Author Archives: Rob Custers

Why AKS is the Brisbane Builder You Have Been Looking For

It is most often the case that people looking for a Brisbane builder, often are really looking for a home design – the Home Builder is an accessory because they are attached to the design in some form.

We can’t easily think of a process that makes less sense. Why would anybody pick a builder on the basis of an affiliation to a particular home design?At AKS, we strive to get you to choose us because we represent the most likely path to a superior home building outcome in every respect. We want to represent everything you’ve ever wanted from a home builder.

We have tons of plans, but you won’t find any on the website. That’s because we don’t want you to settle for someone else’s home building experience. We want yours to be in a class of its own. You to tell us what you want, and let us tell you what we can do to make that a reality.

Coming up with the right plan is our job; and not that hard for us to do. What we find difficult, is to presuppose what you wanted and have it ready before we ever knew you existed. We are not that kind of home builder.

Many Brisbane builders use a focus on Special Packages as the primary advertising tool. All our homes are special packages, and all our special packages are unique yours. If every ‘special package’ were the same, then they aren’t ‘special packages’, they are ordinary packages.

As Brisbane Builders, we strive to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. We know you want the best price; we get that. We just don’t want to give you something ‘special’ that you may not have wanted in the first place. We want to provide everything you want, at a special price. That is a very powerful reason for you to talk to us. But it isn’t the only thing that makes us an exciting Home Builder.

Because Building a Home is a process, we have developed innovative processes that allow the owner to remain involved, and to control their creative vision, directly harnessing our expertise and meticulous commitment to our craft.

Now there’s a novel idea!

A Home Builder that actually acknowledges the importance of the owner’s personal stamp in the Home Building Process, elevating the partnership to more than just a contractor-financier relationship.

Most importantly, our homes are flawlessly crafted. Built to last, the outcome belies the speedy and simplified approach to planning our experienced professional staff brings to the entire home building experience. Their dedicated proactive approach makes the job a headache-free breeze. We do everything ourselves with the rare exception where we use Cutmyplastic.co.uk for a very custom, niche demand.

Choosing the right Brisbane builder is more than just selecting from a glossy catalogue of standard designs, or model display home. No matter what your needs; discover the wonders of an AKS Home Building Experience.

Contemporary Home Design: Why Contemporary & Modern Style is Always Best

Because there is a tendency within the wider Australian Housing Industry to use the terms ‘Contemporary Home Design’ and ‘Modern House Design’ in a rather random fashion, it is not unsurprising that we find a dazzling variety of mixed styles within our contemporary housing developments; and increasingly amongst the urban landscapes Small-Lot-House design of the inner city areas.

There is a good explanation for this; what we consider to be ‘modern’ is, in its broadest sense – relatively old – more than 130 years old – as a matter of fact.

The difference between Contemporary & Modern Home Design Styles.Stylistically, Modern House design was a break from the pre-Industrial past that began in the late 1800’s, and was given form by German and Scandinavian Designers with their emphasis on simplicity and function. It is still going strong, and sometimes older forms are barely distinguishable from the more recent examples of the genre.

Contemporary House Design on the other hand, became popular in the 1970’s and was originally a blend of styles, including elements of Modern House Design Styles, before it became a recognisable form of its own.

It was with the adoption of elements of more eclectic forms such as Art Deco, that it has  become literally focussed on the present, and acquired a functionality that is forward looking and extremely relevant to the modern lifestyle.

What has become noticeable in recent years is the prolific incorporation of what was once an Avant-garde break from the past into the Modern House Design framework, which causes it to be confused with Contemporary Home Design. Home Design Ideas, especially as it relates to exterior house design, that  we now regularly see, are a complete stylistic transformation of the Modern genre; rather than the neo-styles that proliferated before, such as the neo-colonial, neo-Victorian and neo-federation forms that are the backbone of our ‘character code’ residential neighbourhoods of the Inner City suburbs of our major cities.

This recent, but belated stylistic adoption has rather rapidly come up against the more forward looking ‘here-and-now’ emphasis of Contemporary House Design. So much so, that distinguishing between them has become difficult, as they blend into an even more pervasive ultra-contemporary style that is both exciting, and perplexing to the average new home owner.

Exacerbating this complexity is a vague sense of foreboding that it all will be a fashion; as in “go out of”; and that the ‘contemporary’ will date.

Modern_House_Design
Modern House Design & Contemporary. Nowadays the two styles meshed into one.

