SINGLESTOREY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Find an answer to your question below or contact SingleStorey for a prompt response.
There are three main elements you will need to consider, including:
1. Have you selected your block?
2. Have you set out your budget?
3. Have you thought of a house design?
Next step is to engage a reputable builder that is registered with the Housing Industry Association (HIA), has up-to-date insurance, and can back their marketing claims with years of building experience, preferably in Western Australia. Building a home is a considerable undertaking so you need to know that the company you engage to construct your home is well-versed in their field.
The building specialists at SingleStorey.com.au can answer all of your questions and provide the information you need to put your mind at ease.
Final Plans: The drawings representative of all agreed changes to be used to construct your two-storey home.
Home ID: The reference used to identify your home project.
New Home Administrator: One of our skilled staff members who will guide you through the process of preparing and building your new home.
PPA: The Preparation of Plans Agreement is the agreement and initial paperwork that kicks things off and is used to communicate your new home requirements to our office staff.
Preliminary Plans: Covers the foundations and starting point for your working drawings, and the plans designed to assist in the facilitation of the Prestart Meeting.
Pre-start Meeting: This is where your New Home Administrator helps you confirm window sizes, house siting, external colours and any minor structural changes to ensure your two-storey home achieves a 6 Star Rating. If there are any major structural design changes, these will be addressed by your sales consultant prior to this meeting.
Site Inspection Report & Survey: This determines essential features, property boundaries and levels of the land for your new home.
Site works: Describe everything that’s involved on site that does not directly involve building your new two-storey house. This involves things like setting up a site office and toilets to providing safe, secure storage for tools and materials.
Specifications: A technical document that contains a list of the work to be carried out, the items to be supplied/installed by the builder and the manner in which certain work are undertaken.
The PPA is an agreement where initial paperwork is signed and a fee is paid to kick things off and used to communicate your new home needs to the staff of your chosen builder. Generally speaking, builders will give the client the opportunity to make design changes up to the preparation of contracts.
The Contract is a legally binding agreement, which means that the client has accepted the final design and price. This ultimately requires the client to fulfil the financial requirements, while the builder is required to commence and complete construction.
Absolutely. Builders in general are more than happy to cater for your design preferences. Keep in mind that there may be costs involved when making changes to the initial design, but your chosen builder will talk you through this process.
It is a very good idea to include air conditioning during the initial planning stages of the building process. You want to be able to enjoy your new home no matter what Perth’s weather throws at you, and you will be able to maximise your comfort levels by taking advantage of optimum duct locations and air conditioning unit that suits your home and lifestyle. Early planning of your air conditioning requirements also allows you to select from the widest range of options, which may include climate control in each room, energy-saving functionality, touch-screen and time control. By installing air conditioning at a later date, you won’t be able to ensure that the air conditioning system that you want will be compatible with the electrical and design specifications of your home, or that what you desire can be achieved cost effectively. By considering your air conditioning requirements as early in the process as possible will also ensure the most cost effective solution.
Yes you can, although keep in mind that the design/floor plan goes hand-in-hand with your elevation, meaning changes to one will directly affect the other. You can always achieve the desired look without having to alter the house plans by using a different textured or coloured material. The right builder will understand that you want the outside of your home to express your individuality, so ask them about your options.
Just like household appliances have star-rating systems, the energy efficiency of a home also has it’s own nationally rated system. The more stars on a scale of one to ten, the greater the natural comfort level of a home, and the less energy (and money) it uses.
The energy efficiency of houses is measured through a star-rating system, with zero being the worst and 10 the best. A 6-Star rating is deemed the benchmark for new residential homes as current technologies makes this accessible to homeowners like you.
The rating will take a number of design aspects of your home into consideration. The direction that your home faces, your external colour choices, the windows, the roof type and floor coverings will all affect the rating. Each room will be calculated individually to achieve an overall rating. Builders may also provide the option to send your design off for a preliminary report, which will pick up any required changes at the start of the design process.
Owning a 6-Star rated home will not only reduce your lighting, heating and cooling costs but also reduce your carbon footprint.
If you have already selected a block, we can offer a number of existing 6-Star two-storey house designs to suit the orientation and ‘climate zone’ of your existing block.
If you haven’t already picked a location, we can help you choose one with an orientation that best suits your preferred home design and optimise your overall energy rating.
This is a great idea on many levels so let us explain why. Property prices have continued to rise dramatically in WA over the past few years. The market has now seen a number of older properties experincing higher overall land value, and the value of the house itself being quite minimal in the total property equation.
