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build your own home

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Guest australia4us

Can anyone give me information on buying land and building my own house. Ive emailed some banks and brokers but still waiting.We are going to perth about march time. Any info will be gratefull.

sean:unsure:

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Do you mean getting a builder to build your choice of home on your block, or physically building it yourself?

 

If the former you simply go to an estate, pick out the block, and buy it from the agent's rep, then find a house design you like and get the builder to construct it (it's way easier if you get a house and land package though)

 

If the latter you'll need to to do a home builder's course, get a BSA number (or whatever the non-QLD equivilent is) and jump through a whole heap of hoops.

 

I do subdivisions professionally, if you give more specific information I can give a more specific answer and tell you what to look out for and where they'll try and rip you.

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Guest australia4us

thanks for the reply. I build private houses in the uk for individual people and am hoping to build our own house with little help other than electrics and gas supplies. Can you tell me how to get a BSA number and do a home builders course. I am not sure what subdivisions are so please inform me.

I hope you can be of help and many thanks

sean

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Guest guest30038
thanks for the reply. I build private houses in the uk for individual people and am hoping to build our own house with little help other than electrics and gas supplies. Can you tell me how to get a BSA number and do a home builders course. I am not sure what subdivisions are so please inform me.

I hope you can be of help and many thanks

sean

 

Go here for BSA licences Current Licence Classes

 

A subdivision is a large block of land subdivided into many smaller plots. Folk who bought houses on acreage years ago are now taking advantage of the premium price of land and are sub-dividing. In SE Qld, that seems to be how many "ordinary folk" have got wealthier. Those days are gone now..at least here.......unless you are still sitting on a large plot.

 

kev

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Google "owner-builder course" and you'll find providers, be aware though, if you build your own place you aren't covered by BSA insurance if something goes wrong.

 

Depending on what sort of place you want to build, generally it goes like this:

Buy your block, preferably one with all permits in place to build already as these can take YEARS to get.

Get soil test and effluent perculation (if not on sewers)

A building designer/structural engineer will take care of all the numbers stuff

Submit to council

Wait an eternity

Get building.

 

Also be aware that if your block or any surrounding it has a slope of more than 15 degrees council will generally want a slope stability report, I charge anything from 3K to 40K for one of these depending on the site. But again, this varies from state to state; Victoria has very different methods for doing site classifications than Queensland.

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Guest homeiswheretheheartis

Get soil test and effluent perculation (if not on sewers)

 

Building can be a great thing to do but watch out for the above. You have to get a Soil Test done to establish the reactivity of the soil you're building on. Your site is namely classified based upon the expected movement of the foundation soils - generally related to the capacity of the soil to shrink and swell.

 

The engineers then design the slab based on those findings. Here in QLD, if a site is 'highly reactive' - i.e. reacts significantly to environmental changes, then you could find yourself in trouble.

 

We have just experienced a long period of drought causing highly reactive soils to 'retract'. This has been followed up by high volume downpours resulting in quick expansion which have caused many cases of 'movement' in brand new homes resulting in internal and external cracking. Not good. Even with a waffle pod slab, movement on a H site classification can cause severe cracking.

 

This combined with ranges of movement within the industry which are acceptable tolerances mean new owners are very often left disappointed and anxious about the stability of the blocks of dirt and their precious homes.

 

It's not all doom and gloom. Some H site homes never move a mm. It's just another thing to think about... knowledge is power.

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i am living in perth area now for 10 weeks now worked in the constructionin uk there houses look good but now where the standerd as the uk

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You've got some good points there HIWTHI; trouble is most people have no exposure to the footings standard (AS2870 for reference). the standard actually allows up to 3mm width of cracking to appear before it's classed as damage, I've known cases of people who have wasted money trying to take engineers to court over hairline cracks, we dealt with one woman who was actually suicidal over settlement cracks as her house wasn't "perfect".