Fad vs. Trend

It is therefore important to emphasise the difference between a stylistic trend, and a fad in New Home Design.House design is all about the whole working together to serve your lifestyle. It functions as a composition, and each element draws on the functionality of the combination of all the various elements. This all-encompassing framework of the construction is referred to as the ‘style’ of the composition. Modern Lifestyles have changed dramatically over the past century, accelerating rapidly after the Second World War, which has in turn had an impact on House Design.The Modern Home Design style variations have reflected these changes. All of these changes:

  • Modern Plumbing
  • Informal living areas
  • Single occupant bedrooms
  • Rumpus rooms
  • Private alfresco dining areas
  • The disappearance of the formal lounge
  • Media Rooms
  • Studies; etc. …

… have been accompanied by facade modifications that are reflected the revised floorplan configurations.Similar misgivings were expressed at the time about ‘faddish’ style elements and whether they would stand the test of time.

A dispassionate examination of those misgivings however, would reveal that it was the pseudo ‘clinging onto’ of  what were considered to be ‘traditional styles’, as reflected in the neo-Colonial and neo-Federation Home Design ‘tack-on’ facades, that are proving to be the most discordant of the Modern Home Design Styles around. It is more than likely because many of these homes lack a compositional consistency.

That the primary facets of the overall style jar the senses because they seem contrived, and at odds with the overall lifestyle intention of the layout.

It is why the Federation style home is so often said to be ‘dated’; it is because many Federation Homes built during the 1990’s, lack the lifestyle layouts the 20thcentury’s Federation period, and were merely ‘facades’ in the true sense of the word … Fakes.

Contemporary House Design Styles – A genuine reflection of Modern House Design lifestyle choices. As we progress into the second decade of the 21st century, the changes lifestyles House design requirements are accelerating.

  • Demographics are now reflecting a remarkable variety in the make-up of household groups
  • Some rooms are definitely obsolete – think of the Study that was so prevalent in the late 20th century
  • The formal Lounge is now a distant memory
  • The alfresco space has become mandatory
  • And, the emergence and development of the Media Room portends that it will soon become the most used room in the home. A room that never existed 15 years ago is set to become the most important room in the home.

In every sense, we can say that the future is here, and that the safest way to ensure your home will never date, is to strive for compositional balance. It won’t always be new, but that way, it will always be stylish.’ and ‘Modern House Design’ in a rather random fashion, it is not unsurprising that we find a dazzling variety of mixed styles within our contemporary housing developments; and increasingly amongst the urban landscapes Small-Lot-House design of the inner city areas.There is a good explanation for this; what we consider to be ‘modern’ is, in its broadest sense – relatively old – more than 130 years old – as a matter of fact.The difference between Contemporary & Modern Home Design Styles.Stylistically, Modern House design was a break from the pre-Industrial past that began in the late 1800’s, and was given form by German and Scandinavian Designers with their emphasis on simplicity and function.

Example of Contemporary House Design Styling
Contemporary: A break from the past.

It is still going strong, and sometimes older forms are barely distinguishable from the more recent examples of the genre.Contemporary House Design on the other hand, became popular in the 1970’s and was originally a blend of styles, including elements of Modern House Design Styles, before it became a recognisable form of its own.

It was with the adoption of elements of more eclectic forms such as Art Deco, that it has  become literally focussed on the present, and acquired a functionality that is forward looking and extremely relevant to the modern lifestyle.

What has become noticeable in recent years is the prolific incorporation of what was once an Avant-garde break from the past into the Modern House Design framework, which causes it to be confused with Contemporary Home Design.

What we now regularly see, is a complete stylistic transformation of the Modern genre; rather than the neo-styles that proliferated before, such as the neo-colonial, neo-Victorian and neo-federation forms that are the backbone of our ‘character code’ residential neighbourhoods of the Inner City suburbs of our major cities.

This recent, but belated stylistic adoption has rather rapidly come up against the more forward looking ‘here-and-now’ emphasis of Contemporary House Design. So much so, that distinguishing between them has become difficult, as they blend into an even more pervasive ultra-contemporary style that is both exiting, and perplexing to the average new home owner.

Exacerbating this complexity is a vague sense of foreboding that it all will be a fashion; as in “go out of”; and that the ‘contemporary’ will date.Fad vs. TrendIt is important to emphasise the difference between a stylistic trend, and a fad in New Home Design.House design is all about the whole working together to serve your lifestyle.

It functions as a composition, and each element draws on the functionality of the combination of all the various elements. This all-encompassing framework of the construction is referred to as the ‘style’ of the composition. Modern Lifestyles have changed dramatically over the past century, accelerating rapidly after the Second World War, which has in turn had an impact on House Design.The Modern Home Design style variations have reflected these changes.