This now means that many home owners like yourself are choosing to demolish their existing home and build a new one in its place. Another trend is that properties are being bought with the intention of demolishing the current house to build a new home.
This proves to be very economical and raises the value of the property considerably, with the added benefit of being able to tailor make a home to suit the block and their lifestyle.
Reasons why you may be considering to Demolish & Build:
• You absolutely love the suburb that you already live in.
• Building in your current location will benefit your family’s lifestyle in the long-term.
• It is becoming costly to maintain your current home.
• The current trends excite you and given you the desire to build a new home.
• Your children go to the local schools and don’t want to move.
• The current layout of your home is no longer suitable with your lifestyle and you want the freedom of choosing the prefect design, rather than settling for the next best.
• There is the saving of stamp duty and agents fees up to $100,000 and more.
• Your lifestyle suits your current block and it can be difficult finding a similar block elsewhere
• You will have a new maintenance-free home without the worry of buying someone else’s problems in an already established home.
Demolishing an existing home and rebuilding a new one can be overwhelming, particularly in established suburbs that have their own style considerations. Rest assured that companies like SingleStorey.com.au have ample experience to help you every step of the way.
Some builders design purely for narrow or small blocks while others like SingleStorey.com.au have the expertise to create your dream home regardless of the size or shape of your block. We have an extensive range of clever small lot, narrow lot and cottage lot designs with 10-metre and 12-metre frontages, and all of our plans can be customised to suit your individual needs and aesthetic tastes.
Most builders have resources available to help make these difficult decisions easier for you. Discuss any ideas about how you would like your home to look with your builder so they can help you make the right choices. SingleStorey.com.au has expert New Home Administrators with years of experience in helping clients design the interior of their new home.
Since building our first luxury Telethon Home in 2006 through our sister brand In-Vogue 2 Storey Designs, we have helped raise millions of dollars for the Telethon children’s charity and Princess Margaret Hospital for Children. The people at Telethon trust us and believe we can deliver each and every year.
It is incredibly rewarding to know that through our building expertise and experience, and the relationships we share with our suppliers and tradespeople, we are able to enrich the lives of the young people throughout Western Australia, and help fund research into children’s diseases.
There are a number of features that are important to consider when selecting a new block to buy. Each of the following can involve costs to build on and will need to be discussed with your builder:
• Any falls or rises in slope on the block may impact the design of your home. There may also be restrictions placed on the design by local Council, or objections from neighbours concerned about lack of privacy that often result in the need for retaining walls.
• Clay soils hold considerable water that can result in structures moving over time. Building a home on clay will involve deeper and stronger footings to eliminate this from happening.
• Limestone and rocky soils can be more difficult to dig into, which may increase initial building costs.
New land developments generally pose minimal risk of increasing building costs, as developers will have completed the majority of site preparations.
Builders in general will allow you to make changes to the building plan prior to commencement of constructions. These can be discussed with your sales consultant and the builder’s design team. All builders will need to ensure that your design will be compliant with the Residential Design Code of Australia (R-Codes) and the National Construction Code (NCC). The R-Codes determine how the builder can actually use the land while the NCC ensures the builder constructs a home that will last for many years to come.
Most builders will be able to create a package that includes things such as landscaping, painting, window finishing, floorings and much more. This is a very handy option to have as the people of Perth are busy people and by including everything in a package, you will be able to include in your finance. If you are looking to have these included in the building contract, make sure you speak to your builder. There are some items that are cheaper to install during the build (air conditioning is one) that you may want to include.
This is the fun part of the process. The Prestart is generally broken down into a number of meetings that cover off the different decisions that you will need to make. Your New Home Administrator (NHA) will meet with you to confirm window sizes, house sitting, external colours and many minor structural changes. If there are any major structural design changes, these will be addressed by your sales consultant prior to this meeting. It is recommended that you have a good idea of your selections prior to this meeting as this will help the process.
When you receive your keys, your builder (SingleStorey.com.au definitely does!) may give you a homecare manual that provides hints and tips of how best to maintain your home. These tips may range from cleaning your walls to maintaining your kitchen bench. As per the Home Building Contracts Act, a builder is to amend any required maintenance, or defects as it is referred in the act. These must be notified in writing to the builder within the period of four months commencing from the day of practical completion. Your builder should supply a checklist-style form to assist you in notifying them of any maintenance maters. Take your time to move around your new home and write down anything that you notice that may need fixing. At the end of the four-month period, your builder will go through the list that you may have supplied and rectify the agreed items.
