Building a home?

Got something you wanna know about fixing/improving your house or your quality of life? Or just info to share?
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Building a home?

Post by spitex » Sun 27 Sep, 2015 11:24 am

Any tips/vendors/companies to consider etc? Any traps for new players? Putting together some lengthy budgets for 'overs' .....

I am considering building a property .... so just asking some questions.

Land I am currently looking at is 750sqm so not that big. Currently also considering a two storey home.

I know a few of you have done this stuff already so just keen for some feedback.

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Re: Building a home?

Post by unwritten law » Sun 27 Sep, 2015 11:47 am

A mate of mine has just built a higher spec home with Begbie Bentham at cannon hill. He kept on top of them all the way thru and ended up with a great result. The devil is in the detail. He was very happy with them and other people he knows who have built with them recently too.
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Re: Building a home?

Post by wrx » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 6:36 am

Couple of questions:

1) are you going to flip it in the next 5 years
2) number of people living there at day one and then at 5 years
3) are you going to work from home?
4) do you like cooking?
5) location
6) approx budget for the build
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Re: Building a home?

Post by spitex » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 7:40 am

1) no flips
2) 2 + dog, + mebbe moar!
3) yup that too
4) same as now, always tastes better when someone else cooks it ;)
5) the gap
6) undecided ....

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Re: Building a home?

Post by dan » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 9:23 am

you really need to figure out how big you want it to be, how highly specified you want it and what your budget is. with the info you have given us now the best advice i can give you is to go for a drive around a display village at north lakes and tell you that most houses cost between $900 and $1,800 per square meter of internal area, and an average two storey home is about 200sqm.
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Re: Building a home?

Post by iano » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 12:53 pm

Hey mate is that block one of the few left on Settlement Rd near the tennis centre? Could be exciting times ahead :)
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Re: Building a home?

Post by DreamensioN » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 2:19 pm

I'll backup what Dan said. That's what we did when we shopped around. We did LOTS of looking around before deciding on what we wanted. What you think you want will probably change after you go to a few display homes and start pooling together ideas. We went to project builders from the low end of the market (i.e Tamawood), right through to a free 30min sit down with an architect for a full custom job. What we settled on was somewhere inbetween. A project home (from AV Jennings), but freedom to rejig the interior walls and layout however we wanted.

But here are some tips....
- Visit display villages and bring a camera. Take photos of things you like and start pooling ideas and concepts together. Identify what works for your lifestyle and what doesn't. Bedroom at the front vs Bedroom at the back of the house; study upstairs or downstairs; what do guests see when they first walk in; is the kitchen practical and can 2 people move comfortably within it at the same time; are the stairs big enough to get your bed/couch up there; what are the windows like? Will your neighbours be able to see in?; how practical is it getting from the bedroom/bath to the laundry (need a laundry chute?); how is the dining/entertainment area - are they practical to one another (same goes for the kitchen); What will it be like if a guest stays over? Bathroom/kitchen/living access; Do you envisage having to look after an elderly person at a future date? How practical is it for them? Bathroom downstairs etc. The list goes on but you get the idea....

- Find out from the builder what customisations they allow. Some builders (like Tamawood), don't allow any. Others (like AV Jennings - who aren't in residential property anymore), allow you to change everything except the exterior walls. Some allow full customization. Also look at inclusions (brands, selections, ranges etc). This brings me to my next point...

- You can save lots of money (we did) by not including stuff as part of the build. We took carpet, tiles and the driveway out of the contract simply because we could do it ourselves (and with better quality material) than what AV Jennings could.

You may not find a house that's 100% perfect for what you want, but you'll probably find one that's 90% of the way there, and with a few adjustments, you can claim that additional 10%. Definitely look around and also look at what's on display down the Gold Coast. Also with regards to builders... you'll hear both good and bad stories from every builder. I think it all really depends on the individual subcontractor it goes to. But still...once you get closer to deciding on a builder, do the homework and check out what the general feel is about them, and how long they've been around (and likely to stick around).

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Re: Building a home?

Post by wrx » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 2:35 pm

OK just a brain dump to start with but I agree with Noel and Dan.

Since you are looking at living there, it is going to be a home and not a house so I would recommend pushing your budget up as far as possible as doing things at the start not only are better (as they are designed) they end up being cheaper than retro-fitting them in 5 years time. This does not always mean letting your builder do everything, but getting them in helps.

Benefits of high set means that you get more grass / block utilisation but you get stairs. Low sets are better to live in but you take up more of your block.