All of these changes:

  • Modern Plumbing
  • Informal living areas
  • Single occupant bedrooms
  • Rumpus rooms
  • Private alfresco dining areas
  • The disappearance of the formal lounge
  • Media Rooms
  • Studies; etc. …

… have been accompanied by façade modifications that reflected the revised floorplan configurations.Similar misgivings were expressed at the time about ‘faddish’ style elements that would, or would not, stand the test of time.

A dispassionate examination of those misgivings however, would reveal that it was the pseudo ‘clinging onto’ of  what were considered to be ‘traditional styles’, as reflected in the neo-Colonial and neo-Federation Home Modern House Design circa 1939Design ‘tack-on’ facades, that are proving to be the most discordant of the Modern Home Design Styles around.

It is more than likely because many of these homes lack a compositional consistency, and the primary facets of the overall style jar the senses, because they seem contrived, and at odds with the overall lifestyle intention of the layout. It is why the Federation style home is so often said to be ‘dated’; it is because many Federation Homes built during the 1990’s, lack the lifestyle layouts the 20thcentury’s Federation period, and were merely ‘facades’ in the true sense of the word … Fakes.

Contemporary House Design: A genuine Reflection of Modern House Design Lifestyle Choice.As we progress into the second decade of the 21stcentury, the changes lifestyles House design requirements are accelerating.

  • Demographics are now reflecting a remarkable variety in the make-up of household groups
  • Some rooms are definitely obsolete – think of the Study that was so prevalent in the late 20th century
  • The formal Lounge is now a distant memory
  • The alfresco space has become mandatory
  • And, the emergence and development of the Media Room portends that it will soon become the most used room in the home. A room that never existed 15 years ago is set to become the most important room in the home.

The future is here, in every sense, and the safest way to ensure your home will never date, is to strive for compositional balance. It won’t always be new, but that way, it will always be stylish.

New Home Pricing – Design & Build, Plan Cost Proposals: Estimating for Results

When we put together new home pricing Proposals, our dilemma is just how far we need to go with upgrading the finishing items. Naturally new home price estimating depends on the home building project budget and how owners feel about the spec finish in the home. Sometimes we have a fairly good idea. Often the picture is still incomplete by the time we finish prelim house sketch design and compile associated costs. Other priorities more often have first claim to the new home budget spend. It would be presumptuous of us to pre-determine what the priority inclusions should be.

The Inclusions Affect the Costs

This dilemma stems from our desire to provide a low total cost, juxtaposed with our duty of care to our customers. We are horrified that it may seem that our intention is to short-change you, and mislead regarding the list of inclusions of the package. It is for this reason we have decided, as matter of policy, to try to maximise the inclusions, within reason. This is so that it is more likely that costs will improve immediately after the initial presentation of the proposal.

finishing_items_for_new_home_pricing_specification

It is a policy that has stood us in good stead, and is based on solid reasoning. It also imposes on u,s a duty to approach the entire house design and quote process very professionally.

At AKS Homes, we use a comprehensive new home specification document sheet in our cost estimation system. This provides a detailed list of items in ‘building process’ format, rather than ‘list of inclusions’ format.  We do this because a ‘list of Inclusions’ rarely identifies what is NOT included. Ours does, and gives you the option of

adding items or amending the quality, as you go through it in detail. Naturally these options directly affect the costs. The price rises or falls as items in the spec are upgraded or removed, as the case may be. Because the spec is a dynamic between 25 and 35 pages long, there are plenty of opportunities to do so.

Why our New Home Pricing System Benefits You.

As a rule, we now never send the new home specification and pricing via email as a first response in our new home pricing process. we are more comfortable doing so in subsequent revisions. We always make sure we have a face-to-face presentation with the client to impress upon you a few important points for their consideration.

  1. Demonstrate how the entire costing process is a dynamic one.
  2. Explain how some factors that influence the overall outcome.New Home Pricing - Home estimating to optimum results
  3. Show you how to use this to your advantage.
  4. Make you aware how to control the process with our expert assistance.
  5. Tell you about the techniques that improve the outcome and the knowledgeable application of design modifications, finishing touches, and smart shopping techniques.
  6. Begin the process of obtaining several rounds of contractor and supplier quotes to ensure the best possible price & quality, with the most options.
  7. Explain how this process not only benefits you, but allows AKS Homes hone our techniques and secure better prices and quality for all our clients.

Because we are eager to implement this system every time; you are encouraged to the let the new home pricing process take its course. The entire procedure takes between 2-4 weeks. This also allows us to undertake surveys, perform soil tests, have the engineering design done, and finalise the working drawings in the meantime.

You can therefore be secure in the knowledge that you have the best possible finish, for the best possible price, with the most competent builder. It is only after we finish the new home pricing process, that we formalise the Building Agreement.

