Building A New House
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne21
Apr 25, 2012 8:51 pm
Gday! Just found the thread you were talking about Sunshine! Ok, Snowing I have the same issues. I have a 505sq m block with about 4m fall over teh building envelope. No volume builder would touch me! After months of searching, we were just about ready to sell our block. Then we found Custom Home Designs. They specialise in sloping blocks. They are not the builder. Leanne Irvine the CEO will help you design your home, her draftsman will draw up drawings, her interior designer will design your interior. She also hooked us up with a landscape architect. She came out to our block and laughed..to her...ours wasn't anywhere near the slope she was used to dealing with! We ended up designing a split level home..follow sunshine's link and see my plans. Leanne started out in QLD and is now in VIC. Bricks and tiles were not recommended. We are using Hebel for ground floor and a polystyrine material for upstairs. She is innovative and her communication is amazing. We have't felt scared or lost in the process to date. I would highly recommend her services. Our next step is to finalise plans and interior then she sends our plans out to 4 builders that she works with and they tender the project. We choose the one we want and constructin begins. Using this company has been like a breath of fresh air compared to the volume builders. So while it is early days yet, we have worked with her for the past 5 months and she has been amazing!! Hope this helps
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne22
Apr 26, 2012 3:26 am
Sunshine: Thanks. I'm trying to get more information from everywhere..
ayaman: That's great. I'm not going with bricks and tiles as well. I'll probably build the whole house with polystyrene panels since I have one more issue with my block which is the difficult access. Also, my site classification comes back with a big hint that it's going to cost me a fortune if I am going to do some major cut as the area which I want to locate my house on will hit rock at 400~1000mm. I have taken a look at your plan. It looks so nice. The only thing I can see is to put the bathroom to southern side of the house instead, it surely will make a difference.
For me, a plan like yours doesn't work on my block as the building envelope will be a 8~10m fall and a driveway to take care of.
I'm currently working with 2 designers from QLD which also have builders in Vic. We are working on a pole + split level house solution. I will be building in stages, so there will be more to consider as the house will not be as big at the beginning (approx 170~200sqm in first stage).
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne25
Apr 26, 2012 8:44 pm
Good luck with it all Snowing! Let us know how you go!
I'd contacted Leanne and just notice that the block next to mine is asking her for design as well. So she has been to the site already and know the pros and cons for the site. Hopefully can work something out.
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne27
Apr 27, 2012 2:03 am
I guess these two photos from my block will show the kind of slope I am working at.
This is at the bottom of the building envelope.. just next to the "handle" of the battleaxe
The tree in middle would probably be the center of my future house.
The driveway is 1:4 already.. so it is really pushing the limit.
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne28
Apr 27, 2012 8:26 am
Is it a new estate? All those trees look fabulous which you don't usually see in new estates. I can see what you mean now about the slope. I am sure it will be lovely though when you finish building.
Designs start: 4/12/09
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne29
Apr 27, 2012 10:00 am
Yes, your slope makes more sense now that I see it. Wow, the area is beautiful though! It will be stunning when it's done. Leanne is going to love your block, something she will get her teeth into! Any wonder she looked at mine like.."that's it?" Sloping blocks are a headache, but you can see why they are worth the trouble. The views you will have when you are done will be amazing Snowing. What a beautiful place to live. Well done.
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne30
Apr 27, 2012 4:54 pm
Sunshine: Nope. This one is not a new estate. It's a large subdivision of a acreage block in Croydon North, Vic. It is very close to everything including train. This is definitely not the kind of slope builders in Melbourne are used to. The trees in front are from the block in front of mine. But since it is a reserve, they will stay which is virtually a nice "front garden" for me.
ayaman: you see now why you really don't have to worry about your driveway. I'm trying to get designs that fit into our budget now. So far I can find 2 from Queensland which one of them fits in quite nicely as they are also the supplier for their building materials. I like this place quite a lot, though I know it won't be an easy trip to get to the end.
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne31
Apr 27, 2012 9:54 pm
Hi Snowing. We are building on a 20m sloped block (about 7m fall in the building envelope) in Croydon. We are at framing stage and so far they have been fantastic. Let me know if you would like more details.
That's cool. My block is in Croydon North with a 28m slope across the block. I am trying to make use of the size of the block to design the house now.
I would really like to know more details. I presume you go with a custom builder right?
Hi Snowing. We are building with Matclair Constructions who are in Lacey St Croydon. We did our initial plan/wish list and they came up with a concept plan to fit within our building envelope and elevations. Once we fine tuned it to what we wanted they provided a preliminary quote and we then found a draftsman to do the official drawings for submission to Council for our planning permit. It is beneficial having a local builder and they have built 5 homes in the Anningie Park estate in Croydon North. They are now framing our top storey (3 levels in total) and still everything has been good.
I live in Croydon North so if you need any advice regarding planning permits, etc I'm happy to help if I can. Dealing with Council is another issue and you will need a planning permit for that site as you are probably aware.
I know where your block is as we looked at that about 18 months ago before the subdivision had been approved and we spoke to the owner of the land. You will have great views. I'll look forward to seeing any progress.
