Having an Independent Building Consultant in Your Corner

Having an Independent Building Consultant in Your Corner

Knowledge is your key to success in the building industry. As an independent building consultant who has been working with builders and building designers to deliver on the needs of customers for over 15 years I still cannot stress the importance of getting good independent information and to get that information as early as possible.

Yes, our main business is making sure you get the right builder at the right price. But before all that our job is to help you understand and navigate through some of the intricate decisions that you may face.

Now don’t get me wrong. Your project, like many, could be very simple and straightforward. Most are. The point is most of my clients don’t find out the bad news until it is too late.

Before you buy your land, before you choose your builder; do your homework. I urge you to call me at any time with any questions about your project. Obligation free. Why? Because one good piece of information could save you from so much financial pain and stress.

I get asked so many different types of questions here at HBB and there are so many because there are so many different challenges to overcome and decisions that must be made. Each of those decisions will have an impact on the outcome of your home building experience.

For Example, here are some of the questions I have been asked in the last few weeks:

Andrew, I have discovered that the block I have bought is affected by a Bushfire Hazard Overlay. Can you tell me what that means and what it will mean to the design of my home? Will it affect the cost of construction?

Andrew, I have noticed in the inclusions from my builder that they do not allow for a termite protection system but rather insist that the “slab is exposed” and that it is my responsibility to ensure the slab remains exposed. What does that mean? Can I ask the builder to use a reputable termite control product?

Andrew, there is an access easement to my block which services two other blocks in the subdivision. I want to buy the block but I am worried about the stormwater connection and manhole that sit on the block and are part of the easement. Can you help me?

Andrew, I have a large block of land that slopes to the rear. I want to subdivide it. What are the challenges that I am going to face?

Andrew, what are the differences between a waffle pod concrete slab and a raft engineered concrete slab? I am worried about the foundations of my home. Can you explain please?

Andrew, I am considering buying a block of land and demolishing the house. How do I know if the house has asbestos in it and what do I need to keep in mind if it does?

Now over time I hope to be able to write some good articles about these issues and lots more but in the mean time the thing you must do is this: If you have a question: Ask? If not to me at HBB then to someone you know who has the background and experience in designing and building.

Your success is dependent on many factors. Some are just common-sense things like:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask a builder, building designer or architect (or anyone) questions that you don’t know the answer to.
  • Never assume that everyone is an expert in everything.
  • Always ask about the consequences in time, money and scope. In other words, “If I do this over here, what happens over there in relation to time, money and scope.?”
  • Pay attention to detail, always. Never be complacent.

When you enter into a contract with a building designer and / or a builder you are in a commercial partnership. That means success is a place where you arrive at together. So, do what you can to get as much education and knowledge as possible. You don’t need to be the “client from hell”. But you do need to be confident and firm and not be afraid to ask the right questions in the right way. If we can help you with any of that, then feel free to call me.

Planning on Building a Home or Renovating in Brisbane?

Planning on Building a Home or Renovating in Brisbane?

If you are planning on building a home in the Greater Brisbane Region then one of the first places to visit is the website of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission. The QBCC is the State Government Statutory Body that is designed and authorised to oversee the Queensland Building Industry.

For Building and Renovating the best section of the QBCC web site to start with is:

For Home Builders and Home Owners the QBCC produce a range of fact sheets and articles that are well worth a read as part of your research in the pre-construction stage. The Building and Renovating section is a general guide with some good tips on preparing yourself for the design and building process.

It covers topics such as:

• Starting your Building Project.
• What are your Building / Renovating Options?
• How to Avoid Disputes.
• What are your Building Insurance Responsibilities?
• Supervision and Quality Control.
• Building Inspections and Approvals.
• Handover.

As a professional consultant in the building industry I spend a lot of time educating clients on the fundamentals of what it means to build a new home or renovate an existing home. The QBCC is an integral part of that process. In the event of a dispute between a builder and a customer it will sometimes come down to the QBCC having to step in so be familiar with the site.

One of the checklists, in particular, has a few handy questions you should ask yourself to keep you on track:

• Have I seen and checked the licence card details with QBCC?
• Have I obtained three comparable written quotes?
• Have I compared the different quotes and contractors’ past work?
• Do I understand the contract and what it includes?
• Have I read and understood the ‘cooling-off’ provisions?
• Are the deposit and progress payments appropriate?
• Has the contractor provided copies of all relevant documents (including the signed contract, a Contract Information Statement, any relevant foundations data and certificates of inspection)?

Education is the most valuable tool at the disposal of a potential home builder. House Builders Brisbane encourages you to take advantage of the information available and actively improve your knowledge. It will be time well spent as you embark on your home building project.

For further information and a complimentary assessment of how we can assist you to find the Right Builder at the Right Price just give us a call at any time. We are happy always happy to help.