Building A New House
Feb 10, 2014 11:31 pm
It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally got around to starting a page for our potential build. Thanks to everyone so far for the incredible information on this forum.
We had been looking for some time for something a little larger (both house and block) than our current house. We had difficulty finding the perfect established house so we figured we’d find an old house to demolish and build. We finally found and purchased an old house on 1012sqm in an established suburb in Perth. A picture of the old house and backyard!
We settled on the house in August 2013 and have been working with numerous builders to come up with something that suits our lifestyle/budget and taste. This process has taken some time due to uncertainties with the site and the significant site costs we were told to expect. In advance of signing with a builder we completed a soil and contour survey. The results weren’t good and we found that our site was classified as an moderately reactive (M) clay site with a footing detail classification of C8 with the requirement of a 900mm sand pad.
It’s safe to say that our site costs are horrendous. When confronted with these estimates, we worked with a number of builders/professionals to understand all of our different options (building a framed home, brick veneer, developing the site as a duplex etc). Our brief summary on this process was that building brick/veneer or a fully framed home in Perth is more expensive than building double brick. The increased costs are offset with reduced site costs, but when you factor in re-sale, and the Perth mentality that it “must be double brick”, the savings aren’t significant enough to warrant building in this method.
We worked with builders who claimed to be able to reduce our site costs. In practice, they either simply omitted items from the PWC (i.e. no allowances for drainage), did not get actual quotations and gave Preliminary sums only (i.e. 25K in PS, when we had actual contractor estimates at $40k), or had inferior structural guarantee’s (this was important to us due to the soil conditions).
The builder we are progressing with has experience in building in these conditions and has built a few houses on the street. I’m hoping this experience will give us a trouble free build. We have signed a PWC with Dale Alcock and we’re awaiting final contracts and pricing. We are still awaiting a revised site cost estimate due to a number of requested changes.
Our plan is below and is based upon the Aurora. We’ve downsized the rear to preserve the duplex potential of the block (Alfresco must be 1m from the boundary). We’re contemplating using some of the larder to increase the size of the kitchen. Essentially, we’d end up with a WIP but would rotate the fridge into the recess and create a wrap-around bench next to the stove top. This would hopefully create some more cupboard space for appliances etc.
We based the exterior design on the Homestead/Mandalay to tie with the traditional feel in the area.
That’s plenty for now, but I’m sure there will be more to follow.
24/06/13 - offer accepted for land and house.
18/07/13 - soil and contour surveys requested
16/08/13 - settlement completed
6/12/13 - PWC signed
5/03/14 - demo completed
28/03/14 - contracts signed
11/04/14 - pre start complete
17/10/14 - earthworks commenced
24/11/14 - slab
30/01/15 - bricklaying and termimesh
Re: Our knock down and rebuild - Perth Eastern suburbs2
Feb 23, 2014 9:29 pm
Finally we have some movement with our site. The demolition started on Friday and we expect it will be completed within a fortnight. It's amazing to see the old house without the flooring to see some of the structural deficiencies which were causing extensive cracking.
Now we just need to wait on the final building contracts. We're hopeful we can get the site works completed and slab down before winter. If not, there's a possibility we'll have a pond on our block for a few months!
Re: Our knock down and rebuild - Perth Eastern suburbs4
Feb 24, 2014 5:30 pm
Just the one boy for now.
We had considered a third toilet in a previous design, but ultimately decided we could live with two. It is a fair walk from outside to either toilet..... perhaps something for us to revisit!
Re: Our knock down and rebuild - Perth Eastern suburbs7
Feb 24, 2014 10:23 pm
We did have jarrah boards and beams underneath hideous floor coverings. Unfortunately, we're not keeping them and they'll be recycled through our demolition company. I don't think we would have reused them.
The block is big. I'm not sure we'll have enough time to do it justice. We're looking forward to having a big veggie garden, maybe a pool and enough room for the little fella to run around.
I like your plans Trixee, and we're probably working on a similar time line. It feels like an incredibly slow process but I'm sure we'll get there in the end. We met with Ken during our discussions with builders. Seems like a good guy with some great ideas. Best of luck with those revised costings!
Re: Our knock down and rebuild - Perth Eastern suburbs10
Mar 02, 2014 8:23 pm
A bit more progress on the demo. Unfortunately a wall has bought down a couple of panels on the neighbours fence. Hopefully they'll be understanding and allow us to either leave it as is, or patch it up until we finish our earthworks. We're planning on retaining this side of the house and putting in a new fence.
