When you’re building a new home, there are plenty of questions that arise along the way. We’ve provided the most frequently asked questions, in three easy categories below.
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Q. Can we modify the home design to suit our needs?
A. Yes, you can tailor designs to suit your needs and budget with a range of pre-planned design options for important areas of the home such as the kitchen, bathroom and outdoor living areas. You can also find out about modifications beyond pre-planned options. Speak to your New Home Consultant for more information.
Q. What does the upfront fee cover?
A. There are a number of different reports that are needed to establish if your land meets all the requirements for building your home design choice and the slab type needed. These include contour surveys, soil reports, plans showing your requested variations and an itemised proposal. This fee is eventually taken from your contract deposit.
Q. Do I have to select a façade on display for the home design I want?
A. No, we have a much greater variety than this. We offer a wide range of façade options to personalise the appearance of your new home. Please speak with your New Home Consultant about the unique choices available for the home design you love.
Q. How long does my proposal pricing remain valid?
A. The pricing you receive with your proposal is valid for 14 days. This allows enough time for us to gain all of the necessary approvals required to start building, while also allowing you the time to secure finance.
Q. If my house is rendered, will my render be painted?
A. Yes. During your colour selections appointment you will be shown a range of paint colours to choose from. Once the paint colour is applied, you will not see the original render colour underneath.
Q. How long does the council approval process take?
A. Approval requirements can vary dramatically dependent on the estate, council and state; therefore there is no standard timeframe that can be allotted. Your Customer Service Officer will be in regular contact with you to advise progress.
Q. How does the council approval process work?
A. Plans are lodged for council approval with our private certifiers who also send the plumbing application to council for approval. If there is a boundary relaxation application the certifier sends this application to council also. The private certifiers approve all other requirements and when they receive the plumbing approval and boundary relaxation approval (if applicable) from council, they then send the full set of council approved plans back to us.
Q. Will you let us know if there are any issues with council?
A. We are in regular contact with our clients and councils. Once we are notified of any potential changes to your home, we will contact you to discuss.
Q. If we are required to make changes due to council does an administration fee occur?
A. If we are required to make changes to your plans due to council, the administration fee does not apply. However, you will be charged for the required changes if this affects your total building price.
Q. Can I make changes to my home after I sign a Home Building Agreement (HBA)?
A. A request for variation after this date may be accepted at the discretion of the builder, prior to commencement of the building works.
Q. What are site costs?
A. Site costs are the costs you’ll pay to the builder which are specifically dependant on your site’s features. They’re mostly additional to the base price that builders present on their price lists. Site costs range from obvious essentials like connections between the house and water, sewer and electricity utilities, as well as compliance with federal, state and local government legislation. They also include fees that cover access to a difficult block, site levelling, and in some circumstances any necessary footing requirements determined by external engineers.
Q. When will I receive a progress invoice for my new home?
A. Payment for your new home will be required upon the substantial completion of the following stages: base, frame, lockup, fixing, and completion. Our Accounts Officer will send your due invoice within 5 working days of each stage completed. You will have 14 days to pay your invoice from the invoice date. If the invoice is not paid within 20 days from the invoice date, construction of your home will be put on hold until payment is received. Your handover invoice will be issued 3 - 5 weeks prior to the scheduled handover date, allowing your bank sufficient time to arrange the valuation and financial documents. It is your responsibility to forward all invoices to your bank, as your bank requires client approval for all construction invoices. Your final payment should be in the form of a bank cheque. Your handover invoice will be less your initial deposit paid at New Home Proposal (NHP) signing stage and Contract Request Stage. You will also need to arrange home building insurance to be effective from the date of your handover.
Q. If an item which I have selected during my colour selections is discontinued, will I get another choice?
A. Yes. Your Colour Selections consultant will contact you to advise you of your options. It may be beneficial for you to attend another meeting to reselect the item. The reselection will be at no extra cost to you, unless you choose to select an upgraded item.
Q. Whose responsibility is it to remove vegetation and rubbish from the site prior to construction commencing?
A. As per your Home Building Agreement (HBA), it is your responsibility to remove excessive vegetation and rubbish prior to construction commencing; this is essential for your home to be released to construction.
Q. When does the guaranteed build time start?
A. If you have a guaranteed build time, this starts as soon as the pouring of the slab has been completed.
Q. My roof tiles have been laid but the ridge caps have not been cemented in place and pointed?
A. This is normal, the tiles are left to settle before the caps are bedded-in, which prevents the joints from cracking, after pointing is complete.
Q. My front door has been installed, but there is a small gap underneath it. Is this normal?
A. Yes. A seal is installed to the bottom of your front door at a later date, closer to the time of handover when the finishing touches are being made.
Q. What happens if we hit rock when constructing your footings?
A. You will be notified immediately, however, costs to remove the rock will be unknown until the rock removal has been completed. We will provide invoices from our contractors and apply margin to provide you with a completely transparent and open understanding of the costs involved.
Q. If I have excess building materials on my site, can I keep the material?
A. Your purchase price has been established based on the materials required to build your home. It is our standard practice to order more than the minimum requirement in case of damages and breakages. The excess material remains the property of Sekisui House but we always ensure that you are left with a small amount of roof tiles and often floor tiles in case of future damage.
Q. Whose responsibility is it to remove any excess building materials and rubbish from the site prior to handover?
A. If one of our sub-contractors has left the building materials or rubbish onsite, we will clear the site and remove any rubbish prior to your handover appointment.
Q. If Sekisui House has left excess soil on my site following site excavations, will it be moved?
A. Yes, providing it is in your Home Building Agreement (HBA). We will remove the excess soil from your site if you do not have a purpose for it or it is a council requirement. It will be removed when the necessary contractor required to remove it can be scheduled in to complete the task.
Q. What is your construction guarantee?
A. We offer a 3 month maintenance period starting at the completion of your new home along with a 6.5 year structural guarantee (insured).