What's recycled water?
Recycled water is mostly used for watering the garden and flushing toilets. It may be available if you are building in an estate but you may need to arrange for it to be connected to your home.
What are fibre optic cables?
Fibre optic cables provide the new communication infrastructure in your home. Depending on your estate requirements, they may or may not be required.
Can ducted range-hoods be made external?
Yes, this is an upgrade item. The current ‘standard’ on our homes is to duct the range-hood into the roof space.
What is a soil report?
A soil report is a report based on a series of soil samples taken from your block of land. By testing the soil in various locations it enables our engineers to classify your soil type and provide the appropriate footing system for your home.
What are developer approval guidelines'?
Developer approval guidelines are set by the developer of an estate to ensure every home built within the estate has a consistent look and feel. Your developer guidelines can affect your façade colour selections and material selection.
Why do I need to maintain my block of land?
For us to build on your block of land, you will need to clear any rubbish or vegetation before we start. It is a good idea to keep your block maintained to ensure there isn’t a lot of work required just before site start. If you do not maintain your block, it could take a few weeks for you to remove rubbish, cut grass and get your boundaries identified, all of which could delay the start of your build.
What's a community infrastructure levy?
Homeowners may be required to pay a community infrastructure levy (CIL) to support funding of the community facilities required for the residents of a defined area. This applies most commonly to new estates and is governed by the developer of the land and the council in which your block is situated.
These community facilities include local preschools, maternal and child health centres, community halls/multi-purpose buildings, and other recreation facilities. Check with your local council to see what CIL you will need to pay.
What is a BAL rating?
If your property is located in a bushfire prone area your home will need to be constructed to a minimum of BAL 12.5.
BAL refers to the Bushfire Attack Level and has been devised to improve the ability of a building to withstand a bushfire attack.
This BAL may change once an on-site assessment is completed. The types of products you choose for your home including the front door, garage door, the tiled roof may reduce your BAL.
What is the town planning process?
This will depend on what type of town planning is required and varies according to regulations. For example, building a duplex in the inner city suburbs will have a different town planning process for building a single storey home in a regional area.
What is a soakage pit?
Soakage pits are used when there is no storm-water discharge point available on your property. Soakage pits are not part of the standard inclusion and additional costs will be included in your contract if you require these. The number and location of the soakage pits all depend on the soil type and will need to be designed by an engineer.
What is a feature survey?
A feature survey is a detailed report that reflects your boundaries, services, levels, structures and other important details.
Why can’t the construction of my new home begin as soon as my contract is signed?
Generally, we are waiting on items such as your finance approval (which can take up to 30 days) and town planning (which in inner urban areas can take a few months to be finalised). Our aim is to get you into your home as soon as possible, so rest assured we are working hard to make this period of time as short as possible. If you have any queries during the process please feel free to call your Customer Support Coordinator.
What is a building permit number?
A building permit number is a number allocated by the registered building surveyor that issues the permit. The number can be located within the building permit document.
What is an easement?
An easement is a section of land registered on your property title which gives someone the right to use that land for a specific purpose (such as council access to sewage and stormwater pipes.) We cannot build any permanent structures on an easement. Your final slab design may also be affected by any easements on your property or your neighbour’s property.
What is a variation?
Essentially, a variation is a request to change an item in your contract that has been agreed to by us in writing. Your contract will specify in detail how variations are to be dealt with.
Can I leave my fence up during construction?
If your fence is within 150mm from where we will be building your garage then you can leave it up, but this means we will brick from the inside, which will not be a nice finish on that side of the garage. When the garage is situated on the boundary you must remove the fence prior to commencement of construction.
Where are manholes located?
Manholes are usually located in the higher space of the roof, but each house is different so you will need to refer to your chosen home design
What is double-glazing?
Double-glazing consists of two glass panels approximately 3-4mm thick with a 10mm gap between them. This is generally used for energy efficiency and noise reduction. This is a good option if you are building on a busy street, especially on the front windows.
What are acoustic batts?
Acoustic batts are made up of sound-insulating material used for noise reduction and are usually used in theatre rooms.
What is exposed aggregate and do you use it?
Exposed aggregate is a method of finishing concrete which washes the cement/sand mixture of the top layer of the aggregate – usually gravel. We use exposed aggregate in driveways and external surfaces.
What is a niche?
A niche is an indent in the wall. Niches are often used in hallways to present artwork or in showers.
Why do you use waffle slabs?
Waffle slabs consist of a reinforced concrete slab poured with internal joists or ribs in two directions beneath it which gives the system has a ‘waffle-like’ pattern. We use waffle slabs because they are the most cost-effective slab design for homes. These slabs sit on top of the ground and allow for minor movement of the ground under the slab due to climatic conditions.
What is a bulkhead?
A bulkhead is a change of the ceiling heights. It’s a stylish feature in modern homes, especially in the kitchen to define it as a separate area from the living and dining spaces.
What is obscure glazed windows?
Obscure glazed windows are opaque windows you cannot see through. For example, in cases where you have overlooking neighbours you can use this type window to maintain your privacy yet they still allow light into the home.
