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It always pays to get your builder involved early. Simple advice from a Certified Builder when making critical decisions like choosing a section, architectural style, plans and building materials can save a lot of hassle later on.
If you are carrying out building work you may need to apply for a building consent.
Here are some examples of work that requires consent:
- any structural building including new buildings, additions, alterations, accessory buildings (sheds), and re-piling
- plumbing and drainage
- heating (fireplaces), ventilation and air conditioning systems
- siteworks for a building
- retaining walls higher than 1.5 metres, or retaining walls with a building or driveway near the top
- fences higher than 2.5 metres and any swimming pool fence
- swimming pools
- decks more than 1.5 metres from ground levelIf in doubt we recommend you ring your local council and discuss your project with them.
As a general rule, a building permit is required whenever:
1. There is structural work involved (eg. removing load-bearing wall).
2. The basic living area (square meterage) of the home is to be changed.
3. The home’s mechanical systems (eg. gas, electrical or plumbing) are to be reconfigured or otherwise modified.
As a rule, you should always request that your qualified builder obtain the building permits. This is because the person who “pulls the permit” is considered liable for ensuring that all completed work complies with the state and local building codes.
The only way to guarantee your project within your budget is to enter into a full contract, fixed price agreement with your builder. Discuss all the Prime Cost Sums and work out if you are likely to spend more on these items than what the builder has allowed. For example kitchens and carpets can vary hugely depending on what you want.
Some of the extra costs to the home owner that can be over looked that are generally not included in a quote are: landscaping and lawns, washing lines, letter boxes, curtains and blinds. These items can add up very quickly.
Full Build Contract
We will provide you with a written “fixed price” Action plan to complete the project from start to finish. With a full contract we will organize everything from sub contractors to building inspections through to obtaining your final code of compliance. This allows you to be involved without the pressure or stress of hiring and supervising sub contractors or organizing the right people to be on site at the right time. You know exactly what the project will cost and any overruns are our problem, not yours.
The cost of materials plus a builder’s margin. It’s like a “pay as you go”; there are no guarantees on costs.
This contract is to supply the builder’s/carpenter’s labour only for your project. For Cost Plus and Labour only contract options, you will need to hire all the subcontractors yourself and also hire a separate Project Manager unless you have the time and experience to manage the entire project yourself. This type of contract can be extremely time consuming, expensive and very stressful.
A project manager is paid a set fee to manage, organize and oversee the entire building project for you. Your project manager will arrange for all the materials to be delivered on site at the appropriate times and also organize all the subcontractors when they are needed.
With a full build contract the complete project management is included in the price.
You pay on a progress payment system as detailed in your building agreement. One advantage of full contract is you only need to make payments to one company and payments are made at specific stages of the project. When you receive a written contract quote, we will provide you with a payment schedule and also a construction schedule so you know what to expect and when to expect it.
We welcome you to make any changes you would like to enhance your home. Any requests by yourselves incurring extra labour and/or material costs will be treated as a variation to the contract. All variations will be costed and presented to you for approval authorising the builder to carry out these changes before any such works can be started.