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Building a Home

cove

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Well Frankie and Sam just stay cool with the builder .....he is unlikely to become a life long friend.
We used a building inspector on our first love nest and he was worth the money.
We doubt that we will build again once we finish the current lift and bathroom rework. Building is good for younger folks like Frankie and Sam.
 
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The life cycle costs are also good to take into the equation. There's the current costs on the building price, but also the life cycle costs, especially for energy types. A crystal ball would be useful.
 

RB

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We have instantaneous gas hot water. I like it because you never run out and you only pay to heat what you use. Handy when away for a few days, you have hot water as soon as you get home. If you go with gas, just make sure you have a system that has the capacity to suit your needs now and in the future.
In the short term we won't be changing over to a natural gas barby having just recently purchased a new LPG weber.
It doesn't apply to all gas hot water systems but the place we rented while we built had gas hot water- whenever there was a blackout there was no hot water. We didn't have to pay but there is also the consideration of rent for the gas bottles in some areas
 

deejo77

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It doesn't apply to all gas hot water systems but the place we rented while we built had gas hot water- whenever there was a blackout there was no hot water. We didn't have to pay but there is also the consideration of rent for the gas bottles in some areas
yes that one probably had an electric ignition

my two cents as I own two houses with conflicting items

1) one has gas oven/stove - this one has induction - i personally can’t tell the difference so I definitely see this as a sideways issue. I do know when we loose electricity here I just get out the Webber to cook.

2) hotwater - I like the other place which has gas it was originally tank and was fantastic during the brisbane floods as we could shower, it has since been upgraded to instant and needs the electricity to start the ignition (I believe you can also do this manually but I have never needed to - that’s my dads job if mum is yelling). This place has an electric tank one but the heat from it is amazing as i don’t believe it has the restrictions on it like you have too now days. The gas is way cheaper.

3) this house was built in the 1950’s - we spent $4k on electrical when we purchased. He tells me the cables and stuff are worth it - as our house is ”smart” I believe him when he says we had to spend the money as he is normally very tight as he is of German heritage. I like that he can game, kid can YouTube and I can watch something saved on the computer through the TV in the lounge with no lag. Don’t forget outside power points - our son recently got a ball bowling machine for his birthday, so glad for the power point instead of a very long cord.
 

Matt_01

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@samh004 and @frankie this will be a thread I will watch with interest. I have never personally had a house built from scratch so cannot provide first hand advice or opinion. Over the years I have renovated 4 established and somewhat rundown properties that I gutted and I mean gutted after demolition was completed the only thing left was the tins on the roof and exterior walls. I have also been involved with other builds that were from scratch and a lot of the advice so far given is sound. Is this your first build, if so I would follow the advice of @p--and--t and engage (if your budget permits) an independent building surveyor, we did this for our first renovation/ build. Let the licenced professionals argue about what is correct and incorrect but ensure you are on site for the inspections to watch and learn what is said as this will help in future builds.

I read someone mentioned paint, be careful about the 2 coats of paint in the contract, some of the builds I have "been involved with” the 2 coats of paint was a tinted primer/ sealer and a single coat of some cheap trade paint. In another of the earlier posts you mentioned bench tops and power points, I would suggest that you ask what allowance has been made for the number of power points, kitchen cabinetry, appliances, tiles, bathroom fitting etc. after you find out the number included in the contract then consider asking for the fitting only however hardware supply now rests with yourself, but you can save serious money. As an example building companies will sell homes/ units with Miele appliances however these are builders grade. Take your allowance off the contract price and go to a Miele B stock outlet (I think there is one in each state) and pick the appliances you want. Miele B stock are not seconds, just an appliance that has been on display or replaced with a new model. As others mentioned power points be it single or dual it is the same wires that provide power it just come down to how many devices you have plugged in and operating at any one time, on any given circuit.

The building company will be making a margin no matter how small it is off everything in your future property, the key is to maximise your spend and get everything that works for you. If you get a few things wrong in this build take them as learnings for the next.
 
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tgh

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'industrial' amperage …

requires three phases.. not doable for domestic and compatibility issues with solar panels
 

travelislife

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Feb 9, 2011
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Exciting stuff! Being a project home with set selections should be pretty straight forward and whole lot less time intensive or stressful than a custom build. You just have to hold firm on quality and don’t let them take short cuts or try and justify **** work. Especially on the fabric of the home. Foundations, Plumbing, Structure, Roofing, Waterproofing, Windows. The finishes stuff can easily be changed if you aren’t happy down the track. An Independent inspector suggested by others is a great suggestion if you aren’t comfortable with this or don’t know what you should be looking for.

- love induction over gas. So much easier to clean. In our new build we put in induction but I still put a gas point in behind the cabinets if we ever wanted to switch in future. Have the BBQ wok burner if really feel the need to cook on gas.
- we have evacuated tube solar hot water with gas instantaneous booster. For 6 months of summer it uses zero gas. So good that unknown to us gas was still turned off at the meter 4 months after we moved in and hot water had only been running off the evacuated tube until we hit winter and I wondered why the water wasn’t getting hot!
- I am gobsmacked LED downlighting aren’t standard! They are cheap as chips these days and usually wired for plug and play. I.e. there is a PowerPoint socket wired in the ceiling to every down light location in my place so I can easily replace any one light if needed.

Being first home, don’t get sucked in to all the extras. Easy to spend money on things that won’t add value to the home or improve your lifestyle. And majority are easy enough to add later if you really do need/want them and often cheaper than your project builder variation costs.

