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Nikkis2000

House Building Queries - Open Thread

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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.

 

I love the way builders here say 'European Appliances', I'm from Europe, and when they say 'European Appliances' I'm thinking Hotpoint, Bosch, Neff, Siemens, Miele, then I get to Australia and they say European appliances, I don't recognise a single name, when I google them, it turns out they are European, just East European, from the ex communist block countries, which ranks as well as Chinese appliances, utter c#*p. :wacko:

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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.

 

We're learning very quickly that the price they give you for the house is exactly that. The house and not the whole picture . We always knew there were site costs for ground works, power and in our case septics and water tanks. However we were told today there could be even more for additional footings if the soil type isn't right.

 

We kind of knew this might happen (as per your advice stormy) and we're lucky enough to have a it set by that the builders don't know about, but each builder says that their cost includes the soil sample report (which it does) and therefore it's not worth getting your own done (which may be true)....but then you're left with so many unknowns!!

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We did our own and this was recognized by the builder. The company we used was structere. The big advantage of getting it done yourself is cost. We paid $700 but if the builders had done it - using the same company - it would have been $2k. Yes they "include" a basic one. But it doesn't cover bore drilling.

 

We did it before we bought the block to ensure we could afford to build on it. The big issue with site costs are if there is clay - that's the worst and site costs then go up by huge amounts - $50k would be easily swallowed. Then next is in situ rock. Then they have to get rock breakers in. Costs then are in the $20k range.

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A update on ours. The block is now level and the builders say the earth works will be complete by Monday and ready to pour the pad. Looking forward to being able to walk around on the pad and get some feel for what the house will be like.

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Exciting times Stormy, hope it all goes well!

 

Right now that feels like a very very long way off for us.

 

On the plus side we think we've settled on a builder (quote depending) and the EOFY offer they have on means that we virtually wouldn'thave to upgrade anything! Leaving plenty for powerpoints and LEDs!!

 

We are also seriously considering the option of having power poles vs trenching for the underground power. Obviously there is an inherent risk with that, especially on our block, and the shire would have to approve but it would hopefully be cheaper!

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Exciting times Stormy, hope it all goes well!

 

Right now that feels like a very very long way off for us.

 

On the plus side we think we've settled on a builder (quote depending) and the EOFY offer they have on means that we virtually wouldn'thave to upgrade anything! Leaving plenty for powerpoints and LEDs!!

 

We are also seriously considering the option of having power poles vs trenching for the underground power. Obviously there is an inherent risk with that, especially on our block, and the shire would have to approve but it would hopefully be cheaper!

 

Just remember, if the power pole is on your property it's your responsibility for maintenance & upkeep, if it's trenched there is no future maintenance, just watch where you are digging :wink:

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Just remember, if the power pole is on your property it's your responsibility for maintenance & upkeep, if it's trenched there is no future maintenance, just watch where you are digging :wink:

 

Brilliant advice Druid.....

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Thanks Nikki.

 

It will take a while. We signed up with the builder in October. We are still "hoping" to be in by the end of the year.

 

Do still allow for some upgrades. If you look at our builder - Home Group WA, it appears everything is included and to a very high standard, and in fairness it pretty much was, but it is little things that can add up that are not what you expect. For example, we wanted two different colors of laminate for the kitchen cupboards. That is an upgrade.

 

The annoying thing is that it is impossible to say what upgrades you need until after you sign up. After you sign, you will get a pre start folder. This will have all the details about what is included. That is also when the exciting stuff happens as you get time to chose everything. My wife spent ages visiting tile shops and things - our deal meant we could chose tiles from two different companies and about half of each's stock was available included.

 

With bench tops be careful what you go for. Some are better than others. We were going to go for real stone, then the day of pre start they were withdrawn and we were offered a free upgrade. But, some research showed the upgrade ones were notorious for warping. So went for essa stone.

 

Agree with Druid about the power pole. Be aware, that not only are you liable for it. But if it were to come down and cause a bush fire, you are liable for the damage the fire causes.

 

Exciting times Stormy, hope it all goes well!

 

Right now that feels like a very very long way off for us.

