Bevev's

Building a house.

    Recommended Posts

    Hello my PIA family,

     

    Been thinking about the possibility of having a house built. There are a couple pieces of land about but wouldn't know where to start when it comes to getting one built. Can anyone shed any light on the process to go through for this please.

     

    Thank you :biggrin:

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Finding the right land in the right location is probably the hardest part.

     

    We built on a sloping site ( although a very gradual slope). If you go for this option you will need to factor in additional costs for the footings and landscaping ( retaining walls etc) which can be very expensive!

     

    Once you have land, then a good start is to visit a display village. You will then get to see a few different builders and a couple of house examples and they can usually give you a rough guide to any additional costs on top of the basic house price they advertise.

     

    Be prepared to be very patient with the builders. They are never in a hurry to get thing moving quickly and can be very frustrating!

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Thank you Monty 9110. We would like to get a house simular to ours in the UK, so i suppose after land buying, we need to start with plans and approval and then the task of finding a builder.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Thank you Monty 9110. We would like to get a house simular to ours in the UK' date=' so i suppose after land buying, we need to start with plans and approval and then the task of finding a builder.[/quote']

     

    Nope, other way round. Normally you find a builder first then get plans approved. Unless you are planning to do most of the work yourselves at least. We've just moved in to our brand new built house. Your first step is to see if you can get a mortgage for the land and house build. We used Vista (Andrew is on here) to get our mortgage, and I can't recommend them enough. Then you purchase the land and start talking to builders. Definitely go round a few and see if they have existing plans that suit your needs and are happy to modify there plans to your requirements. Some builders are more flexible with customisation than others and some are higher end than others. The main difference with the high end builders is the finish - they include higher quality fixtures and fittings in the base cost.

     

    Once you you find a builder you are happy with then you start working on the plans and they start checking the soil etc. We had to pay a $5k fee at this stage for all the soil works, but this fee was part of the cost of the house. Our original plan had a lot of customisation to the standard floor plan so there was a lot of going back and forth with the plans to get them how we wanted. We also were able to use a facade from a different range of houses with the same builder as we didn't like any of the ones that were offered on the house we were using. Once we were happy with the plans then they were submitted for approval. And then rejected because of a tree so we had to start the process again.

     

    To get an idea of what you can get from the builders have a look at some of the websites. Some of them have quite a bit of information about the process and how things work. As said above, check the land for slopes. Even the smallest slope on the land can increase the costs immensely. And make sure you budget for landscaping and storm water as unless you purchase a turn key package this usually isn't included in the costs. Our landscaping and storm water provision is costing us $40k, although we do have a slope on our block which increases the costs.

     

    I certainly wouldn't build again in a hurry as it's very stressful. Read up as much as you can about what is involved and what you will be responsible for so there are no surprises along the way. Good luck.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    A lot of the builders can draw plans for you or adapt their houses to suit you the. Deal with planning applications etc.. May be cheaper & easier than getting them done yourself??

     

    we've moved now just the plans/engineering for a small extension have cost a lot more than we expected!

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    We have built two houses since arriving here - we built both with Rivergum and we found the process relatively painless. Infact, I really enjoyed it. I agree with what NicF has said about finding a builder first and having a look at their standard homes you you can customise their designs to make it the house you want. We completely gutted our builders design and the only thing that we didnt change was were the stair case was. Everything else, we erased all the rooms and started our design from there.

     

    We had two blocks of lands - one which needed two retaining walls - which adds up to be very expensive - so as a previous poster has said, make sure you have land that is flat - It will be alot cheaper in the long run!

     

     

     

    Sarahx

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Guest Guest12727

    I am interested in your comment about wanting a house like the one you had in UK. To me the beauty of building is the opportunity to design a house to suit the location and make the most of passive design to increase summer and winter comfort while minimising running costs. Will your UK design house meet the requirements of the SA climate? Just a thought.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    If you build a house with a builder you are best to get just there standard house. Once they hand the house over to you get your own trades in to do storm water landscaping or stuff inside the house air con etc . the builders can do all this but the sub contractors who work for the builders will charge the most they can and then the builders will just put 15/20 % on top of that costing you a small fortune.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Guest Guest12727
    If you build a house with a builder you are best to get just there standard house. Once they hand the house over to you get your own trades in to do storm water landscaping or stuff inside the house air con etc . the builders can do all this but the sub contractors who work for the builders will charge the most they can and then the builders will just put 15/20 % on top of that costing you a small fortune.