Also, Progress Payments. Never ever pay the builder if the work hasn’t been completed. Seen too many people get burned by builders going under when they have been paid for work they haven’t done.
 

CTT

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Just came across this amazing thread! I'm in process of designing a new house and about to sign off on the internal floor plans with my architect. Hoping to get some advice on wine cabinet/cellar.

I've allocated a wall space around 2.4M long, height up to the ceiling and around 40cm deep next to the dining room for a wine cabinet

We are thinking of making it a glass wine cabinet (with no climate controlled ability) if I can avoid direct sun do you think that is good enough for wine storage (the house will be in Sydney inner west) ? or is it a good idea to invest in a custom built climate controlled cabinet?

Also keen to hear from you guys' experience whether you think 40 cm is deep enough to store wine with the neck pointing out?

would appreciate any other suggestions/ideas that I could consider when designing/building this cabinet.

thanks!
 

Ric

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Following as I intend to do a knock down rebuild. Been doing a bit of research for months.

Re power points and lights, on almost all the building forums of project homes that I have read, for a single story home, it is better to to stick to standard and then get an outside electrician to do the extra points and lights. Only thing is that you specify the light batten to one of the LED downlight points that you would have positioned. The savings can be very significant. An electrician friend also confirmed this that the the project builders will charge you more that double of what an electrician will charge.

Maybe @TomVexille can verify too?
 

cove

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We double glazed the windows at our beach apartment and we had a small riot over on Scarborough Beach that we missed by being asleep. The top floor apartment ceilings were filled with pink batts so that made the place remarkably cool in summer and stops noise.
Mrscove was less impressed with the bamboo flooring as it marks a bit too easily. It looks lovely when it is first installed.
We are putting in flood sensors this week that will report any water leaking. It will send us a WiFi alarm if there is a leak.It is a new product line we will be testing.
 

Major

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It is important to work out any changes before you sign the contract.

Imagine yourself walking into each room. Would I like the bed where the builder planned it or would I like it against another wall ? If another wall I need to move the power points. Think about your existing furniture and where it should go.

It's a lot of work but you both need to agree on colours/fittings etc before the builder starts. Alterations and additions during construction can be very expensive. Often it is better to wait until you have moved in before you make any changes.

It can be a stressful time . Talk often and candidly
 

TomVexille

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@Ric Our volume builder (Metricon) only charged ~$50 per extra cable run, including the associated gpo/batten. Now I'm not a domestic sparky but no chance I could do it that cheap after the fact (I value my time more than what it would take). A tooled up domestic company might, but I don't think they would be making a profit. The builder also double charges for downlights, first to wire it and second the upgrade cost to change a batten to a downlight. We only wanted 3 in the kitchen an two in the ensuite so we just paid the builder to do it. I then changed our other lights to fittings we bought cheaper than what the builder was offering. Also upgrades to GPOs like quads and USB I did myself.
 

cove

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Kitchen flooring is pretty tricky as over time things strike the floor whether it is tiled or timber. Keep some spare tiles and timber is my suggestion.
Soft closing drawers in the kitchen are a great idea.
 

VPS

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It's interesting reading the gas or induction comments, like the old Ford Vs Holden days :cool:
We have both in different houses.
I'll take induction any day, I hate cooking at our gas house.
Maybe there is something about cooking on gas that I need to learn.
Maybe I need to come over for lessons on how to cook on induction :p
 

Hvr

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Keep some spare tiles and timber is my suggestion.

When buying things like tiles and paint, buy a bit extra at the beginning and ensure it is all from the same batch number. It is easier to have an extra box or two of tiles so that if there is some unexpected breakage the trades person can continue instead of waiting until you source additional stock.

Make sure you keep them at the end of each stage. You've paid for them.

Tradies jump from job to job and if they can't work at your house they will quickly move to another job they can work at and get paid. They will then need to get back to you and in the mean time your house is delayed.

While it is up to the builder to organise this, they also have their own priorities. It's money, not necessarily your house.

Look after your relationship, the frustrations of dealing with builders and the inevitable issues that will arise can test the strongest relationship. It's no use having your dream house if you don't jave your your loved one to enjoy it with.

Have one person as the designated contact. The builder, tradies etc will want quick answers to matters but resist the temptation to agree to a change, even minor without understanding the full implications. They will quickly determine who they can convince to get something through that is not in your best interests.

Get everything you agree to in writing. before you proceed. Even an SMS to confirm that you have or haven't agreed to a change and any additional expense it will inevitably incur.

Document everything. Keep a log of what was discussed and what was agreed including any expense or changes to the project.

Have your per-determined unchangeable items, and what you will negotiate on if required.

Again, look after yourselves and each other, and please share the progress with us as it proceeds and hopefully we can all attend the house warming party. :cool:😁
 

p--and--t

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When buying things like tiles and paint, buy a bit extra at the beginning and ensure it is all from the same batch number. It is easier to have an extra box or two of tiles so that if there is some unexpected breakage the trades person can continue instead of waiting until you source additional stock.

Make sure you keep them at the end of each stage. You've paid for them.
Great advice for tiles. a few years down the track when the tile you picked is no longer sold or the colour has changed and one or more tiles are damaged, a lot cheaper than redoing a whole wall or room. Had to repair a bathroom twice due to movement 10 years down stream and the spare box of tiles was a godsend (discontinued product). Often when tiles at a discount its because they are job lots or end of run - builders love them because they make more profit.

For paint, the colour matching services are pretty good these days to get some mixed up for a repair and painting one wall or blending is a whole lot cheaper than re-tiling costs.
 
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