 

On the plus side we think we've settled on a builder (quote depending) and the EOFY offer they have on means that we virtually wouldn'thave to upgrade anything! Leaving plenty for powerpoints and LEDs!!

 

We are also seriously considering the option of having power poles vs trenching for the underground power. Obviously there is an inherent risk with that, especially on our block, and the shire would have to approve but it would hopefully be cheaper!

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One of the benefits (we thought) of this company was that instead of coming to our home to give us the sales spiel, they invited us to the office and they showed us round the Pre- start room so we could see what comes as standard. The deal they are offering is pretty hard to argue with:

Daikin Reverse cycle aircon (10 outlets, 4 zones), upgrade to solar hot water system, essa stone benchtops, upgraded door handles and light switches, two 600mm ovens, dishwasher and reccess, upgraded hood extractor, induction hob - and that's just the headlines!

 

We know there will be some additional upgrades, probably to taps and of course power points. But they have already worked in the cost of a double shower, larger bath, larger kitchen and larger Alfresco which we can now afford thanks to the offer!

 

The jury is still out on power poles. We are very aware of the risks and the necessity to maintain them and liabilty. We all saw the devastating affect of not doing so last year. But if the earthworks are going to run in hundreds of thousands (whcih they could do) thanks to rock breaking or trying to avoid rocks (we have some whoppers) then they become a valid option.

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Interesting what's been said about power lined and poles. I can't quite get my head around the statement that as the land owner you are responsible for damage caused by your pole coming down causing a bush fire when you have no control over the electricity current running through it :confused:

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The poles in question are privately owned by the land owner, not owned by western power. As the owner it is your responsibility to keep the poles in good condition and away from any trees which are also on your land. If your pole comes down and causes a fire , it's your fault and I think that is at it should be. Different case if they are western power lines.

The destruction caused by the Parkerville fires earlier in the year were a result of badly maintained power poles.

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As a PM did you think about managing a build yourself?

 

 

 

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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I will probably end up doing anyway - but no.

I am an IT PM, not construction and I wouldn't be confident enough in terms of knowing the rules and regs. There's a few pitfalls out there and I'd rather pay a professional to make sure we don't fall foul of any of them then risk our dream house.

That's not too say I won't be a right royal pain the ass if I need to be!

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As a PM did you think about managing a build yourself?

 

The issue here is if you want to do that then you are an owner builder and that needs licensing and coerces. And to be honest, from a couple of years of research it doent give any cost benefit.

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The licensing to be an owner builder is not much more than filling out a 2 page form, as long as you have some industry experience and have knowledge of and access to the BCA. The one potential downside is that you can only register as an owner/builder once every 6 or 7 years - supposedly to stop people continually re-registering as one and not as a registered builder which does require various courses and business management stuff.

 

From approx 12 years work in the construction industry there is always cost benefit to managing a build yourself if you know what you are doing. Take off the contractors overheads and profits first off - prob in the region of 15-20%. As well as their 10-15% mark up on all materials/fixtures/fittings that will be purchased and installed as part of the build. Lets just say that these companies are not in it for the good of mankind - their sole purpose is to make a large profit.

 

Not saying that this course of action is for everyone - probably only the small minority who have experience in the construction sector and the knowledge of programming a build and managing different trades or for those willing to put in a hell of a lot of time and effort to learn the above prior to starting. It also gives you much more control over the quality of the build, which can be extremely varied in this part of the world both from builder to builder and from project to project.

 

 

 

 

The issue here is if you want to do that then you are an owner builder and that needs licensing and coerces. And to be honest, from a couple of years of research it doent give any cost benefit.

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Agree, that if you have experience in the game, it might be the best way. But for me and people like Nikki it simply wouldn't be worth it. Interestingly in the UK I would have as I am a project manager, but because none of it is in construction then obtaining the paperwork just wasn't worth it. Funny as it means some of the best and most interesting houses built in Europe can't be built here as many are by owner builders that have no qualifications to their name.

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We're learning very quickly that the price they give you for the house is exactly that. The house and not the whole picture . We always knew there were site costs for ground works, power and in our case septics and water tanks. However we were told today there could be even more for additional footings if the soil type isn't right.

