Things to Consider
There are only two ways to build a home in Australia - become an owner builder or engage the services of a local builder. We outline a number of things to consider when planning your home build. This is the most economical way to build a home so the more you do in the planning stages and the better you shop around, the more you can save.
It is best to have a chat with council or a building certifier about what needs to be done to build a home in your area. Below are a number of things to consider when going through this process.
- Energy rating - starts with the position of the home on the block and can also factor in lighting, insulation, hot water system (i.e. gas or electric) and air conditioning. Some councils have information packs on what is required.
- Soil test - a local geotech firm can do a soil test for you. Our homes cover A S M AND H class soil.
- Site rating (wind region) - n2 n3 c2 see above This is the wind speed for your site and needs to be confirmed. If your council can not provide this information a local geotech firm may be able to assist with this site classification information.
- Insulation - there are many types and styles available so it is a good idea to check with council about what type has been used in the area.
- Site plans - this is plotting the home on your site with the setbacks council require. Check with council or a local draftsmen can do this for you.
- Water tanks - normally will depend on the roof size of the home however council will have some requirements, so best to check with them first.
- Services (sewer / power / water) - always good to talk to council about what is required with these. Specifics to consider include septic tanks, biocycle composting toilets, where the power and water is or is coming from.
- Solar panels - you will need to have a chat with council again about what type they would recommend. Our homes are a lightweight construction building, and it will be up to the solar panel supplier to provide any engineering that is required for the approval.
- Owner builder permits - most are done over the internet these days and only take a couple of hours. There is no pass or fail; it is more about how to manage your project and to make sure you have the correct insurance in place. Again, check with your local council as some run their own courses.
- Building permits ( i.e. DA and CA) - all of the above form part of your building application. There may seem to be a lot of hoops to jump through but if you line them up and tackle them one at a time, you will find it is not that bad and a good way to understand about what is required to build a home.
A bank's normal lending is 80% to 20% for a normal home loan. This will change when you are an owner builder so you will need to ask your bank/broker to find out what it will be. It has nothing to do with your choice to build a kit home; it is about you being an owner builder, their insurance and you being able to finish the home in a timely manner. We suggest you Google 'owner builder finance' or find a friendly bank manager.
If you have a builder involved, this will be done as a normal construction loan because of the builders Home Owner's Warranty insurance.
3. Quote Stage
A number of our customers ask questions about what is involved during the quote stage so we have outlined the steps below.
- Choose your preferred design and floor plan
- Finalise the quote, variations and price
- Pay deposit (which can be paid in two ways)
- A: 50% will start manufacturing which can take approximately 8 weeks
- B: 15% will release your floor plans, elevations and engineering plans for submission to council. We are so confident that our steel kit home will pass council approval that we guarantee it - or we will refund your deposit in full.
4. Contract Stage
Once you have gone through the quote stage, you will then need to proceed through the contract stage for your job. Please read below for the standard steps involved in this process.
- Receive plans - allow approximately 7 days from the date you paid your deposit and contracts returned to receive your plans.
- Submit DA request to council - see above.
- Follow up council re DA - if you have done all they need start chasing them up as time is important to you at this stage.
- Choose colours - choose your colours and prepare for the construction stage of your home.
- Commence manufacture - please allow approximately 8 weeks for this stage.
- Organise construction - while your building is in manufacturing you can start your earthworks or pour your slab or footings because you already have your plans. See below for things to consider during the construction phase.
Below we have outlined a number of things to consider during the construction phase. Remember, you have complete control over the suppliers you use so you can achieve the home you have always dreamed of.
- Earthworks - required to prepare your site for a slab or flooring system
- Slab or flooring system - you will have plans for either
- Frame - we supply all your internal frames i.e. room dividers and external walls in kit form. Each wall frame is pre-packed, numbered and drilled for ease of construction see web for a video you can get a local handy man to do this for you under your owner builders licence
- Windows - you buy them from your preferred local supplier. We don't supply these because we don't manufacture them!
- Roof and guttering - we supply all the roof sheeting, flashings and guttering. ZINCALUME® is the standard for the roof sheeting however please refer to your quote for the price for COLORBOND® steel. All guttering is supplied in your chosen COLORBOND® steel colour.
- Down pipes - we no longer supply down pipes as your storm water will go to your tanks (most people use PVC piping for this).
- Cladding - all external cladding is supplied in horizontal corrugated Corodek in your chosen COLORBOND® steel colour.
- Plumbing - you will need a licensed trade to do this for you and they will need to sign off on their work.
- Electrician - you will need a licensed trade to do this for you and they will need to sign off on their work.
- Stairs - for those with double storey floor plans, stairs can be done by you on site or a local carpenter will be able to help you out.
- Gyprock - can be done by you or alternatively, a local trade can price, supply and fit for you.
- Kitchen and bathroom - supplied by you so we recommend you shop around for the best finishes at the best prices.
- Internal doors and skirting - also to be supplied by you so shop around local suppliers.
- Painting and floor coverings - can be done by you so shop around for your preferred finishes from local suppliers.
- Fixtures and fittings - keep an eye on the local papers for the specials and go with your preferred suppliers.
6. Final Inspections
Council or your building certifier will do this for you and your bank may want this done as well.