 

The trouble with site classification is that you're trying to predict the movement of a site which may be volumetrically 1000m cubed based on two boreholes and one or two soil samples, which we try to make representative but can't always guarantee so. And depending on where you are in the country, you get more or less reactive soils; Adelaide is by far the worst in terms of depth of reactive soil (4m), up here in Mackay it's 1.75m, we rearely see extremely reactive soils here but they're common around Brisbane.

 

I'm conservative with site classification, If it's borderline I tend to give the higher of the two; the difference is about 6K in terms of concrete slab, but I've never had a house fail on me yet, and with the amount of liability that's on me that's something I'm going to continue doing.

 

Effluent is anouther one people don't think about; we have to design a disposal system based on the maximum occupation and the maximum rainfall, so if you have a huge house, you need a huge plot of land to dispose of your sewerage. I've got an ongoing case right now where the owner has spashed out over a million bucks on his fancy-pants house, left no room in the garden whatsoever, and can't fit an effluent system in there at all, we're trying to design a terraced above-ground system for him. It's simply lack of forsight and ignorance about what needs to be done in that situation. It's way more simple if you're on sewers but many estates even close to major cities aren't.

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Guest homeiswheretheheartis

Great words of wisdom Eera. I find that very often people are not informed properly about their build choices - wither that or they focus on the end product and wither are ignorant or not interested in the actual specifics.

 

In general, I believe that people need to be better informed right from the off. Like you said, the client with the fancy pants house but no HSTP system is a perfect example of someone wanting pretty stuff but forgetting the important stuff like where the poopdedoop will go!

 

All the best in lovely Mackay...

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Thanks

 

We're not trying to alarm people who are thinking of building; your designer worries about what the footings have to be, you just pay for it and let them get on with it.

 

But you really, really do need to think about the practicalities of your block and your desired house; your builder won't tell you if you've got enough room for an effluent or if you need a slope stability done, or if your footing design is wrong, it's not their call to make. The BSA (in QLD) or their interstate equivilent are the ones who can best inform you and give you the practical advice you need.

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Guest homeiswheretheheartis
Thanks

 

We're not trying to alarm people who are thinking of building; your designer worries about what the footings have to be, you just pay for it and let them get on with it.

 

But you really, really do need to think about the practicalities of your block and your desired house; your builder won't tell you if you've got enough room for an effluent or if you need a slope stability done, or if your footing design is wrong, it's not their call to make. The BSA (in QLD) or their interstate equivilent are the ones who can best inform you and give you the practical advice you need.

 

 

You sound like just the right person to have around when someone wants to build!

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Get soil test and effluent perculation (if not on sewers)

 

Building can be a great thing to do but watch out for the above. You have to get a Soil Test done to establish the reactivity of the soil you're building on. Your site is namely classified based upon the expected movement of the foundation soils - generally related to the capacity of the soil to shrink and swell.

 

The engineers then design the slab based on those findings. Here in QLD, if a site is 'highly reactive' - i.e. reacts significantly to environmental changes, then you could find yourself in trouble.

 

We have just experienced a long period of drought causing highly reactive soils to 'retract'. This has been followed up by high volume downpours resulting in quick expansion which have caused many cases of 'movement' in brand new homes resulting in internal and external cracking. Not good. Even with a waffle pod slab, movement on a H site classification can cause severe cracking.

 

This combined with ranges of movement within the industry which are acceptable tolerances mean new owners are very often left disappointed and anxious about the stability of the blocks of dirt and their precious homes.

 

It's not all doom and gloom. Some H site homes never move a mm. It's just another thing to think about... knowledge is power.

 

In Perth the 'soil' is actually sand which is why brick is favoured here compare to eastern states - there isn't the same 'movement' issues.

 

We've in the process of buying a block in Perth and shortlisting builders, we thought about having a house built to lock up and my OH doing the final fitting but that causes finance issues so we considered registering as an 'owner-builder' and 'project managing' the build. This might be useful

 

http://www.theownerbuilder.com.au/articles/134%20OB%20Regs%20WA.pdf

 

Builders Registration Board : Owner-Builders

 

Do bear in mind even work you are perfectly capable of doing you will need the appropriate licences to do here - my OH is an Electrical Engineering graduate and he's not allowed to change a light fitting (serious!)