 

We kind of knew this might happen (as per your advice stormy) and we're lucky enough to have a it set by that the builders don't know about, but each builder says that their cost includes the soil sample report (which it does) and therefore it's not worth getting your own done (which may be true)....but then you're left with so many unknowns!!

 

Hi Nikki..... could I ask who you are building with and how you have found dealing with them..... We are right at the beginning of the whole process (looking for a plot on which to build) but would love to hear peoples' views about building contractors...... there seems to be about a million of them out there!!

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Hiya! We haven't actually signed up with anyone yet. Though we are on the verge of signing with Redink. It's a really close call between them and Plunkett Homes. The sales side has been great in both cases. The thing swinging it toward redink is the deal they are offering combined with the standard of the spec.

 

Our selection of contractors was a bit limited because of where we want to build and the style of house we want.

 

I will certainly keep you posted on how we get on!!

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Hi Nikki..... could I ask who you are building with and how you have found dealing with them..... We are right at the beginning of the whole process (looking for a plot on which to build) but would love to hear peoples' views about building contractors...... there seems to be about a million of them out there!!

 

Where are you thinking of building, we have just bought a block in Burns Beach and have signed up with Ben Trager, everything has been great so far, but we are still in the very early stages, building permit has been applied for and the design finalised, just going through pre- start quote, it's shocking :shocked:

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Hi Nikki..... could I ask who you are building with and how you have found dealing with them..... We are right at the beginning of the whole process (looking for a plot on which to build) but would love to hear peoples' views about building contractors...... there seems to be about a million of them out there!!

 

First thing to do is to decide as a family what you want. For example, for us, we wanted the master room at the back and rear living. We don't have children, so the other bedrooms were not important. The master bathroom was important and we wanted that to be special. I also wanted a home theatre. So draw out plans on paper of how you would like the house to look.

 

Then visit a number of the display villagers. Don't worry about the house designs they have as standard as they can adapt to pretty much what ever you want.

 

Decide a budget for both the block and the house build.

 

When you get prices from the builders, add on at least 10% regardless of how inclusive it is. There will be upgrades / additional costs.

 

When you are looking at blocks, speak to the neighbours that are already there to ask about the area and if there were any problems with the site when they built.

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Where are you thinking of building, we have just bought a block in Burns Beach and have signed up with Ben Trager, everything has been great so far, but we are still in the very early stages, building permit has been applied for and the design finalised, just going through pre- start quote, it's shocking :shocked:

 

I liked the look of Ben Trager Druid so I'll be very interested in how you get on with them. Why is the pre-start a shock? Is it because of whats not included?

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Just an update. Our, footings were poured today, wire mesh installed, pipes all there ready for connecting up to everything and pad is being poured tomorrow (weather permitting) exciting. Can now walk around and get a feel for how everything is laid out against the view.

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I liked the look of Ben Trager Druid so I'll be very interested in how you get on with them. Why is the pre-start a shock? Is it because of whats not included?

 

We went into pre start with little to no budget, then they make you realise what you haven't got and you start to think about it, $18k later we came out, but then started to think more about some of our choices, we ticked most of the 'NO' boxes, most of the choices are nice to have but not essential.

 

So far everything has been great with Ben Trager, only problem is they sold out our whole street, 5 houses in a row, all built by Ben Trager, starting to sound like a Barratt building site :shocked:

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Just an update. Our, footings were poured today, wire mesh installed, pipes all there ready for connecting up to everything and pad is being poured tomorrow (weather permitting) exciting. Can now walk around and get a feel for how everything is laid out against the view.

 

Exciting VS!!!! Take lots of photos so you can track it all ......

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Just an update. Our, footings were poured today, wire mesh installed, pipes all there ready for connecting up to everything and pad is being poured tomorrow (weather permitting) exciting. Can now walk around and get a feel for how everything is laid out against the view.

 

 

Exciting times, just out of curiosity, how long did it take to go from Pre Start to slab down?

 

I'm amazed how they do the footings and slab over here in Aus, I watched a couple of slabs go down next to me, makes me wonder how the houses stay up, when the MIL built there house near the beach in North Wales, the concrete raft was 6ft thick, here you're lucky if you get 1ft

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