A couple of recommendations:

- At least 4 bedrooms (master 5x5 others 4x4)
- A good sized office
- Cable the entire house (if you have a good builder they should let you (or Corey) do this at framing stage)
- Install more storage than you think you will need (as you always need more than you can imagine)

Things to look for in the kitchen since you like being in there (and gives you the option to entertain)
- 900mm oven (or two smaller ones)
- Large walk in pantry
- More drawers than you thing that you actually need as you will fill them. (large at the bottom for pots and pans and then two smaller at the top for other shit)
- You can get really good looking cabinets that are not 2 pak – there is massive saving here
- Kitchen bench top in stone but you should be able to make all your other benches to “match” in melamine or laminate (most companies actually call it the same as the stone deliberately) If you install this in your laundry / bathrooms / pantry is will save a bomb

Keep your Western wall to a minimum so locate you house on the block to point North

Look at existing vegetation and see if they will shadow you roof (solar). Check the block for VPO’s and if there is none and you are thinking about knocking things down do them upfront.

Spend the money up front to insulate all external walls

Floor coverings can get away on you fast. Tiles are low maintenance but are hard to live on (as in hard under foot, so your legs get tired faster when sanding) timber (hard, soft or bamboo) is the nicest to live on as it is “soft” underfoot but still easy to clean but the cost can get away on you.

Carpet in living areas and bedrooms. Look for good but not the best carpet and go for oversized underlay – makes the carpet feel more plush and bank on replacing it in high traffic areas

A decent size family home you are looking well over 300m2 eg mine is :
Lower living 129
Upper living 131
Garage 66
Veranda + porch 45

As Dan said, you are looking at a minimum of 900 / m2 and that is the bottom of the bottom. Personally I would look at something like $1200 (excludes cabling / media rooms etc)

Again, just a brain dump and happy to be told I am wrong on anything :)

oh and I design my houses from scratch - not off a plan :)
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Re: Building a home?

Post by wrx » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 2:37 pm

Happy to answer any more specific questions too :)
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Re: Building a home?

Post by spitex » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 3:05 pm

Thanks for all this - I will read it properly tonight!

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Re: Building a home?

Post by dan » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 3:23 pm

wrx wrote:A decent size family home you are looking well over 300m2 eg mine is :
Lower living 129
Upper living 131
Garage 66
Veranda + porch 45
that's not a family home, that's a McMansion!!!

(even though i wouldn't class a garage as "living space", there is still 305sqm of living space in that.... that is huuuuuge)
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Re: Building a home?

Post by wrx » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 3:39 pm

An 8 and 9 year old make it feel VERY small :)
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Re: Building a home?

Post by dorift » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 6:26 pm

dan wrote:
wrx wrote:A decent size family home you are looking well over 300m2 eg mine is :
Lower living 129
Upper living 131
Garage 66
Veranda + porch 45
that's not a family home, that's a McMansion!!!

(even though i wouldn't class a garage as "living space", there is still 305sqm of living space in that.... that is huuuuuge)
Exactly what I was going to say.
Modern expectations seem to dictate that this is normal, but I strongly disagree.
My house is modest,I realise that, and it's not about defending what I have or can afford. But at under 190m² of actual living space, I still think my house is more than adequate for family life. I will concede that bedrooms could be 25% bigger- which would eat into common areas, but they do seem under size with what I think works for kids nowadays. But hey, I'd like to think my kids don't just hibernate in their room forever.

I have a lot I could offer as just my opinion, but not sure what my advice is really worth. Others can and have already offered better than I can. But I do know that buying established has given me an arsenal of ideas for if or when I build new. :)
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Re: Building a home?

Post by spitex » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 6:39 pm

iano wrote:Hey mate is that block one of the few left on Settlement Rd near the tennis centre? Could be exciting times ahead :)
Hey Mate, nah, I wouldn't go there - aiming at Alutha Rd..... but we will see - seems a lot of it was sold early and would have to fall out of contract for me to get it :(

Either way, this is a long process, i'm not in a major rush there will be more land :) Just time to start looking at the houses etc.

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Re: Building a home?