 

To even be allowed on site you need a 'blue card' - though you can take this on-line and it costs about $30

 

Good luck and enjoy!

 

Jules

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Thanks

 

We're not trying to alarm people who are thinking of building; your designer worries about what the footings have to be, you just pay for it and let them get on with it.

 

But you really, really do need to think about the practicalities of your block and your desired house; your builder won't tell you if you've got enough room for an effluent or if you need a slope stability done, or if your footing design is wrong, it's not their call to make. The BSA (in QLD) or their interstate equivilent are the ones who can best inform you and give you the practical advice you need.

 

You've got me worried now! Why wouldn't the builder tell you? Okay the builder builds from the plans but the architect or building designer surely has responsibility??? Why is it 'not their call to make'??

 

We have had several look at our block and advise what we can/can't build - all seem knowledgable and helpful (as you would expect when we are looking to give them business!)

 

Jules

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Guest guest30038
You've got me worried now! Why wouldn't the builder tell you? Okay the builder builds from the plans but the architect or building designer surely has responsibility??? Why is it 'not their call to make'??

 

We have had several look at our block and advise what we can/can't build - all seem knowledgable and helpful (as you would expect when we are looking to give them business!)

 

Jules

 

You can't tell from "looking" what you can or can't build. From what I was told when I built, the soil test reveals only the "potential". As it turned out (they did three bore holes) those 3 bores didn't reveal the patch that was extremely reactive. That patch was revealed when for some reason, the building company ordered another bore (maybe because I was on the side of a hill) and my original quote for a build, ended up with another 12 grand stuck on it.

 

kev

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A builder cannot legally make a decision about what your soils are going to do; anything involving the structural design of your house footings etc must be signed off by a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) or a BSA licensed soil tester. The builder may be able to give you an indication based on their experience but it can't go any further than that. Again, I deal in QLD only, but the Standards I work to are Aus-wide.

 

I apologise if I'm making it sound more difficult than it is; really all you have to do is ring around the people listed as "soil testers" in the yellow pages and they'll go from there, your builder may deal with it all without you having to get any more involved as part of the package.

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Guest homeiswheretheheartis

I am not trying to put the heebyjeebies up people either. I just wanted to make people more aware. Since working where I do my attitude to building has really changed as I have become more informed. I used to look at a block of land with regards to location, nice view, size etc. Now I would also think about:

 

1) Water availability - if you can hook up to mains, great but if not then massive water tanks are the way to go. Then the isuse of above ground or subterranean ones. Subterranean ones look better but the costs are significant (also a headache if something goes wrong). Also, as with one case this week, when there is not enough water around, you have to buy the water in which can cost quite a bit.

 

2) Very flat blocks... seen it a few times, where the block is so flat getting the necessary angles for the waste can be more challenging. It's not impossible but it can cause issues with more frequent blockages if owners do not 'flush' sufficiently as waste and paper can sit in the pipes leading to blockages.

 

3) 'Landscaping' - many builders leave yard gullies for site drainage for the client to level when they have finished their own landscaping. They also provide a leaflet from CSIRO called 'How Does Your Garden Grow?'. This advises about site drainage and how best to manage water around your home. I am seeing so many people now thinking so much about pools and decks and water features - that or simply turfing it and renting it as soon as the keys have been handed over - that not enough thought is given to the long term drainage on their blocks. This, over time, can cause site drainage issues which can cause movement... I have seen this particularly with houses built on slopes, when homes catch the run off from a number of properties above them or from open land for example.

 

4) When your soil test is done, you are given a copy of the report and there is a section for owner responsibilities. This advises on how best to deal with the soil type your home is built on. With the mountains of paperwork that you get when buiding, you can easily overlook the advise contained therein. Now I know it's there and the implications if it's ignored, I would be planning for it as soon as I had the report. I would also get a copy of the CSIRO How Does Your Garden Grow Leaflet so I could really plan how to manage the land my home is build on.