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne32
Apr 28, 2012 2:08 am
Jazzies: I'm aware of the planning permit too. This is one reason I am looking for pole platform/pole house as it is more "land friendly". I will probably need advise on the permits for sure. I'm getting a general arbortist report on the site to identify the trees just to prepare and make sure the design not going to give me too much headache when getting thru to council.
So far I have talked with quite a few builders and designers (I am working overseas now so I can only get to the ones who get on net) , all those those who build the traditional ways are way over 600k for 25sq and one comes up with 800k which I guess more or less is a "go away" sign.
Between, the last time I was saw the block was actually over 10 years ago. I didn't go to look at the block yet when I bought it. I'll be back end of June to take a look at it.
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne33
Jul 13, 2012 7:12 am
I just want to provide an update since I have finally looked at the block myself while I was back in Melbourne 2 weeks ago. The block really has a nice view with great challenge.
I finally approached 2 companies in designing my future house on this block.
So far I have received the design from the Queensland based designer which looks impressive and I have asked for a few amendments. I am waiting for the update plan. The one below is not updated yet. The main changes is adding robe in lower leve study/bedroom and changes to the door for ensuite.
The other designer/builder is Melbourne based and they want to my block for site visit with me so that they can know what they are working with. I am currently waiting for their design as I have certain expectations from them.
The good thing about both companies is that they can work within my budget.. which is not much while having the flexibility on changes to design, materials etc. I am currently more leading to the company in Melbourne as their service is very go so far compare to 5 others I have met and the quality of houses they have built in the past have great quality.
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne34
Nov 19, 2012 6:02 am
For steep sites, a garage underneath is usually the best option. We dont often build in brick on steep sites. When we do, you find you hit rock, you spend a lot on concrete, the number of bricks under the house exceeds the number of bricks on the house walls (tops) and scaffolding is expensive. Of course, if you get a garage and an entrance that is OK.
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne35
Dec 12, 2012 7:24 am
Hi. Have a look at my website. I am putting up a few photos of a sloping site job (9m height) in the hills very interesting!
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne36
Feb 13, 2014 3:58 pm
Very interesting comments regarding sloping sites. .
Sloping sites present opportunities for creative design. Yes it is true that construction costs may be more expensive but this is usually offset by cheaper land because of this.
Our suggestion is ALWAYS talk to a competant and qualified desiger. ALWAYS ensure the designer is appropriatly licenced, qualified and carried full insurance.
There are many companies "on the net" selling plans or "designs" who are nothing but shopfronts and just subcontract the drafting out to offshore companies.
Yes they are cheaper and to the untrained eye the designs may seem OK. But have you wondered what could be done by someone really talented?
I employ skilled designers (architects) to do our design work and Qualified, locally trained Drafting Technicians to produce our documents.
For the biggest investment in your life why would you want the cheapest plans or design for your new home? HAve you ever taken your wife to McDonalds for her birthday?
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne37
Feb 14, 2014 5:31 am
I agree with your comments. This is one reason I choose the builder I am with now.
Off the shelf plans will never really work with blocks with steep slopes anyway. I understand that the basic principle for builders is to finish a house, take the money and life goes on. This is the fact. But how they accomplish this is another story.
To add to your comments, as a customer, I also look at how well the builder integrates everything. ie: you can't just have a good designer where he/she can design a perfect house with all the documents sorted and very good communication but no one to build or organize to build the actual house. I think this is more crucial in sloping blocks as the designer really need to know how capable the partner builder and tradies are.
Also, doing own research is a good thing too. I spend an average of 1.5 hours every night after I decided to build my house to research on different things for house building. Gaining new knowledge doesn't hurt anyway and sure will help me to get on top of things as there are times even knowledgeable builder can miss something or can use some new suggestions.
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne38
Jul 12, 2015 2:22 pm
I agree Snowing but it did use "to be true" as they say. Once upon a time when people were not so fussy and accepted something less grand, many people (maybe 1000) bought an off the shelf plan such as my old faithful the Splitco D7 which itself brought sales of 200+ People just don't want that anymore though.
Re: Builder for slope block in Melbourne39
Aug 16, 2015 12:26 pm
I would like to say a few words of caution to anyone who is thinking to work with custom home designs (CHD) and Leanne Irvine.
In our case, they used a tactic to push out contractual obligations from one stage to the next, asking us to pay upfront for every stage and promising that current stage obligations will be met in a following stage, which in their view was greatly discounted for this reason.
The truth was that we never got what we asked for, but quite the opposite. She promised to work with the land and mocked competitor's designs for putting the "house in a ditch", but when we received the drawings from her (the drawings were very undetailed and tried to hide the fact that the house was in the ground). We were left to discover this ourselves (by doing our own modelling of the drawings) and were shocked to see that she put the house in the ground disregarding our main requirement and her own sales ‘pitch’ to us.
When CHD was confronted with this fact, they decided to immediately exit the contract for convenience without delivering the contractual obligations and refused to refund our money that we paid upfront.
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