What is the difference between a ‘site scrape’, ‘excavation’ and ‘cut and fill’?
A ‘site scrape’ is to simply remove the very top layer of the block to make it clean.
An ‘excavation’ is needed when the site is required to be at a certain level and usually consists of a cut and fill method.
A ‘cut and fill’ refers to the process of cutting into the hillside or slope of your site. The material removed from area is then used to ‘fill’ the site to achieve the desired level.
What is a retaining wall and why do you need it?
A retaining wall can be made of different materials, such as sleepers, blocks or bricks, but it’s essentially a wall built to retain fill. A retaining wall ensures the soil doesn’t move from the allocated area.
What is bored pier?
This is a method of reinforcement underneath your slab as part of engineering. The piers are concrete and usually placed under the slab until they reach the clay (hard soil). The slab is then placed on top.
What screw pile?is
A screw pile is another method of reinforcing your slab. It is usually used on sandy soils instead of the bored pier.
Why do I need temporary fencing?
Temporary fencing is required under council regulations and helps secure the site so that it complies with OH&S requirements.
Can I go out on-site?
You are more than welcome to attend your site regularly; however, you will need to be accompanied by your site supervisor for safety reasons.
What is ‘compaction’?
Compaction is the compacting of existing fill on your site and/or fill that we will place on-site as a result of any cut and fill needed on your site.
Why is there a join in stone bench-tops that are over three metres?
The material used to make stone bench-tops only comes in three-metre sheets. It is not possible to manufacture them any larger. Any bench that exceeds three metres in size will contain a join.
What is a sewer tie?
A sewer tie is the connection point for the sewer drain.
What is fill?
Fill is the soil added after a site has been excavated to create a level building platform.
What is brick veneer?
Brick veneer is a brick wall with timber frame and plaster walls. This is the normal construction method.
What are ‘fixed site costs’ compared to ‘cost allowances’?
Fixed site costs are exactly that, meaning they cannot vary throughout construction. Cost allowances will be added to the variable site costs.
What does ‘subject to finance’ mean?
It means your contract is only valid if you obtain unconditional finance for the contract amount. It gives our customers the right to cancel their contract if their loan is declined.
What is a valuation?
If you are financing your purchase through a lender, the lender will conduct a valuation to estimate what the property is worth should it need to repossess and sell the property in distressed circumstances.
What is a conveyancer?
A conveyancer or legal practitioner is a professional who specialises in this area and can assist with buying, selling, transferring, refinancing, subdividing and other legal matters in relation to property transfers. All conveyancers must be licensed and hold professional indemnity insurance.
What is Greenfields?
Think of ‘green fields.’ Greenfields is the name given to any land that has not previously been developed or built up. This is usually land that has been purchased with the intention of building homes, or essentially ‘new estates.’
What is a re-establishment survey?
We will arrange for a licensed surveyor to undertake a re-establishment survey to identify the right boundaries of your land prior to the commencement of construction.
What is double handling?
Double handling occurs when site access restrictions require delivered building materials to be handled more than once, such as the hand carting of materials around the site or manual site cleans.
Why do I need asset protection?
You will need an asset protection permit from your local council before commencing works. Asset protection provides cover for any damage done to council assets by your construction.
What is an underground power pit?
Safety necessities require the construction and use of underground power connections. When the power authority runs its main power connection underground it is called a power pit.
What is ResCode?
ResCode refers to standards set for the construction of new dwellings, alterations and extensions to existing dwellings in Victoria only.
These ResCode standards include:
• street setback
• building height
• site coverage
• parking provision
• side and rear setbacks
• walls on boundaries
• overshadowing and overlooking
• private open space.
What is an Allowance?
Allowances refer to additional costs that are in excess of your fixed-site costs.
What is a Certificate of Occupancy (CO)
A document issued by your local council or surveyor certifying a building's compliance with building codes and other laws, and indicating it to be in a condition suitable for living in.
What are Council guidelines?
Council guidelines refer to building legislation, guidelines and permits that you’ll need to consider before building a new home.
What is a Energy ratings?
A new home’s energy rating refers to the index of the building’s performance index, such as heating and cooling requirements. The accepted energy rating for most homes is 6 stars.
What is a Facade?
A home’s facade refers to the principal front of a building, that faces out to a street or open space.
What is titled Land?
Refers to the process of formally recording your registration of rights in land, or land ownership, for example when you purchase new land from a previous owner with the intention to build on it. You will not be able to commence your build until the land is titled.
What is Pre-approval?
Pre-approval gets your loan sorted so you know how much you can borrow, and therefore can confidently browse new homes within your budget.
What is Property Services Information (PSI)
This helps us to obtain the necessary information for your property to achieve an accurate cost estimate for construction works or site costs. Things we look for include subdivision details, title agreements, the likelihood of flooding, termites etc.
What is a Surveyor?
The person who works for the local county office that conducts surveys of properties to determine boundary lines and identify easements and encroachments that may affect the title on the home.
What is a Setback?
A setback refers to the distance which a building is set back from a street any other place which is deemed to need protection.
What is Zoning?
Zoning is when the government controls the physical development of land and the kinds of uses to which each individual property may be put.