When you are building a new home or simply adding to your existing home, there are general building stages you should expect. It is important to understand these stages so that you are always in control of the build – including what and when you make payments.
The base stage of construction is when the first 10% of your total contract is spent and, if done right, this stage can help you save on future energy bills. Concrete slabs provide high thermal mass, which helps to control the heat that attempts to enter your home through the base. Heat is trapped in the concrete slab or radiated in a way that helps keep you cool when the temperatures are high. During base building stages a plumber will install pipework for the water supply to your home.
Your home is going to need a frame to support walls, floors and ceilings. This is the second stage of construction. Light frame construction is the preferred method in most areas of Australia, including in New South Wales. Frames are typically constructed from either timber or steel; with the latter being the more durable choice steel does not provide a palatable meal for termites but it may rust if your home is built near the coast.
The time that it takes for this stage will depend on a number of factors, including:
- Whether the build includes laying a framed subfloor
- Types of materials used
- Property size
- Number of builders/team members
Once construction reaches the lockup stage, the building should be secured against would-be thieves. The contractor should not install appliances or any other items which could be stolen before doors and windows are fitted with working locks. It is important to note that only hard-wired appliances are covered by builder’s insurance and your contents insurance does not kick in until the handover stage of construction. Do not make a lockup payment until you have compared the stage of construction with your lockup terms according to the contract.
Of all the building stages, this is where the property really begins to look like a home. Aspects such as internal cladding, skirting, tiling, waterproofing, kitchen and bathroom are completed during the fixing stage. To make sure you get what you pay for, go over the details thoroughly with your builder to ensure that everything is going where it is supposed to before signing the contract. Make sure you protect your vision of a dream home by insisting on a provision that states all deviations from your design must be approved before work begins.
It is time to take a walk through of the construction site with the site manager. This is your opportunity to indicate any areas which have not been completed as agreed. It is also time to have a pre-handover inspection carried out by an independent building inspector in New South Wales. Before you make a formal final payment you want to know that all work has been carried out to an acceptable standard and according to New South Wales building codes.
Houspect provides excellence in stage construction inspections. We take the time to detail any defects and points of concern identified during inspection, providing the homeowner with a comprehensive and easy to understand report.
You can provide a copy of your Houspect report to the contractor before signing off on the property to ensure that all defects are corrected before handover. Reach out to Houspect in New South Wales today if you are building a new property or planning on extending your existing home.