A quick update from dale alcock - apparently they're waiting on a final quote before finalising contracts. We're really concerned they won't get to site before the start of winter. This will prevent our site works from progressing as the clay will hold the water on the block!
Re: Our knock down and rebuild - Perth Eastern suburbs11
Mar 03, 2014 1:36 pm
We're planning on retaining this side of the house and putting in a new fence.
So are you planning on using part of the old house for the new house?
Re: Our knock down and rebuild - Perth Eastern suburbs12
Mar 03, 2014 2:18 pm
We're not keeping any of the old house. Because of our clay issues, we're planning on raising the entire house by about 450mm. To do this, we'll need to put a retaining wall down that side of the house and a new fence.
I stopped past the neighbours this morning and dropped off a bottle of wine for their inconvenience. They were more than understanding and said that the demolition group had handled the incident well. Hopefully the rest of our neighbours are as understanding of our demo and build!
Re: Our knock down and rebuild - Perth Eastern suburbs13
Mar 03, 2014 2:24 pm
That's great news both of your demo group and your neighbours being cool
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Re: Our knock down and rebuild - Perth Eastern suburbs15
Mar 09, 2014 10:15 pm
It's a while ago, but we chose our external colours in January this year. We chose a brick from Midland brick - Woodbridge - and will combine this with a surfmist colorbond roof.
We have been considering liquid limestone for our driveway and paths. We're worried it might not wear that well and given our site issues, we're worried about it cracking. In the mean time we've chosen the Brikmakers granite arctic pavers. We might change this at pre-start.
Still waiting on our contracts and we're now over 13 weeks since signing our preliminary agreement. Given our site and soil surveys were already completed, we're somewhat frustrated with the wait!
We've been filling in our weekends at tile shops and display homes preparing for prestart. We're considering wood look tiles for our main floors. They look pretty good in the tile shops, and I'm hoping that translates into the home. I'd love to get anyone's thoughts or experience with these tiles.
Re: Our knock down and rebuild - Perth Eastern suburbs17
Mar 20, 2014 4:06 pm
Thanks Treeseachanger. I must admit that I prefer the lighter colours in the brick than the darker ones.
Some good news, our contracts are ready and we've been booked in for Pre-start in early April.
Our contracts have come back with a significant reduction in our site works (~15%) . There are still a number of PS items associated to the unknown soil condition and council approvals. Here's hoping that the estimations are still on the high side and that we can avoid some of these costs.
There are a number of internal changes that we'll make at pre-start and a couple of changes that haven't made it into the final contract. I'm sure that these will be sorted out easily and we'll soon be on our way to construction!
Re: Our knock down and rebuild - Perth Eastern suburbs18
Mar 25, 2014 12:26 pm
Looking forward to getting people's thoughts, but we're going over our contracts and are still unsure how to lay out our kitchen. Here's the current design.
The issues that we have are that there is no natural space for a microwave and the larder is approximately 2.8m square, which seems to be a bit excessive. We've thought about simply making a bench top area in the larder for the microwave and coffee machine etc, but thought it might be a bit of pain to open the door to this area every time we want to use the microwave.
Alternately, we've considered the following two design options.
Both move the fridge around the corner of the kitchen. We think we might also find this cumbersome as we'd use the fridge far more than the microwave. It also may limit access to the pantry when the fridge is open. The first alternate uses walls to segregate this area, whilst the second uses more cabinetry and in my opinion makes this area a part of the kitchen. We're also unsure if the hotplate will fit in the second option.
Anyway, would love any feedback or thoughts anyone might have.
Re: KD and rebuild - Perth Eastern suburbs - Kitchen Layout?19
Mar 25, 2014 3:25 pm
Love the huge larder! I actually prefer the original design to the others. You'll probably want your fridge within easy reach of your main prep area, which I assume will be the island? If so then moving it to the larder is going to be more painful than having the microwave in the larder. Which, incidentally, I wouldn't have a huge problem with. The dishwasher door, however, looks like there might not be enough room to get around when fully open, is that a potential issue?
Re: KD and rebuild - Perth Eastern suburbs - Kitchen Layout?20
Mar 25, 2014 7:37 pm
i would keep it as the current design and put the microwave in the larder, thats what i've done. my microwave doesnt get used that often and it only cost me $50 for the shelf for it compared to the $450 they were going to charge for changing a cabinet into a microwave recess and i agree the fridge you need all the time and if you stick with current design it means you can put a fridge in with the french doors. plus if you place the fridge in the ladder area it might get really congested if you have kids like mine that are always in the pantry and the fridge.
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