We ultimately also benefit throughout the building process, because constant practice improves our service and prices, thanks to you. Savings will be passed on to you. This means that we consistently are able to buck the trend, and deliver consistently improving cost estimates to you as the process unfolds.

All-in-all, it is definitely a win-win by any standard.

Custom House Builder – Custom House Design: What you should know

As a custom house builder, AKS Homes has come across many custom home design layouts, and we have developed a short list of critical areas that need your proper consideration when custom designing your home.

1. Custom House Builder and Designer Team

When you are having a custom home design, let your designer do their job. Most home designers want nothing more than to give you what you want. However, you have to be conscious that your self-prepared sketch and house design brief, is merely a pictorial wish list, not a proper design. Working with a builder as a team gives the design project a dynamism that’s hard to beat. A good Custom House Builder and Designer team will separate the technical issues from your desires as expressed in your sketch and home design brief. It is only after the House designer has a grasp of the intent of your drawing that they will proceed to give form to it in a technically efficient manner. The correct flow of the rooms and with them in proper proportion is vital. It is a practiced skill to achieve proper balance between the living zones in a space efficient manner.

The designer should inject flexibility into the process. In the event the design brief is seriously misjudged, which sometime happens, it is your task, as the owner, to direct the custom home design process along the right track. Working from the prepared sketch house plans and utilising the skills of the designer, you can quickly rectify a misunderstood home design brief. Your collaboration in this manner should make a huge difference to the finished home.

2. Kitchen

The focal point of a home is the kitchen. The kitchen ties the custom home design together, which means that its overall placement within the floor layout is critical.  As the hub, it should link directly with; the informal living area; Media Room, Alfresco or covered Patio, and meals area. Having the Kitchen in close proximity to the Garage entrance is also smart idea.

Kitchen Layout for Moller Cumtom House Design

Make sure you have enough bench space surrounding the main food preparation area.

Once the location is settled; care should be taken about the kitchen layout. Make sure you have enough bench space surrounding the main food preparation area. Check that the relationship between the cooker, sink, fridge & pantry is convenient, and will keep the food preparation process flowing. Be aware of the hand (Opening direction of doors) to the fridge and Pantry – ensure that the allow access in the direction of the natural movement dictated by the food preparation process. Tweaking these details is and having the flexibility to do so, is a major benefit of working through a custom home builder,

3. Ensuite Design

Because we more often than not strive to please others in our work; customers, bosses, and colleagues, it is a blessing when the opportunity to pamper ourselves presents itself when we build a new home. Don’t miss out by skimping your most personal part of the home – the Ensuite design.  Because it is a relatively small space, it is almost always possible, unless budget constraints are too tight to allow the tiniest luxury, to splurge a little in the ensuite design, without breaking the bank.

Relatively simple home upgrades you can consider are floor-to-ceiling tiles; designer double vanities, and double shower heads. Any good Custom Home Builder would have these as a standard option. If you can extend yourself just that bit more, feature floor wastes and designer shower heads are also a good investment.

4. The Alfresco, Covered Patio, & Other Outdoor Living Areas

covered outdoor living area

Always include covered open outdoor living Areas in the form of a covered Alfresco, Sala Pavilion or Patio

Always include covered open outdoor living Areas in the form of a covered Alfresco, Sala Pavilion or Patio. Make them comfortable and as large as the design and budget will allow. Studies have shown that this is one of the most frequently used areas in a home after the Media/TV room. If at all possible, design this space as if you would any internal room of the home.

At AKS Homes, we cannot remember the last time we built a home without a covered external living area. No self-respecting Custom Home Builder would exclude a sizable outdoor living area in any product for a custom home design customer, as they function as a convenient gathering place for friends and family.

5. New Home Interior Design

While most builders employ staff to help with your colour selection, it is often the case that they are not qualified specialist interior designers. Their real task is to assist you in collating your design fixtures and colour selections, so that the building process can proceed without disruption.

A good, qualified interior designer will ensure you’re getting a great finish to your home, and will make it look great. People WILL notice the difference.

If the cost of employing a dedicated Interior Designer to help with your home is too prohibitive, there are excellent DIY Interior and Exterior Design courses that run weekly over several weeks. It is definitely an excellent and cost-effective way to go.

Cost of Building a New Home: Part 1

The Darker side of ‘Volume Discounts’.

When assessing the cost of building a new home, people believe that larger builders offer cheaper prices than the smaller builder. This is not surprising because larger builders can often negotiate volume discounts from building suppliers because they buy in volume.

It is therefore assumed that this ‘buying power’ translates into a less expensive cost of building a new home than would be the case if you were to build through a smaller builder.

