Building A New House
Jan 24, 2013 12:06 pm
We are trying to find builders to build our dream home. Have had some friends recommend Sett Homes. Tried to google info on them, but not much out there.
Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with Sett Homes. Do they have set floorplans or do they only do customs floorplans?
Re: Experience with Sett Homes2
May 13, 2013 10:36 pm
We're currently in the building process. It's been pretty good so far. Hoping to finish in a few months.
Signed tender mid-2012. Met with Marretta Design (http://www.marrettadesign.com.au/) to give the architect/designer our sketch of what we wanted. Marretta also had other suggestions. House and Landscape Plans went to Holroyd council November 2012 and approved in a couple of months. Signed contract early 2013.
Unsure if there are any set floor plans but best to speak to Sett Homes direct. They have built many homes in my area so I'm sure Sett Homes or their architect will give you options.
It took us 2 years of looking for the right floor plan and builder. We found most bigger builders too costly, impersonal and pushy. Highly recommend going with Sett Homes. Goodluck!
Re: Experience with Sett Homes3
May 14, 2013 12:08 pm
Thanks for the reply. Since my post, we had decided to go with Sett. We are currently with Marretta finalising the architectural plans. Hope to get them finalised in a week or two, so we can start the process of submission to Council.
Joe from Sett and Frank from Marretta have been great and are always willing to listen to what we want and also give suggestions if we are stuck or if they think something would not look right. So pretty happy with them so far.
Do you sign the building contract after approval from Council or before, when the plans are submitted to Council?
You are right, the larger project builders are either too expensive or they only want you to fork out money for the tender documents at the start. Once you get the tender done, they are not too eager to help you out with questions and even when you ask for pricing on extras, they just say "it's around $xxx) without giving you firm quotes until you decide to finally sign with them.
The good thing about Sett is that they have a turn-key quote, which includes everything. they quoted me for everything - landscaping, boundary fences, a retaining wall which we need, etc. So in the end there are no hidden surprises and no more to pay in order to move in. That's what we were exactly after.
Anyway, good luck and hope your building process goes smoothly Dean, which I'm sure it would. We are so excited to get ours underway. Just can't wait until the day we see the slab poured on our site as it would be full steam ahead once that happens.
Re: Experience with Sett Homes4
May 16, 2013 8:59 am
Congratulations with the progress.
Totally agree with you from my experience with getting tenders/quotes from various builders. Some of the tenders had errors. When I pointed out we wanted something different they were defensive and seemed annoyed at the extra work.
Sett Homes and Maretta were better to deal with when making amendments.
We signed the contact after council approval.
Re: Experience with Sett Homes6
May 16, 2013 6:56 pm
I was just trawling for new posts when I came across this thread.
I've just received a tender from Sett homes. The prices are similar to those quoted by the project builder but I'm hoping there is better value for money.
If I were to go ahead, I would mostly be signing the contract prior to Council approval. I'm in a catch-22 situation where I can go to council only after settlement and in order to settle I need the building contract. I'm doing the building and land contract in one application in order to save money on LMI. Is is strange or ill-advised to be doing it this way?
I'm meeting with Joe soon and hope to finalize soon on the builder too.
I look forward to contribute and reading your contributions.
Re: Experience with Sett Homes7
May 16, 2013 7:09 pm
You'll find that with the project builders, their tenders usually miss quite a few things and the standard inclusions are usually low. For example, my tender with Sett includes landscaping, retaining wall, boundary fences and fixed site costs, which the project builder did not. As mentioned previously, Sett provides a turn-key tender, which saves us the hassle to have to find landscapers and the like.
What I found with Sett is that they gave me a tender at the start with what we wanted, then we got a tender with a project builder and when I compared the two tenders I just asked Joe to update his tender to include stuff that the project builder had included so that I could compare apples with apples. It worked out to be cheaper with Sett, yet still have the same type of inclusions.
And we did this without having to spend a cent on a tender with Sett, while we had to pay the project builder $1k just to get a tender and when we asked for things to be included or modified in the tender, they said they will do it when we are ready to go and sign the contract.
Keep in mind that the tender you are signing with Sett initially is not the building contract, it is just your acceptance of the tender so you can go onto the next step and sit with the architect and design your dream home. The formal building contract is based on HIA contract requirements and as Dean said, it is done after Council approval.
Not quite sure what you mean regarding your situation. Is it a Council specific thing? Which Council is it?
Re: Experience with Sett Homes8
May 17, 2013 9:39 am
I've gone with the same approach and asked Joe to give me a tender with the same inclusions as the project builder. I agree that Sett Homes would be providing a turn key price. But the tender given currently does not include many of the inclusions that the project builder is giving which I know are more expensive. So although its not an apples to apples comparison, currently it looks like purely from a price perspective they are almost next to neck. I'm sure if I went into a detailed tender with the project builder they would be quoting a much higher price. I know I'm going to take a cheaper deal, flexibility and more value for money with Sett Homes which is what I am after.
