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More than the bricks and mortar

Before you fulfil your dreams of concrete slabs or stump foundations, there are several processes to undergo once your building contract is signed.

Working predominantly with rural builds, New Homes spoke to Ross Squire Homes General Manager Steve Grehan about some of the most common procedures after you sign your shiny new building contract.

Finance pre-approval

While many eager clients would have already started the process of obtaining finance, Mr Grehan said gaining pre-approval was one of the most important first steps.

“The process of applying for a loan and getting to the point of having the funds available to start building is often the most time-consuming process in getting a house started and many people underestimate how long it can take,” he said.

“Our experience has shown that a good finance broker can be the fastest, easiest and the most economical pathway to obtaining a building loan.”

Final quotation summary

Once material and design choices have been made, you should receive a final quotation summary – if you’re building rurally, this is a common process after receiving a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment report.

“This is a summary of all the items to be included in the price of your house, including any changes required by a BAL assessment report, minor design or specification changes you have made since your last quote and options or variations you have selected from your last quote,” Mr Grehan said.

“Your plans and building contract will be based on the final quotation summary.”

Site contour and feature survey

According to Mr Grehan, once the BAL assessment is received, a supervisor will visit your site and carry out a comprehensive site report.

“This involves checking and measuring many items and features on the site,” he said. “Our supervisor will contact you beforehand to discuss things like locating the site if it’s a rural property, access to the site via locked gates and, most importantly, the exact location and orientation of your house on the site, along with establishing the finished floor height/level.

“After the site contour and feature survey is completed and your site plan has been drawn, we arrange a structural engineer to visit your site to carry out a soil test and provide us with a wind classification for the site.”

Council development approval or planning approval

Depending on where you build, you may require council development approval or planning approval.

“If one is required on your site, it must be obtained before we can apply for a building permit and after we have completed the site contour and feature survey,” Mr Grehan said.

“We will contact the council to enquire if your site requires a planning approval or development approval.”

Power connection to your site

If you don’t already have a little green dome on your site or an electricity meter fitted inside your boundary, Mr Grehan said power connection was usually the next step.

“If you are uncertain about electricity connection to the site, contact Western Power to confirm,” he said.

“Most land subdivision developments after 1991 will have underground power with green domes.

“If electricity is already connected to your site, you do not need to apply for a Western Power connection.”

Final completion of working drawings and permits received

According to Mr Grehan, the homebuilding experience starts to feel more real with the final completion of working drawings.

At this stage the builder will commonly check the building permit and see if the council has made any amendments.

“Your drawings will be finalised to include any council changes and variations you have made,” Mr Grehan said. “We will send you a copy of the final working drawings, along with your siteworks notification letter if you are doing siteworks.

“Materials and labour will be scheduled and soon after we will start work onsite.”

CONTACT Ross Squire Homes, 9278 3400, www.rsh.com.au

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