash in on some EOFY deals!!

 

Will be following your updates with interest and hopefully we can all help each other out. There's already been some great advice !

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If money is tight, then I would suggest they try to stay as much as possible with the standard inclusions and then think about upgrades down the line once they have moved in. Instead, keep the spare cash for the electricals as they will have to do these now and even doing the minimum, it will cost several thousand - you can't run a kitchen with a single power point, but that is all that is included in the standard price.

 

The choosing of the tiles and things is a big one. Tiling by the builder is VERY expensive for any additional tiling wanted and they may need some as the first builder type companies don't include very much - get them to check with the builder what exactly is included. For example, a lot of these companies only tile the shower to 1.5m. But, in reality you need 2m. So, if they can't afford to get extra tiling done with the builder, then chose tiles that are not likely to go out of production anytime soon, so that they can buy more themselves down the line and add to what the builder includes.

 

Before the pre-start meeting, they will receive the detailed plans. These are a large set of plans in different aspects - different views of each room in plan view and section view. Go through them in a lot of detail and see what is needed where.

 

Really interesting thread..... thanks for starting it!

 

My daughter and SIL are at the beginning of the build process - as are two sets of their friends - and they have all found the feedback on line for the various builders they have considered, very mixed. All three couples are in their late 20's/early 30's, it is their first purchased home, money is tight and they have all been very much limited to the first home owner builder types. But some of the hints and tips here are very helpful - so thanks everyone for contributing and I have passed on your comments to them all.

 

Daughter and SIL have gone with Homestart - part of BGC - as they organise all the financial stuff with mortgage, first home owners grant etc, had a house design they liked and land available where they wanted to live. D and SIL are happy with things so far and have found everyone they have dealt with very professional and helpful. But it is early days.... Everything is signed off... block chosen.... house design chosen... finance approved... just waiting on the land title to be granted to them this week.... and then off to choose tiles, taps, external colours etc next weekend. They have now moved in with me for the duration of the build and I will update as things go forward for them. As it is a first home for them, they are very aware that they are limited financially by what they can afford, but they have done so much research to get the best they can for the money they can afford.... just hope it works out. Best thing is that they are quite local to me (10 min drive) and not way out in some new suburb in the outer reaches of Perth.... they could have done it all much cheaper if they had, but they wanted to be closer to the city and me.... aren't I lucky!!!???

 

Will keep you all posted on how things go and any issues they and their friends come across on the journey. Rossy

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The digger came on Friday and dug out all the limestone that has caused a delay. Hopefully now the pad can get done this week. Yesterday, the window frames and steel work was delivered to site as well.

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If money is tight, then I would suggest they try to stay as much as possible with the standard inclusions and then think about upgrades down the line once they have moved in. Instead, keep the spare cash for the electricals as they will have to do these now and even doing the minimum, it will cost several thousand - you can't run a kitchen with a single power point, but that is all that is included in the standard price.

 

The choosing of the tiles and things is a big one. Tiling by the builder is VERY expensive for any additional tiling wanted and they may need some as the first builder type companies don't include very much - get them to check with the builder what exactly is included. For example, a lot of these companies only tile the shower to 1.5m. But, in reality you need 2m. So, if they can't afford to get extra tiling done with the builder, then chose tiles that are not likely to go out of production anytime soon, so that they can buy more themselves down the line and add to what the builder includes.

 

Before the pre-start meeting, they will receive the detailed plans. These are a large set of plans in different aspects - different views of each room in plan view and section view. Go through them in a lot of detail and see what is needed where.

 

Thanks VS....

 

D and SIL are aware of all of this and have more or less kept their extras only to electrics and extending the kitchen bench from an island unit, right to the wall to gain extra cupboard space as it would have been so expensive to do it afterwards themselves. The bathroom tiling is to 2m as standard, and there are lots of things included like window treatments, floor coverings, driveway, alfresco paving, deadlocks, fly-screens, stainless steel European kitchen appliances etc. They have a meeting with the builder next week to discuss extras and costs. We have the first set of plans and have gone through them with a fine tooth comb and the list of questions to ask at the pre-start meeting is huge. My SIL is brilliant with detail and getting value for money so I think they will do OK. Having said that, it is great to receive advice from so many different sources, and they are both very open to suggestions and thinking outside the box! Hope your build progesses smoothly!

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Glad all seems good. Just watch the site costs. The amount the builders allow can be way too small. Once 20cm rock of limestone and things blow out.

 

Look at electrical appliances - oven and hob. If it is bianco, then ask to supply there own. Put in the best possible as it adds value and is worth it anyway. Having spent 4 years choshing the builders / block I see things a lot through the quality of appliance. Spend some cash there.

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