House and land packages can be an economical way to build a home. Builders will generally have these readily available but can offer to create one for you. Some builders are better than others in sourcing a block in an area where land is hard to come by so be sure to bring this up in your initial discussions with the sales consultant.
Your builder will break the construction process down into stages, with the payments required at the end of each stage referred to as a Progress Payment. If your bank is financing the build, simply provide the builder’s invoice to the bank for the Progress Payment to be made. Your builder will provide an outline of when you can expect to be invoiced for each Progress Payment.
This is a very important and exciting stage of the process! It is virtually a happy beginning of the end; when you get your keys and move in! During the handover stage, you will meet with your construction supervisor to go through a Practical Completion Inspection (PCI). Your supervisor will compile a list of items with you that your builder will need to complete prior to handing over the keys.
Approvals are all dependant on the design of your home. Generally speaking, a Planning Approval will be needed from the respective local government authority before a Building Permit can be applied for. On average, the Planning Approval can take eight weeks while the Building Permit can take a further three weeks. Depending on where your home is going to be built, a Developers Approval may also be needed. Your builder generally takes care of all of the approvals and will be able to keep you up-to-date throughout the entire process.
It is a really good idea to think about how much you can afford to pay because this isn’t always what the banks will offer to lend you. Try to keep within a comfortable repayment plan that will allow for living expenses, decreases in income, and increases to interest rates. As previously mentioned, making changes or adding items may alter the price of your final design. Be disciplined with your budget and remember to include post-construction items and finishings.
Communication, communication, communication! Your builder will do everything in their power to ensure construction occurs within an acceptable time-frame but it’s important you communicate anything as soon as it comes up. Changes can generally be catered for but if the builder doesn't know about them straight away, the task may be bigger and costlier the longer you wait.
It’s also important to be prepared and know what you want in your home at the very beginning of the process. This will eliminate any changes down the track and help the builder in placing the required orders.
A common misconception is that all builders have the same quality and quantity of inclusions. In order to compare “apples with apples” keep an eye out for things like: size and style of the kitchen bench, size of cupboard space, whether walk-in robes are included in the bedrooms, where the toilets are located (have they got a door), and whether an alfresco area is included or costed as an extra. There are a few other items that you can look out for, and we are happy to let you know of each of the inclusions per design.
Not all builders have the same design features and inclusions, although there will always be a minimum price quoted. Anytime a builder quotes a “from” price it usually means a base specification, base design features or a reduced version of another home design.
Every site needs to be properly prepared before a home is built to ensure that there are no structural issues in the future. The costs involved in site works will vary depending on the level of work required to get the site ready for construction. Your builder should be able to give you an estimate on any costs involved but won’t be able to give a definitive answer until the site is inspected.
Modern builders use a variety of efficient construction technologies though not all aspire to achieve unparalleled quality and performance. The majority of new homes in Perth are based on double brick construction, which utilises a larger clay brick for the internal wall, a single brick face as the external wall, and usually timber components in the roof framing. However, innovative and forward thinking companies like SingleStorey.com.au take full advantage of the many advances in building products, materials and systems.
A ‘variation order’ is when an alteration or extra work gets added to the house after the Contract has been signed. Most of the time, a variation will add to the build price due to the process involved in making the changes. This requires redrawing the plans, estimating time and costs, and amending orders that have already been scheduled.
For some people, one of most relaxing things you can do is to sit in a luxurious spa bath. Spa baths are mostly made of acrylic using a vacuum formed mould. They usually come with a base frame to provide support for the bath once installed.
There are two types of spa systems predominantly used for bathroom spas. The first is the hydro spa system that draws water into a pump, then pushes it out in a jet to provide a powerful, invigorating massage. The second type is an air system that blows air into the water creating a soft, gentle massage. Some spa baths have a dual system that combines the hydro and the air system for the ultimate in bathing pleasure.
– Adjustable Jet – A jet that allows you to control the directional flow of the water.
– Air Control – A pneumatic control air switch mounted on the rim of the spa which turns the spa on and off.
– Bodyguard Release Valve – A safety valve that stops the suction when something is caught in the pump.
– Electric On/Off Switch – Allows you to turn the heater on and off while the pump is in use.
Other Considerations : Spa pump position is an important decision which often needs to be made at the time the spa bath is ordered. Think about the position in relation to the room available in your bathroom. Pumps can be installed up to 3 metres away however the closer the position the better pressure and ultimately, more enjoyable bathing experience.