As is often the case; this assumption misleads because it covers only a part, and a tiny part at that, of the factors that influence the cost of building a new home.

All business account for their profits in similar ways, In the case of Builders, goes like this:

Total Sales – 10 sales = $3,000,000

Less:

  • Cost of Sales = $2,560,000
  • Gross Profit = $440,000
  • Less Expenses: (Overhead)$292,000

Net Profit = $148,000

Cost_of_Building_a_ New_ Home_Volume_or_Custom

That is a very simplified example, (*and only applies if the builder is very, very lucky), but the idea is to show that there is a very real difference between the Cost to Build (otherwise known as the cost of sales), and overhead expenses. Both have a direct bearing on the overall cost to build the new home, but negotiated discounts will only affect a fraction of the Costs of Sales (the direct input costs to build a new home). Here’s why.

The Effect of Volume on the Cost of Building a New Home

  1. In order to be in a position to negotiate huge discounts on the supply of materials to build the home, the builders has to spend a great deal of money on marketing activities: Display Homes, Advertising, Sales staff etc. So his marketing cost per sale is significantly higher that the smaller builder, who probably does not even calculate the Return on Investment (ROI) for his relatively insignificant marketing costs. Large builders marketing costs per unit sale usually is far in excess of the value of the savings negotiated because of their ‘volume discounts’.
  2. The term “Volume Discounts’ is a marketing tool employed by the big building product suppliers in an attempt to grab market share by implying membership of an exclusive club. The question has to be asked. When exactly does a builder become eligible for a volume discount?  20, 50, 100, 200, 1000 houses PA? Nobody really knows. How much is the discount? 10%, 20%, 30%, normal trade supplier prices? This is where it becomes interesting.

At AKS Homes, we have often been offered those kinds of discounts, only to find that we can get an even better deal from a totally unrelated supplier. It does seem that to us, that prices can always be negotiated, regardless of your total volume purchasing power.

If a supplier needs to improve sales, they will provide enticing prices to attract business. Builders have adapted to razor-thin margins over the past 4-5 years.

Good suppliers are learning the same lesson as they resist the inroads Chinese and Indian product is making into their traditional markets, and are similarly adapting their pricing business models. Margins across the board have been shaved to the bone, and there should be no capacity for any supplier to provide a 30% discount, unless it is a going out of business sale. This is depriving the larger builders of their one-trick-pony marketing plans.

The only question is whether smaller builders have geared their infrastructure to take advantage of this reality.

Here at AKS Homes, we believe we have. Find out the Cost of Building Your New Home. Give us a test and get a quote to build a house now..

Cost To Build A New Home: Part 2

Sleight-of-Hand Tactics When Providing a Cost to Build a New Home.

Last week we had a look at the reality behind the ‘volume discount’ claim when providing a cost to build a new home. It is not the only sleigh-of-hand practiced by some of the largest builders in Australia to disguise the actual cost of building one of their ‘Standard’ House designs.

Talk to any honest builder, and they will tell you that they cannot really give you a ‘price’ to build a new home off the cuff. They will however always oblige with indicative costs. Such estimates are always heavily qualified because the final price depends on the quality of the inclusions; more importantly, by what is actually included in the quoted price. So a good builder will want to sit down and give the plans and spec and good workout.

Price Lists

A project builder building standard home plans, on the other hand, will always have a price list available, along with a professionally printed ‘List of Inclusions”:

“How much does it cost to build this home?”What-_you_is_often_not_what_you_Get_in_cost_to_build_a_new_home

“$189,970- Finished in our designer range of inclusions”

“Does that include everything we see here?”

“Yes it does; except for the floor coverings, decor, light fittings, driveways and landscaping. A few of the fixtures only come with our lifestyle range of inclusions. Here, let me give you the ‘list of Inclusions’ and a ‘Price List’. Where were you thinking of building?”

One can see how easily it is to then assume exactly the opposite to the written information provided. You would be forgiven if you believed that the price covered everything, apart from the items specifically mentioned.

Inclusions & Exclusions Are What Defines Your Cost To Build A New Home

Here is just a sample of the unmentioned exclusions .

  • A good part of the Council Application fees is often not in your cost to build a new home. It is not unusual for there to be only a nominal allowance for the actual council fees – sometimes as little as 30% of its true cost

SITE COSTS

• Any of the vaguely identified ‘site costs’, are often not in your cost to build a new home.