     

    I can see some logic in what you say Ian Mc but you would think it would be cheaper to do some things while the house is being built - and less messy too. For example, if a job requires electrical work, such as installing aircon, I would assume it to be more cost effective to get all the electrics done at once by the same contractor, than have some-one come in and do it later. Having had a swathe of electricians doing work for us, my experience is that they are precious, expensive and leave a mess, including holes in walls / ceiling. So I would prefer to have it all done, nice and neat before I move in. :goofy:

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    I can see some logic in what you say Ian Mc but you would think it would be cheaper to do some things while the house is being built - and less messy too. For example, if a job requires electrical work, such as installing aircon, I would assume it to be more cost effective to get all the electrics done at once by the same contractor, than have some-one come in and do it later. Having had a swathe of electricians doing work for us, my experience is that they are precious, expensive and leave a mess, including holes in walls / ceiling. So I would prefer to have it all done, nice and neat before I move in. :goofy:

     

    I agree with this completely. It also reduces the stress of trying to get loads done once the house is complete if you get it done while the house is being built. We got the builders to put the air con in for these reasons (good thing too - only been in the house just over a week and needed it rather a lot already). Our sales person at the builders actually told us to get our own storm water done as it would be a lot cheaper than doing it through them. We were also able to get the electricians the builders use to do extra things by going direct to them rather than through the builders which worked out a lot cheaper and meant it was done while the house was being built. I think when deciding what to get the builders to do and what to leave until you take possession of the house you have to weigh up the cot against the inconvenience and hassle of doing yourself at a later date.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    We didn't get aircon from the builder as they were charging too much.

     

    We got our own air con company to come in & pre wire before the plasterboard was installed in the house so it was ready for when we got our keys . The air con ( including the holes for vents ) was done after handover.. It only took a few hours to install & hardly any mess. ( our builder also told us we couldn't get people in to do things before handover, but agreed after talking to them)

     

    We also got our own flooring & carpets fitted after which meant we didn't have to stick with the builders range & it was a lot cheaper.

     

     

    Some things are definitely worth getting the builder to do but also worth shopping around for some things.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    It's a Health & Safety thing that the builder uses to prevent others coming onto the site, and that includes you! it's also about responsibility (of the product/install) and security, all laughable when you look at how things are done anyway.

     

    My daughter & son in-law had some pre wiring done by others for a theater system, when they came to have it fitted after hand-over, a wire could not be found, several holes in the wall later the wire was found at the bottom of the wall cavity, it had dropped down, who was responsible? not the builder!

     

    You could, before appointing a builder discuss these potential items and you have an agreement in place at the start.

    good luck

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    as keith said talk to builders before you start see what they will agree to they all want your business just now it's hard out there for them they will come and go getting the builder to do everything will add about 20 to 30% on the total cost of the house.when we built the buider wanted $1500 (quite a few years ago) for the storm water system I done it myself in a weekend at a cost of less than $200

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Building is new to me !!

    We brought some land in Hallett Cove - settled on the 20th Dec & have opted for Rivergum mainly due to their costs & experience in building balconies as our 2 story house has balconies at the front & back, we aren't building standard but have opted for the VISTA 310 plan with them but changed a number of things inside & out - mainly the exterior finish being brick veneer below & hebel/render above as we felt weatherboard would not suit the location & hubbys a painter so maintaining render is easy for him :)

     

    So far we've paid the deposit & really not much more.....so being patient is a must.....which I am not very good at lol !!

    They have said today that plans will be available next week (although we still have a no of changes since we saw them before Xmas !!) & I am still waiting on the engineers report which should be any day then Rivergum will fix the footings costs (imperative) when building as it can fluctuate tremendously if you require cut/fill & retaining which we need both....

    Good luck :)

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Providing you have a good cash deposit, is it possible to get a mortgage to cover the land and build cost?

     

    Yes.. Banks/ brokers will be able to look at house & land mortgages.

    Its quite normal here to borrow for this purpose.

    I was a mortgage adviser in the uk & banks made it extremely difficult to borrow for a self build!

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now