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Building your own PPOR

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by Here_To_Learn, 11th Jul, 2007.

  1. Here_To_Learn

    Here_To_Learn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    15th Aug, 2005
    Posts:
    315
    Location:
    Sydney
    Thought I post here as I did not receive any responses over at SS.

    I am interested in hearing about people who have built their own PPOR. Of even better interest is those who have had to knock down an existing home in Sydney.

    A few questions -

    1) Did you use an architect or builder ?
    2) Did you purchase a 'kit' home from one of the many home building companies ?
    3) Which home building companies did you look at ?
    4) Which state and how long did council approvals take ?
    5) How long did it take to build the home ?
    6) If you had to do it again what would you do different ?
    7) Would you do it again ?
    8) Was quoted build cost accurate or did you run significantly over budget ?

    Any info on the above will assist me immensely.
     
  2. D&K

    D&K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    14th Nov, 2005
    Posts:
    206
    Location:
    Canberra
    Hi HTL,

    We built our PPOR in Canberra about 7 years ago, it was a positive experience. Blocks in new release areas are generally small, so for a reasonable sized block (700m2) we actually found it cheaper to buy close to the city, knock down and rebuild. Now new blocks have got even smaller and become cheaper, but the price per m2 is still cheaper closer to the city!

    We looked at lots of existing homes and new display homes. Finally we decided that most houses were not suitable (medical conditions) so we'd need to build (cost of major renovation was higher than building) and it would have to be our own design. So we found a house that "deserved" knocking down that we could afford, and went from there.

    We wanted good "solar design", trendy name but we wanted the main living area to get sun. Most designs bolt the garage on the side of the house with space behind it, thus the garage gets the sunny side of the house or the side yard gets the cold / south side. We wanted to twist the house to get the garage in the southern corner and the family / meals and yard on the north. 22 attempts later we took our Microsoft Paint drawings to the drafting firm our builder used to make it official.

    We had lived in a rental house for over a year, it was owned by the builder and was built for renting (basic). It was very solid and with straight / parallel walls (if you've ever tiled a floor you'll know how un-square rooms can get). Not going fancy, this was good enough for us.

    What took time was approvals. Being an existing house in an existing neighbourhood we had to get demolition plans (first there is a house then there isn't - but you still need a plan) and neighbourhood consultation. That actually took a couple of months even without objections.

    We then had to wait a month from demolition until we fit into the builder's schedule (we did our own demolition approvals). The house was built in 5 months, despite some poor weather. Total time was 11 months.

    Only one thing of our original plan didn't eventuate, a sliding door was short a few cm in the cavity / recess so it became a swinging door - big deal.

    Because of the downtime for approvals, etc, we actually had time before our contract to work out what we wanted and put it in the contract to get the price fixed. What really annoys builders is people waiting until the house is half built and then spending weeks to choose tiles and kitchen and bathroom fittings, etc, while building stops. We planned it out first, down to the powerpoints in each room, tiles, etc. Some things were more than the builder usually did, and we wanted some specfic things such as an oven with a side-opening door, Rennai infinity hot water, etc, but by having it all planned he gave us a price for what was quantified / usual, and we paid for the extras we wanted - all decided before contract so we had no surprises / price rises. Our builder was a little surprised with the amount of detail we put into the "fittings" part of the contract (noting which ones we were supplying and he was fitting), but I think he was happy that he wasn't messing around waiting for decisions on the run.

    I haven't answered all of your questions but hopefully this is a start. I can recommend it, you can get a new house in your choice of location, and not just be shuffled out to the new land release site (expensive sheep paddock). If you plan, in detail, what you want up front and get it in the contract, then it's a positive experience. The other surprising thing was that with steadily rising prices, we'd actually made a capital gain by within months of finishing (PPOR valuation > cost).

    Cheers, Dave
     
  3. kevinb

    kevinb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    6th Oct, 2005
    Posts:
    51
    Location:
    MENAI
    Building PPOR

    Hi here_To_Learn


    1) Did you use an architect or builder ?

    We used an architect, local one who knew all local regs. We had our own ideas and the the architect put it all together. Charged for plans only.


    2) Did you purchase a 'kit' home from one of the many home building companies ?