  •   Silt Barriers – Erosion control
  •   Builders Signage
  •   Temporary fencing
  •     Additional cost due to setback over the minimum.
  •   Site Excavation
  •   Importing fill
  •   Tree removal
  •   Rock Removal
  •   Identification surveys
  •   Set-out surveys
  •   Gravel to Driveways and Paths
  •   Additional Drainage requirements beyond the minimum allowance
  •   Retaining walls
  •   Additional Slab costs
  •   Additional piers through Fill, or as directed by an engineered design

    Are_all_sitecosts_in_your_cost_to_build_a_new_home

These are what can be referred to as the “how could we possibly know” costs. While it is true that many of these items will not apply to all Projects, it is passing strange

that you only find out about them after considerable initial expense. While it is impossible to predict in its entirety the exact cost associated with the slab & engineers design without that design; a good builder will at least get it close most of the time.

REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS

  • Energy Efficiency Certification requirements
  • Physical Perimeter Termite barrier. Many builders only include a nominal drainage penetration barrier, and rely on a visual barrier – i.e. you visually check it every time you’re in the garden.
  •   Ceiling Fans – essential for energy certification without installed air-conditioning
  •   Rainwater Tanks
  •   Scaffolding
  •   Wall and roof sarking

The above items are always required due to regulations governing the average Australian and Queensland home. They should be a standard in every home, and should be included in every cost to build a new home. They should at least be added at the very first stage of the prelim process – before any money changes hands.

LIFESTYLE OPTIONS

  •  Higher ceilings
  •   Feature Front Door
  •   Specialist doors such as glass bi-fold doors
  •   Light fittings AND additional light points
  •   Additional electrician installed power and cable points like Foxtel.
  •   Feature Balustrades
  •   Rendered & Feature Brickwork.
  •   Stained Timber Staircase. (Usually will only be carpet grade)
  •   Kitchen upgrades will not normally be included except where it is included as a “special” giveaway.
  •   Dishwashers
  •   Cabinets to the Laundry
  •   Glass splashback to the Kitchen
  •   Floor-to-ceiling tiles to bathrooms.
  •   Tiles/concrete or decking to the alfresco.

These items can be classified as lifestyle selection items, but are often missing from the Inclusions list because builders try their utmost to project an image that their brand provides better value than their competitors.

Larger builders often colour this tendency by provided a truncated version of this list as a free ‘upgrade’ or a cut-priced upgrade. These special upgrade packages often obscure the fact that an essential item is not in the inclusions list.

For instance, you may that you receive $60K’s worth of items for $3K, but the obligatory rainwater tank is not on the list. Or else it is the Termite proofing. Or that it costs almost as much to engineer the slab as it would have cost in the first instance, leaving you to wonder if there was a slab allowed in the first place.

INVESTING TIME, MONEY, & EFFORT MAKES IT HARD TO WALK AWAY

You may wonder why people would not walk away in disgust, since they have free will and can choose who they give their business too. The answer is that these omissions are only revealed in stages, and after the client has invested several thousand dollars and a considerable amount of time in the discovery process.

It is unpleasant, but after all the time and money invested; they could well believe that it was normal practice in the building industry, and that they would only be taken for a similar ride were they to try an alternative builder.

This is not the case, and the vast majority of builders feel obligated to fully inform their prospective clients of a full range of the costs they could reasonably expect while building their new home.
At AKS Homes, we go further, and insist on providing comprehensive quotes well before you ever spend a cent with us. We believe this should be a minimum requirement you should expect from your builder.

Give us a test today. We guarantee the best possible price, quickly and conveniently.

Property Subdivision Explained

Because Property Subdivision is so common everywhere, we thought it would be valuable to explain what property subdivision is. Why it is in such demand. What its benefits are, and how you can take advantage of it.

A Brief History of Property Subdivision in Australia

When land in Australia was first subdivided, the English system was adopted. The standard lot size in the English system was 16 perches (404 m2) measuring 50 links (10 metres) wide, by 200 links (40 metres) deep.

Because early property development was without regulation, the size and shape of blocks were determined according to demand. The smallest inhabited lot in Australia was at Parramatta, Sydney, and was only 6 perches (25m2 )

Many properties in Australia have subsequently been Subdivided into multiples of the 16 perch allotment.Property_Subdivision_Made_Easy

Often Title deeds contain more than one 404 Sqm (16 Perch) block, and a simple separation of the title is required at the titles office.Other titles for 808 SqM block contain only one title, and a subdivision is required.

A 404 Sqm Block is typically a block that requires a Small Lot House Plan. Small Lot house design is often exempted from the housing code of Australia. It is regulated by codes enacted by local councils, such as the small lot code.

Why the Explosion of Small Property Subdivision Projects?

To create multiple pieces of land, or allotments, where only one previously existed.

State Governments  have forced developers of large suburban outer ring suburbs to contribute the lion’s share of infrastructure costs (transport, roads and utility services). Because of this, the cost of the traditionally sized suburban block has skyrocketed in recent decades.

