When it comes to houses, many among us think the bigger, the better House is considered a direct representation of a person’s wealth in our society. It is hence understandable, the obsession we have for bigger houses.
But such demand, however, has not resulted in any decrease in construction cost. In fact, the prices of real estate and construction have only been spiking up. If you require a home addition done to meet your family’s needs or even as an upgrade to your home, here is a small guide on how to approach it.
How to Plan for Home Addition
The first step on the checklist of planning for a home addition is to decide what the requirements are. You have to be clear about the needs yourself before you approach any architect or designer about it.
An initial assessment of the state of the building by the designer or one of the Brisbane builders is necessary to evaluate how the addition can be planned. It is essential to know whether the structure can withstand more load or whether you would need to add further reinforcement.
It is only after that the architect can proceed with the plans for the addition. Depending on that, you can request quotes from home builders Brisbane and hire one. It is always recommended to hire an architect because they can offer you solutions and creative ideas that might not be obvious to others.
Getting the Building Approvals
Another important part to consider for home additions are the approvals from the local council. It is also essential that you check with the council even before planning to see whether there are any rules and regulation in place that restricts any development.
Depending on these rules you might need either a Development Application or a Construction Certificate. To get both of these, you would need to submit a set of documents as required by the council that would include a set of drawings by the architect, evaluation by external agencies.
The process of approvals varies from council to council and region to region. The processing time also ranges from 30 to 100 days. The lack of any documents could delay the process further.
Before you officially hire anyone, it is essential to sign a contract with them. It protects you by law and the interests of all the parties. With the contracts itself, there are a few sorts.
Standard contract kit is available to buy from organisations like the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and the Master Builders Association (MBA). These contracts are best for small scale project that usually has fewer individual requirements. Avoid this for more extensive scale, expensive and complicated construction works.
Fixed or Lump Sum Contracts
This is the most commonly used type of contracts. This will have the final cost of the project as agreed by both the parties upfront in the agreement. There would also be provisions for variations and contingency.
Cost plus Contracts
Cost Plus contracts do not put any limit of the budget, and the builder will include the profit margin above the cost of materials. For this kind of contract, you have to be prepared to have flexibility about the budget and construction unless specified otherwise.
Preparing the Budget for Home Additions
Costing of the budget is measured by a lot of factors. It not only includes the design considerations but also the existing condition of the home.
- You can get an approximate value by
- Calculating the additional area that will be added to the house.
- Finding the average construction cost per square meter for home addition works
- Multiply the price per square meter to the area, and you will have an approximate cost to expect.
- Add the usual amount for labour custom council approvals, extra material charges if you have any specific materials in mind.
- Add a contingency plan of 25 to 25% extra to the budget to give you some extra room.
Before hiring an architect, you need to know for yourself, how much you can afford to spend on the home addition. It is only based on these that the architect can work out the requirements and the extent of the addition.
Calculating Building Costs
For a major job like home addition, here are a few more ways to break down the costs.
- 50% of total costs for materials
- 35% for building approvals
- 15% for labour costs
In addition to this, if you are hiring an architect or designer, their fees would also include, If you are hiring a broker to get a mortgage loan, count that too in.
Calculating the costing by yourself will only give you an approximate amount. You would need a cost estimation from the builder or a third party to provide an accurate amount. It would be wise to request quotes from more than one builder to see which costs offer the best value. Furthermore, you can hire a costing specialist to check on the quotes and advise you on how to proceed.
While Hiring a Builder
After sending out the tender, you will receive the cost estimates from builders. But don’t hire house builders Brisbane offers, just based on their costs.
- Take a look into the following things while you hire a builder for a home addition.
- Whether the builder has the required certifications and licenses
- Do the builder hold valid insurance for the type of construction
- Does the builder have prior experience in home additions
- How the costing has been done
- What is the proposed completion date of construction
- Check for previous client testimonials and references
It is only after checking each point carefully that the builder should be given the job. You can even weight in your own personal preferences while forming your team. Home additions might be done while the family is still residing in the house. This means that the builder you hire has to be trustworthy too.
You can start making a plan for home additions by talking to TrustCo about the best building designers, and the best builders Brisbane has who can offer their services for you.