    We built during one of the 'booms', went to about 10 builders, 7 said get lost 3 were overpriced, had to pay brickies $1/brick. We found that most kit homes were overpriced.

    We got 3 quotes for most things, the frame actually made by one the larger project homes.


    3) Which home building companies did you look at ?

    Most project homes, almost fell for sales pitch for 1 project builder (built next door), called in one day whilst building next door and had an 18 yr old in charge. Carpenters were using chain saws, roof had waves in it when it was new.


    4) Which state and how long did council approvals take ?

    NSW - Sutherland shire, about 3 months, we had contour plans drawn up beforehand which helped in most quotes.


    5) How long did it take to build the home ?


    We finally owner built (I am an electrician by trade so I was conservant with most of building practices). Took 12 months, most weekends and holidays with no time off from work. - Saved heaps, eg we were quoted $20k for foundations, we excavated to bare rock and saved $20k. A builder would have just pocketed the $20k. House 35sq, double brick bottom, brick verneer top. Also put adds in local paper for clean fill - got rid of over 30 truckloads for zip, some people paid us for the fill. Also dug hole for future swimming pool.

    6) If you had to do it again what would you do different ?

    I would use concrete between bottom & top floors - better for insulation and noise.

    7) Would you do it again ?

    Yes, depends on block of land - ours sloped from back to front and not many project homes suited the block


    8) Was quoted build cost accurate or did you run significantly over budget ?

    Didn't really have a budget - just did it, plans were changed during construction, eg spa bath instead of bath, extra excavation to put in storage under house, concete stairs and patio instead of timber.


    Rgds

    Kevinb
     
  4. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

    Joined:
    16th Jun, 2005
    Posts:
    1,885
    Location:
    Sydney
    Hi HTL :)

    I can't speak from personal experience, as I've only been involved in cosmetic renos and my own PPOR extension. However, several close family and friends have built, including my parents. Answers to questions below apply to their situation. Good luck with it all!!

    1) Did you use an architect or builder ?

    A draftsperson and a builder were responsible for the plans of the original home, though ideas were naturally taken from current display home villages and neighbours homes.

    3) Which home building companies did you look at ?

    After looking at several companies including AV Jennings and Masterton, my parents decided to custom build as they knew they could get exactly what they wanted- and they did :D

    4) Which state and how long did council approvals take ?

    NSW- builder handled this and I recall it took about 10-12 weeks all up.

    5) How long did it take to build the home ?

    Approx 9 mths but then there was the landscaping, the finishing touches (painting, varnishing etc)

    6) If you had to do it again what would you do different ?

    The only issues my parents had was they didn't consider the gradient of their driveway enough (it's so steep I won't drive on it) and, if starting over, would definitely NOT paint the entire house the same colour. Apart from this, they were ecstatic with the result.

    7) Would you do it again ?

    They say no but that's only due to their "time of life" stage. If younger, I think they would most definitely.

    8) Was quoted build cost accurate or did you run significantly over budget ?

    They ran about 20% over due to changes during construction, increased cost of materials and upgrades throughout to areas like the kitchen and landscaping. Allow plenty for landscaping- theirs cost upwards of $60K and they were not prepared for this.
     
  5. Here_To_Learn

    Here_To_Learn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    15th Aug, 2005
    Posts:
    315
    Location:
    Sydney
    Some good detailed responses ... I really appreciate the feedback.

    My wife and I continue to look for our PPOR and become familiar with the target areas. This is proving to be a lot of fun.

    Personally I would feel more comfortable purchasing a home that structurally resembles our liking. We could then upgrade kitchen/ bath and work on cosmetics.

    My wife however seems to think that if we are going to live in this home for the next 20 - 25 years we should build the 'ideal' home we want now.

    I beleive the 'ideal' home does not exist. Particularly when you think that family will grow, kids will at some stage move out, grand kids will want to visit and sleep over, etc...
     
  6. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

    Joined:
    16th Jun, 2005
    Posts:
    1,885
    Location:
    Sydney
    Ah, so true in many respects. Just like children, homes are adapting and ever changing to suit circumstance and occupants :)

    Though I'm not a fan of building, I do know plenty of people who have and have been very happy with their finished product. However, very few have admitted that it's been a smooth ride.

    Best of luck with whatever decision you make, HTL!!