Building A New House
Re: Architect vs Custom Home Builder22
May 15, 2021 11:24 am
But then the base price isn't any different from a standard home with similar layout/area. I think the builder charges extra 2k for the 'customness' which I suspect is to cover modification of their standard engineering documents and that's about it.
Re: Architect vs Custom Home Builder23
May 16, 2021 10:38 am
What exactly do people usually mean when they say 'custom home'?
Any home that's not one of the builder's standard plans, or those fancy designer homes?
For example we are starting to build another house to fix up all the mistakes from the previous one, and this time I spent about 3 months drawing up the floor plan that suits us (hopefully), before we even got to picking the builder. So it is sorta custom, but at the end of the day there is a finite number of layouts that you can fit on a small lot, so plenty of builders would have something conceptually similar.
For us, a custom home is one that is totally unique to you and your block, a one off. But I guess others could interpret modifications to an existing home design as being custom as well.
No 2 of our homes are the same, everything is designed as a blank slate from the time we take the client's brief.
Have a great weekend
Affordable Custom Homes, We design and build to your budget
Re: Architect vs Custom Home Builder24
May 16, 2021 1:04 pm
This is our experience.
My uncle is an overseas trained architect and he got his own home building business in Sydney. He mainly caters to family, friends and friend of friends. Maybe 1 or two projects a year.
We moved to Central west NSW for work and finally decided to build our first home. There are limited number of blocks available. At the time of looking for the block, there were 3 elevated corner blocks available. And we selected the block where the north is located at the bacl of the property. It has an amazing elecated outlook, it has a nature reserve on the the east accross the street and an another nature reserve on the west 500 meters away and to the south a mountain view in the distant. But there is a 4 meters upslope from west to east and 1.5 meters upslope south to north. It was not the ideal. It was the cheapest block. It was last to sell.
My uncle said, we will build the house based on latest sold price on houses in the area. $500k build price so as not to overcapitalise.
We did soil test (m class) and countour survey. He initiallly draw all complete construction drawing by hand and paper. He’s 65. It was a split level home where the splits sit nicely on the block. Very minor cut and fill. Design was to take in all the views but still ensuring privacy as it was a corner block. We initially submitted it to 3 local builders. They priced it as between $500-550k. We asked them where we can reduce the build price. They said cut back the total area. And minimise the glazing. And ceiling height. We also had a 3% slope roof.
So we all follower their suggestion. Hand it over to the draftsman to to the CAD drawings. Plus the enginnering Drawing.
After that, we handed it back to the builders that previously contacted. They price it at $850-870k to build. House is mainly bricks and cladding. No piering and all plasterboard inside. Our jaws dropped to the floor.
We went to another volume builder where they have an existing plan. We slightly modified the plan. Meet our requirements and budget. We just signed a fix cost contract.
My thoughts, local builders here are a bit bias when they see house design which are not ordinary. Or new ways of building more cost effective.
We were happy with the modified design. Ask a member of this forum to do modellling for energy efficiency. Simple changes like making the windows smaller in the west, west and south. Upgrading insulation. Internal doors in between living space. Double glazing. Resulted to above 7 stars. For the split level house originally single glaze only to cut cost
We are happy with the modified plan.
Re: Architect vs Custom Home Builder26
May 18, 2021 1:17 pm
The biggest piece of advice i can give you is make sure you ‘own the plans’, soil and contour survey.
We have just built a custom home, we first approached a builder who recommended a building designer, who worked independently from the builder, however we felt that he didn’t understand what we wanted and instead designed a more cookie cutter acreage style home (his specialty). We walked away after paying $6000 with plans we owned but didn’t like. WE also paid for a survey but unfortunately it was a basic survey and not usable on our large block (but obviously gave them basic levels for the design)
Secondly we went to another builder, they had an in-house building designer, paid $3000 for a plan, survey and soil test, we had in writing that we owned the design and that they would provide both the soil and survey in DWG, we ultimately walked away after the tender came back $550k over budget (even though they advised all along we were within budget).
Third and finally we found a very small builder, by this stage we knew what we wanted (a mixture of the previous two plans), went to a draftsmen and he drew up what i wanted, again we owned the plan, we sent the plans to tender and picked our builder.
We paid for full construction drawings, basix, bush fire report, septic reports and full DA, the we signed with the builder, at this take we paid approx $40k in reports, drawings and DA approval.
WE originally looked at full architect but with a quote of 10% of build cost, it just seemed to much for us.
We worked on $2000-2500sqm, but i suspect architect designed homes would be closer to $3-5000sqm.
I very much agree with you. We also paid 5000$ and had a tender for a rough design (my design which the draftsman put properly) which we agreed to.
Then the builder says that they cannot deliver what we wanted for that price and they didn’t get all the information from the draftsman. Here we thought it’s impossible as the draftsman always came back to us saying that he checked with the head office.
Also these called ‘luxury custom builders’ don’t have an architect and they call a designer as an architect.
More to that, disappointing to day, I found even a lot of architects are also not very creative.
My concern is finishes. That’s why I am afraid to go with a small builder. I haven’t come across a small builder who has delivered the finishes we are after in an approximately 540sqm house in the range of 1.6 (builders tender range)
Saying that I believe going through a small builder will cut around 200000 from the above mentioned price
This is the exact reason we started our business on the North Shore. There are so many people who know want they want and then spend a ton of money on a design only to find out that the cant afford it. I know one couple that spent $160,000 in Turramurra on an architect for their $1.2m build got the approval and then found out it was a $2.5m build so had to back and start over.
We work with a high end architect and or 2 different drafting teams to design peoples homes ( who we select depends on the project) but for a small fee we draw up 3 or 4 designs and we price them at each stage to make sure we stay on budget. We also involve the engineers as early as we can to make sure the design is efficient as possible We also use a lot of high end western suburb suppliers to keep costs down ie no north shore tax.
You shouldnt have have to compromise on your finishes and your budget is very generous for a high specced home.
Affordable Custom Homes, We design and build to your budget
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