We all love looking at the display homes and being dazzled by all the shiny tiles, huge rooms with high ceilings, and gorgeous outdoor BBQ areas. But are all these inclusions and the display home plan exactly what you are getting when you sign on the dotted line?
More often than not, no.
With some of the big building companies, the display home inclusions are anything but standard. You want downlights? No, you only receive the baton, you want carpet and tiles…no they are not included in the standard price and a driveway…well who needs that?
Before you sign any building contract, you need to ask your builder about their standard inclusions as well as these items:
BASIX: The Building Sustainability Index accesses the energy efficiency of the home and is a requirement of NSW Councils. Make sure the correct water tank and the correct water saving taps are included.
BUSHFIRE: Most blocks of land have a Bushfire Rating (a BAL rating), if the home does not have the correct BAL requirements, for example gutter guards, then the home will not be approved by the council.
CORRECT SLAB: All soil has a specific type and classification, and the slab thickness depends on this classification. Has the correct slab type been included?
ROCK: has rock removal been included in the price? This not only applies to when the builder is excavating but when the plumber is digging for the pipes.
WATER/SEWER CONNECTION: Is there enough allowance for the water/sewer to be connected to your home? Have they allowed enough linear metres?
SOIL and SPOIL REMOVAL: If the builder has to dig out the block for the foundations, where does the extra dirt go? Is this included if he needs to take it away to the tip?
TREE REMOVAL: Often a block needs a good tidy up before building can commence. Is the removal of trees and site clearing of overgrown grass and shrubs included? Are you expected to have the block completely cleared?
EASEMENTS: Check if there are any sewer or water easements on your block. This can affect how your house is positioned. If the house needs to be moved, will it affect the cost?
ALFRESCO: This area is a must nowadays, but check if the roof and flooring are included in the price.
LANDSCAPING: Although most people feel they can do this themselves, some estates require landscaping to be completed within three months of moving in. Does your builder provide turf and fencing?
All these items if not included can cost up to $50,000 extra, and most of the time people do not find this out till they are half way through building, or at their colour selection appointment.
Have a fixed priced turn-key builder, not a builder who says fixed priced with a huge asterix next to the price.
So when you are visiting that display home that is your dream home and you ask for a quote, make sure you ask to include these essential items so you won’t receive any nasty surprises.