Building A New House
Oct 07, 2018 8:04 am
Looking for some thoughts and opinions on a couple of issues we are having with site costs. (up to $47k so far!)
We have bought a flat block of land on a subdivided block (1 large block subdivided into 6) in an established area. Our soil test has come back "P" requiring an "E" type slab with piering, which isn't ideal, but we're happy to cop a bit of extra cost to accommodate this.
Our builder however, has told us due to the land being so flat, we will need to build retaining walls down the sides (600HT) and import ~$13000 worth of fill. An owner of another block's land is flatter than ours and they don't have to import any fill (he's 2 blocks down (site costs of 12k), I still need to talk to our next door neighbor, who is building a similar sized two story house to us).
Our second issue is a tree on our neighbors land (on the other side - existing house). 16m tall, radius of 6m.. We've been quoted "up to" ~$17,000 for to allow for piering etc, but have been advised this can come down "substantially" if we have the tree removed. We're yet to meet the neighbors on that side, but have considered having the discussion to see if there is any option to remove the tree, but will ultimately have to work round it if they aren't open to that.
1) Does importation of fill to create a slope on flat land sound reasonable? - we had never heard of it before and so far our neighbors don't have to... Is our builder just being extremely cautious (they cited a 50 year warranty, but our neighbors builder is offering that too)?
2) Is it worth pursuing discussions with the other neighbor about removal of the tree? or is the cost involved likely to come close to the cost of piering? According to the plan, it looks like if we move the house back 1m we may be able to avoid the tree? - but assume long term growth would effect this?
Thanks in advance for any advice!
Re: Building on flat land - fill required & tree issues2
Oct 07, 2018 8:57 am
It doesn't sound right to me, and you know what they say. It probably isn't.
Requiring fill might depend on your soil type even if you have a flat block of land.
We are in a similar situation - we have a relatively flat block, P type site with E type slab. We had an existing tree at the back of the block removed by the developer, and apparently having a tree (even if removed) will cause soil moisture issues, that's why we were classed as P.
Our topsoil was clay, but underneath was a mix of hard soils, with a bit of rock in some areas. We required concrete piers, slab thickness upgrade, and a little bit of fill (even though our block was flat). They will scrape the top and put fill on a portion of the building envelope (presumably to replace the soft clay topsoil). They will also add agricultural drainage for the site (again because our block is flat), and remove any rocks the find.
All up our site costs came to about under 17k.
I would double check why they want to charge you that much though. Ask for engineering reports and drawings to help you understand why they are doing those things.
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