The demographics within the Australian population has been changing too. the changing lifestyle trends too, means small lot homes have become more attractive as they become more affordable. This, and the convenience of a location make them a winning choice. Close to transport. Close to schools. With an inner city lifestyle.

How Does It Benefit The Typical New Home Buyer?

Because these new allotment are being created without the crippling financial contributions to the State Government. And because it creates an opportunity for smaller Mom and Dad investors to profit from dabbling in property subdivision. The housing capacity within existing suburbs is being increased significantly.

Suddenly, buying a fixer-upper home on a  larger inner city block is worth examining, because of its underlying property subdivision potential. This is particularly relevant for the first home buyer.

If property subdivision is not possible, secondary dwelling options can sometimes be possible.Dual_Occupancy_Secondary_Dwelling_Granny_Flat

Either way, the value of an existing property can be significantly enhanced if you find a way to increase its housing capacity.

How Do You Do It?

  • Work out your Property subdivision potential.
  • Obtain Councils permission to subdivide
  • Carry out the subdivision in accordance with the imposed conditions of the Development approval.(DA)
  • Pay the contribution fees to council.
  • Engage a surveyor to mark out the new boundaries & draw up a survey plan
  • Register the survey plan at the titles office where new titles are then issued.

Finding Great New Custom Home Design Ideas

Need New Custom Home Design Ideas? Drop the Baggage

A straightjacket we all need to remove, as we search for new Custom home design ideas, is the mindset that standard house plans are the best route to better house design and lower costs. It never has been true, and is simply an impression left over from the pre-digital age.

Custom_Design+Split_Level_House_Plans

Custom Designing Allows You to Build for You Land

Standard House Plans were originally introduced as a major marketing tool in the early 1980’s.

The aim was to make things simpler and easier for Home Buyers in an era when originating new home design, and its presentation as sales and marketing material, was a complex and time-consuming task for builders.

Standard Home Plans Time Has Passed.

Custom Home Design Is Here To Stay.

Cut & Paste House Design

You Deserve More Than Crude Cut & Paste Design

This is no longer the case; developments in Computer design software have removed the complexity. The expense of Custom Homes Design is now a fraction of what it used to be. Standard Home Plans were originally an improvement on the simple facade variations of a single floorplan built up and down our streets before the 1980’s. These became a standard range of floorplans during the standard home design era. Now, the fully flexible home design offered by custom homes builders is to the new normal.

It rare to find any standard home plan that has not been substantially modified. In effect they are Custom Home plans. However, many are cut & paste modifications of standard plans. As new home Salespeople try to accommodate the demand for custom home design, they often resort to liquid paper, sticky tape, and the photocopier.

A lack of desire, effort, and training is the only possible reason these crude cut & paste designs still proliferate. You no longer have to put up with substandard quality and service in your search for New Home Design Ideas, and nor should such basic services cost an arm & a leg. At AKS Homes, custom design is our staple, and we go to great lengths to ensure you will get the basic design services you need to make informed decisions. For us, it is not a cost centre, but a core marketing activity, absolutely necessary for our business.

Technology Makes Custom Home Design Easy and the New Standard.

Because most builders, suppliers and tradesmen now all have highly efficient computerized systems, determining the costs of building any design quickly and with great accuracy is commonplace. What did take weeks before, is usually available to you in less time than it takes to produce the extremely unreliable ‘preliminary cost estimates’ that are trotted out to prospective customers every week by large project home builder’s salespeople.

This allows us to provide you with accurate pricing information as we develop the Custom Home Design. Our customers have found that integrating  custom design with pricing information to be an invaluable service.  We are more than happy to provide this service as it hones our quoting processes and makes us even more competitive.

Standard Plans can be a Trap.

Standard designs are pushed onto the market because House Building Sales Consultants are often not sufficiently trained to provide costs for homes that deviate from the standard.

The unfortunate result is that many new home owners settle for crude home design modifications, and whose costs are an equally rough calculation. That is the best they can manage without some sort of payment. It is only after this payment is received that any serious work is done. This is a disadvantage to you as it removes any benefit the standard design was supposed to afford you.

By the time proper working drawings have been prepared, the owners are closed-in by the process and find it difficult to back out because too much time, effort, and money has been invested. It is a sad indictment on our industry if all we been able to  afford our valuable customers are the most rudimentary preliminary design services.

Disadvantages of standard Home Plans are:

  • A plan is selected because clients like the look of it on display without giving any consideration as to whether is suitable for their land
  • The plan is usually modified in a manner that works counter to the intentions of the designer, sometimes negating its elementary appeal.
  • The pricing is based on a standard that is usually stripped of specific context. So many factors can affect the price, that this standard price is virtually meaningless.
  • Making modifications to the design has a fundamental effect on costs that is hard to estimate with accuracy. The only way the sales staff can estimate confidently is to overcharge for variations.