Post by Ted » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 7:12 pm

A few tips I got early in the piece
- display homes are not designed to be lived in, but more to be walked through. So when looking at displays, really think hard about how you are going to live in it and if it does work for you. Often the placement of windows and doors just don't suit furniture placement.
- Don't skimp on the items that cannot be easily fixed later (ie get the high ceilings, decent flooring, don't compromise on design) but save on the items that are more consumable (ie taps, toilets). We were pretty short on money when we built this place, so had laminate benchtops, the cheapest taps etc but as funds became more flush down the track have had these changed. It really doesn't cost much to change a benchtop, but it would cost heaps to get an extra 300mm of ceiling height.
- don't underestimate the value of a good designer. They can save you money in the long run. While it might seem that its throwing money away (and all project builders will ensure that stays at the forefront of your thoughts), not paying for bits of house you don't actually need/want will repay over and over.
- square houses are generally cheaper per sq m
- if you have the time, there is a lot of stuff you can buy from building supply auctions.
- you can never have enough power points

Yes, there seems to be a real want by home owners for super large houses these days. My place is built for me, and with that comes some compromise which will undoubtedly hurt us on resale. But there was no way I was going to build a bigger place, and in fact my next place will probably be smaller. I am one of six in an older area (50yo houses) on a small release of land. So we got decent sized blocks, asking decent money. The other five are minimum 5 bed/3 bath, with one at 6 bed and one at 7 bedrooms. We are 3 bed / 2 bath with a library that can be configured as a bedroom. So we have about 240m2 under roof (of which 45m2 is outdoor area), but I do have 110m2 of mostly underground garage so that we could keep the rest of the house on one level. I also tried to be as eco friendly as I could, and so have polystyrene wall cladding, insulated roof, airflow under floors etc. The silly part is that using concrete would have been the most economical solution for us, and we have very little of it.
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Re: Building a home?

Post by iano » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 7:54 pm

spitex wrote:
iano wrote:Hey mate is that block one of the few left on Settlement Rd near the tennis centre? Could be exciting times ahead :)
Hey Mate, nah, I wouldn't go there - aiming at Alutha Rd..... but we will see - seems a lot of it was sold early and would have to fall out of contract for me to get it :(

Either way, this is a long process, i'm not in a major rush there will be more land :) Just time to start looking at the houses etc.
Just had a quick squiz and those blocks on Alutha are mint. Didn't know there was still room in that area.
dorift wrote: My house is modest,I realise that, and it's not about defending what I have or can afford. But at under 190m² of actual living space, I still think my house is more than adequate for family life.
Not sure if you've seen my digs lately, but I have to make do with about half that again. With 2 kids.

What you're sitting on is definitely more than adequate :ohwell I try and ignore just how small my place is, when I consider where it is.
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Re: Building a home?

Post by unwritten law » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 10:20 pm

dorift wrote:
dan wrote:
wrx wrote:A decent size family home you are looking well over 300m2 eg mine is :
Lower living 129
Upper living 131
Garage 66
Veranda + porch 45
that's not a family home, that's a McMansion!!!

(even though i wouldn't class a garage as "living space", there is still 305sqm of living space in that.... that is huuuuuge)
Exactly what I was going to say.
Modern expectations seem to dictate that this is normal, but I strongly disagree.
My house is modest,I realise that, and it's not about defending what I have or can afford. But at under 190m² of actual living space, I still think my house is more than adequate for family life. I will concede that bedrooms could be 25% bigger- which would eat into common areas, but they do seem under size with what I think works for kids nowadays. But hey, I'd like to think my kids don't just hibernate in their room forever.

I have a lot I could offer as just my opinion, but not sure what my advice is really worth. Others can and have already offered better than I can. But I do know that buying established has given me an arsenal of ideas for if or when I build new. :)
Tell me about it. We're in a 100m2 1950s weatherboard post war. When i bought it I saw it as a blank canvas that was well maintained. Been chipping away at improvements for past 3.5yrs and now we're coming to a point in the next 1-2 years where we need to decide to raise, extend and build under (double the floor area then some) or keep chipping away at minor renos and flipping it/renting it and upgrading for something already done. I'm enjoying the journey tho.

I'm slowly getting an idea of what my ultimate place would be. My advice, buy the land first and then design around the lot. Northerly aspect for brissy will help it fall into place much easier.
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Re: Building a home?

Post by blv » Tue 29 Sep, 2015 3:46 am

I built with Plantation Homes and you've seen the result. We were happy with everything except the last 3 weeks, but after talking to head office that was sorted out.
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Re: Building a home?

Post by wrx » Tue 29 Sep, 2015 6:12 am

Sorry if I offended anyone. I was just putting some point down on my experiences and trying to give Ryan some idea.

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Re: Building a home?

Post by iano » Tue 29 Sep, 2015 8:46 am

Not at all mate all good
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