Regarding my situation. It isn't a council specific thing. It's a bank specific thing. So I've just given a holding deposit on the land right, it's not settled yet and I haven't got the loan for it yet. I'm paying a less than 20% deposit so would have to pay Lender's Mortgage Insurance. I would have to pay it twice since I have separate land and building loans. Now if I were to make the 2 loans in 1 application, I get a discount on the LMI. So I need the land contract AND the building contract to make the 2 loans in 1 application. Now this is going to happen before I settle on the land and I can't go for council approvals before settling on the land. So this results in me having to sign a building contract prior to getting council approval. So this is entirely on me, it's not a council restriction and definitely NOT a restriction imposed on me by Sett Homes.
Re: Experience with Sett Homes9
May 17, 2013 9:55 am
I see what you're saying. Are you going with a bank or mortgage broker? I am in a similar situation. I've already bought the land and took out a loan for it, which I am already making repayments for. Once I finalise the building and sign the contract (after council approval) then I would apply for the remaining loan and the two loans (land and house) we be consolidated into one loan. LMI will be calculated based on the total loan not each individual loan.
Does that make sense? I think it's called a construction loan or something like that. I'm guessing its a common thing as there would be a lot of people buying land first and then building the house further down the track. Maybe speak to your lender and find out if they can do that.
Re: Experience with Sett Homes12
May 21, 2013 11:29 pm
We also compared 3 other builders' tenders with Sett Homes. Sett Homes were winners for us when comparing apples with apples.
Can't help with LMI as we didn't need it for our loan.
We bought land 2 years ago. Only got council approval January 2013. We had no issues. Loan for construction consolidated with land.
Construction going well so far. Lockup in a few weeks hopefully.
Re: Experience with Sett Homes13
May 22, 2013 10:35 am
Yeah I'm coming around to that thought as well. Sett homes do include a lot of stuff and are reasonable compared to the others.
We are expecting a revised tender soon and are almost sure to go with Sett Homes.
How much time did y'all take to sit down with the architect and get your initial drawings done?
I mean what are the sequence of steps and how much time did y'all take for it?
Re: Experience with Sett Homes14
May 22, 2013 11:16 am
After sitting down with the architect and telling him the design you are after, it would be around 2 weeks for the plans to be drawn up. Once drawn up, you would review it and then let them know what you want changed / added / deleted and then it would take a few days to a week for them to make the changes. After that, it would depend if you have anymore changes.
We've had 3 revisions so far and submitted some more changes last night, so it would be our 4th revision before we finalise the plans.
Re: Experience with Sett Homes15
May 22, 2013 11:20 am
By changes do you mean you changed your mind about something, wanted something bigger or smaller, things like that? Is this the initial sketch or the final ones? Joe told me that there is an initial 4k paid for initial drawings and another 6k for the final ones?
Re: Experience with Sett Homes16
May 22, 2013 11:45 am
yeah, changes like moving doors, walls and windows or changing the layout of some rooms.
The first sketch are just the plans and then after you make changes, they will draw up elevations as well which will show you the window locations and the look of the facade.
The 4k is to start the process with the architect and then the 6k is for the architect to finalise the drawings and submit it to Council.
The contract is signed once Council approves the development and that's when you start paying a % of the build cost through progress payments. I think the first payment is 5%.
Re: Experience with Sett Homes18
May 22, 2013 11:49 am
Construction going well so far. Lockup in a few weeks hopefully.
Sounds like it's all going smoothly!
Do you check out the house often? I think I'll be going there everyday to have a look.
BTW, which area are you building in?
Re: Experience with Sett Homes19
May 23, 2013 10:15 pm
Went through same process as Mikeann. But with slightly more revisions. We were changing our minds as a result of getting more information from others who had built homes and visiting more display homes.
Can take short while if you're clear on what you want.
But we were happy to take our time during the design process to avoid major changes after council approval.
As smooth as a build can be. We have realistic expectations. If we don't like something Sett Homes has been able to change it. Yes drive past almost daily and go on site once a week in Holroyd council. Where are you building.
Re: Experience with Sett Homes20
May 24, 2013 12:21 pm
Sounds like they've been very accommodating even during the build process.
We are building in Elizabeth Hills. Holroyd Council, so I guess you're in Pemulwuy?
BTW, with the colour scheme, choosing floor covering, electricals consultation and all the other internal details, did you go through the process before or after the building contract was signed? I'm guessing it would be during the time that the DA is waiting for approval from Council? Sett's tender price only includes a colour consultant for the facade, did you get one for the internals? If so, how much did they charge?
Also, how long did it take Council for Council approval?
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