You deserve better.  Would you use a House Builder that employed incompetent carpenters? Why then use a House Builder that insists you use Standard Designs because they employed untrained Sales Staff?

Construction Finance and the Cost to Build Your Home

The Impact of Construction Finance on your building quote.

Today we want to talk about the seemingly intangible costs associated with your building estimate like Construction Finance expenses. These are items that don’t appear anywhere in the Building Contract documentation, but nevertheless have an important impact on the overall cost to build your home.

Bank charges and interest payments.

Construction finance costs are very easy to forget when assessing the overall cost to build your home. These fees will vary according to personal circumstances, but  include:

  • Valuation fees
  • Establishment Fees
  • Mortgage insurance costs
  • Costs for every inspection prior to a stage payment.
  • Interest Charges

An most important consideration as bit applies to the construction process itself, must be the interest payments, which are payable from the moment a loan is drawn on. This means that every delay adds to the overall costs.

It is vital that your builder be organised, and deliver your project on time. A quick calculation will allow you to work out what your holding costs are during the construction process.

The construction period can usually be broken down into its various stages

Construction Finance - Progress Payments by StageContruction Time Breakdown by Construction Finance Stage Payments Stage

 

*While this data can vary depending on circumstances, they are generally accurate on average.

Half the Building Time Consumes 85% of the Expenses.

What is important to note that by the time a builder is working on finishing the home, at least 85% of the costs would already have been incurred.

What that means is that for 45% of the building period, you are paying interest on 85% of your construction loan. That works out at about $150 per week for every $100K of borrowed funds.

More importantly, if you are borrowing money to buy the land as well, these costs multiply.

It is vital that your builder be ready to begin construction without delay, and proceeds with the construction without mishap.

Try adding the potential costs of delays onto your building estimate, and it quickly adds up.

Selecting the right builder is about more than just selecting the cheapest quoted price. A disorganized builder can add $1,000’s to the actual cost to build a home.

An efficient builder not only saves you money, but gives you peace-of-mind as well

We have you Covered

At AKS Homes we are acutely aware of this. That is why we invite you to test our service, test our prices; and most of all, test our record by talking to any of our customers – past or present.

We know how important this is, so we make sure that

  • Our systems revolve around smooth design and costing integration that facilitates a seamless on-site construction start.
  • Our real-time customer/builder online project management system ensures keeps the project on-track and eliminates misunderstanding and screw-ups. and
  • We provide you with a best possible price to start with, so you don’t get sucked in by Low ball quotes.

Land Subdivision Process : Creating a New Property with Subdivision

Basic Requirements for a New Property Subdivision

When a new property is created, the fundamental consideration in the entire land subdivision process is being able to provide:Land Subdivision Process: Title Deed with its own Property Description

  • A Title Deed With Its Own Real Property Description
  • A Proper Residential Address
  • Access To A Public Road

This Subdivided New Property and can be either vacant land or with existing buildings. We will begin by discussing the elements that make up the basic considerations when subdividing vacant land. (Often land with property already on it is the subject of the subdivision process. The essentials are the same, but the property also introduces some interesting questions that we will deal with in the coming weeks.)

Land Subdivision Process 1: Road Frontage

A sufficiently wide frontage to a road is required. The minimum width required is usually set by Council.

If your property fronts onto a major road it will be under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Main Roads. It may be necessary to consult with the Dept.of Main Roads to make sure that vehicular access meets their criteria.

Sometimes, properties fronting a main road can be subject to noise covenants. Upper floors may have to be soundproofed and insulated to decrease traffic noise. It may also involve restrictions on openings to windows, making the installation of air-conditioning Mandatory.

Land Subdivision Process 2: Minimum Size Lots

The minimum allowable size of the new lot is set by Council. These will vary according to town planning zoning classifications. These Zone Classifications and can be determined by studying local authority town plans where these guidelines are published.

Land Subdivision Process 3: Council Contributions

Another major cost when subdividing are the council’s contributions. These are many and range from fees to provide trees on footpaths, to providing for future extensions to water and sewerage services, usually referred to as ‘headworks’. Each Council have their own rates for these contributions, and it can sometimes be difficult to assess the complete list of charges.

The subdivision of existing buildings is a variant of these conditions, and is an interesting exercise on its own which we will discuss in the weeks to come.

Next-up; assessing the services you need, if everything stacks up so far.

If you are unsure, please feel free to contact us for a free assessment from out qualified staff of the subdivision potential of your property.