 

There is sooooooo much more to consider. Pools for example. That's a whole new ball game. Especially if you haven't had your piers beefed up and decide to put one in close to your house after it's built...

 

As for solar power in the winter... be prepared to have the booster on quite a lot raising your power bills...

 

And when getting a tradesperson on the roof to put an aerial up on your brand new home if your builder does not do it, make sure they take care as cracked tiles lead to leaks and builders don't like to rectify costly roof leaks from tiles cracked when aerials are installed by less than competent technicians.... so you could be faced with a large repair bill...

 

REMEMBER... some builders will take care of all of the above for you. If you have a turn key property, basic landscaping is often included in the price.

 

All I am saying is now I've been working in the area for a while, there is so much more I would ask, and be proactive in establishing.

 

It doesn't mean I wouldn't build. It means I would just be thinking so much more about so much more - if you know what I mean!

 

And as for soil testing advice, 'Eera' is the person to ask. From reading posts, the knowlegde contained therein indicates someone who is VERY useful to know if you're thinking about building!

 

All the best to one and all!

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Guest australia4us

hi you are very helpfull and know mthe know hope you dont mind but may be in touch when we arrive glad for the addvice thanks sean

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Guest
A builder cannot legally make a decision about what your soils are going to do; anything involving the structural design of your house footings etc must be signed off by a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) or a BSA licensed soil tester. The builder may be able to give you an indication based on their experience but it can't go any further than that. Again, I deal in QLD only, but the Standards I work to are Aus-wide.

 

I apologise if I'm making it sound more difficult than it is; really all you have to do is ring around the people listed as "soil testers" in the yellow pages and they'll go from there, your builder may deal with it all without you having to get any more involved as part of the package.

 

We've been advised to get a contour survey done including bore sampling and we have also been told that until site works start there will still be uncertainties so the soil part I'm happy with but it was the stuff about not leaving sufficient room for the sewerage required that seemed bizarre. All I can say is hopefully I've picked a good builder!

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Guest guest30038

 

but it was the stuff about not leaving sufficient room for the sewerage required that seemed bizarre. All I can say is hopefully I've picked a good builder!

 

I think that relates to the assumption that there may be no mains sewerage and that you might need room for a septic tank.

 

kev

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Sort of; there's not really any such thing as a septic tank any more, you have sub-soil treatment and drip irrigation systems that put the treated blackwater back into the soil. Depending on the soil they can be small (in sandy loam) or huge (in impermeable clay), basically trenches of around 60-120m are not uncommon. These have to be positioned at least 4m from your boundary fence, with minimum set-backs from bores and waterways, 50m from memory. You also cannot grow vegies in the trench areas as you are essentially playing in your own (minimally) treated poo.

 

If you're on sewers you don't need to worry about it.

 

If anyone has any queries please feel free to PM me. I can't get involved in disputes or confirming whether your design is right but I'm more than willing to clarify any points that aren't understood.

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Hi I work selling land at the Meve Estate in Beeliar, about 20-25 mins south of Perth have a look at our web site www.meve.com.au also you can email a local mortgage broker who is excellent and he will certainly respond to you his name is Marcus Coote email: marcus@beatthebanks.com.au. As far as a builder goes try emailing tony.harvie@residentialbuildingwa.com.au and also look at thier web site www.residentialbuildingwa.com.au. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

 

Regards

 

Robyn

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Guest neilalys

hi , all interesting reading these posts, any info on relocating a queenslander onto a 5 acre + plot as this is what we would like to do when we get there over summer, when i lived in rural queensland in the 1980s we dismantled a queenslander and rebuilt it with a carpenter on our own plot, can this still be done, thanx neil

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Hi.

 

I'm a mortgage broker based NOR - Perth.

 

If you still need advice, don't hesitate to contact me.

 

Thanks

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