Posts made in May, 2015

Questions To Ask A New Home Builder

If you’re about to enter the real estate market as a buyer, and you’re interested in contracting with a new home builder, there are some important things you need to clarify before choosing the company that will construct your new house. So to help you gain all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision, here are the questions you should ask of any prospective new home builder that you interview.

Do You Offer Soil Tests and Site Level Analysis? — A soil test is simply a test of the composition and quality of the soil on the property where you wish to build your new home. Many new buyers don’t know to ask for this test, but it is important, because it determines the ability of your future home to feature a nice, rich-looking lawn with shrubs, hedges and a nice garden. In addition, soil tests can predict the likelihood of future flooding, which could affect your ability to build a basement. A site level analysis measures the slope class of your property and includes slope classes such as ‘level,’ ‘gently sloping’ and ‘steep.’ Site levels are important in determining water runoff, which in turn affects how much moisture will seep into your foundation over a period of time.

Do You Offer a Flexible Design Plan? — Some new home builders don’t allow you to change your design plan once you’ve signed off on the blueprints, while others offer a flexible design plan that lets you make changes even as the home is being built. Find out what type of options a prospective new home builder will offer you, because choosing one that locks you into the design plan can affect how you perceive your home once it’s built. Remember that flexible design plans may charge you a fee for making changes after you’ve agreed to the design plan.

What Is Your Inclusion List? — An inclusion list is simply a list provided by new home builders that details all the design items that come standard with a newly-built home. These inclusions are standard no matter what design plan you select, but the trick is that inclusions differ depending on which builder you choose. For example, some new home builders include kitchen appliances, natural stone benchtops and vanity units in bathrooms as standard inclusions, while others may only offer a standard kitchen without appliances, and bathrooms bereft of vanities and towel rails. By comparing inclusion lists, you’ll get a very good idea what additional costs you have to pay, which can help you narrow your choices. For more information, contact a business such as Brett Ward Homes.

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Why it’s Important to Verify Your Builder’s Insurance Coverage

On average, a home is one of the most expensive items you are going to own in life. If you’re building your home from the ground up, you are not only going to spend money, you will also dedicate your time and ideas into the project. All these factors bring about the dire need to safeguard your home’s construction process so that everything turns out as it should.

One of the ways you can do that is by ensuring you only work with an insured home builder. Read on to see how doing so can protect your investment.

Ensure your build goes on no matter what

When most prospective homeowners think about the risks involved in the building process, they seldom think about the builder in particular. Your builder may fall ill during the process. Alternatively, your home builder may get injured while working such that he/she is rendered unable to proceed.

All these are unseen risks that could delay, if not cut short, your building project. However, if your home builder is insured, the insurance company will step in to ensure your contract gets fulfilled. They will provide another builder to complete your house.

Ensure your home is built to quality standards

Another risk that every homeowner gets into when having a house built does not know what the end product will be. Considering you have invested a lot of money in the project, the last thing you want is unpleasant results. If the end product is not up to the mark as agreed, you can always seek legal action against the builder. If they’re insured, the insurer will have to compensate for any further work that is needed.

Ensure you’re not liable for any work-related damage

Sometimes, things may not go wrong on the house, but around it. Surrounding structures such as fixtures, cars or driveways may get damaged due to heavy equipment or accidental events. To a point this is just a professional hazard in a construction environment. However, should any such thing happen, you may find yourself in a dispute.  As long as your home builder is insured, any damaged caused by them will be compensated by the insurer. This protects you from such liability and saves you money.

The higher your home builder’s insurance coverage is, the more risks they can hedge from you. Often, though, the fact that a builder is insured means the insurer has vetted them and has full faith in their track record and professionalism. This is why checking that your home builder is insured is just as important as checking their work quality. Start comparing your options by consulting builders like Southern Additions Pty Ltd.

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3 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Crane

If you’re in the construction business, you will likely need to hire a crane to complete one of your projects. And if that time is at hand, and you’re about to call up crane companies to get the best deal, here are some of the important things you should consider before you pick up the phone or go and visit a crane hire company.


When you’re renting a crane, you need to consider the job dimensions and space limitations that are present at your work site, because you may need different types of rigging with the crane. For example if you need to get more than one worker up to a certain height, you will need a transport basket that is rigged for multiple occupants.

You may also need to rent a crane that is rigged to carry and move supplies, such as a pallet fork that makes pick up and stacking more efficient. Other rigging you may need include lift tower systems and elevated runways (for power plant work).


When you rent a crane, you will need a specialised operator’s license to work the equipment, so you need to ask the crane hire company if they will obtain that license on your behalf, and include it in the price of the rental, or whether you will have to get the license yourself. Either way, you can’t rent a crane without showing that you or one of your workers has this license, so this is a very important thing to keep in mind as you go crane rental hunting.

Crane Sizing

Make sure that you size up the dimensions of the crane you want to rent as specifically as possible. Typically, the most efficient way for you to determine the size crane you need to rent is to factor in the size and weight of the equipment and materials that you are going to move, the height of all buildings that you will be working on, and the distance between where you are going to place the crane, and the buildings where on which you are doing the job.

All of these will help you properly size your crane, especially the distance between the crane’s placement and the job site, because you may need additional rigging in order to properly access the work site, if space limitations prevent you from placing the crane in close proximity to your work area.

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Reminders for Any Renovation

If you've decided to undertake a project around your house, there are a few things to remember. First, make sure to have a good idea of the cost going in. Talk to local specialists for estimates or do research on the cost of supplies and labor. Second, always make sure to take necessary safety precautions. While a landscape project may seem like a lower-risk task than a rewiring job, it never hurts to be too careful. Finally, don't bite off more than you can chew. Plan out your renovation and repair projects in detail and then tackle one thing at a time. If you ever feel out of your element, hand the job over to a contractor. They'll know how to get the job done efficiently, safely, and correctly.


May 2015
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