View Full Version : intended renovation 50's weatherboard Brisbane - advice please
10th Dec 2010, 03:12 PM
Hi All, new to the forum but really appreciate the good work all of your members put in to help a renovation come together.
My partner and I are in the process of gathering information on the above to make our house a little more livable including kitchen, bath renovations as well as adding a small deck and remodelling some internal walls in our house. ( 21/2 bedroom weatherboard/ asbestos on sloping block Annerley area)
Have just engaged a drafting company to draw up the things that we would like done and all is good my questions are as follows.
We have builders as friends that recommend ( to save some money) using thier suppliers for purchasing materials and managing subcontractors to to the required work. They are unwilling/ unable to undertake the renos themselves. Having little to no idea on the process or stages of what happens looking for advice on whether this is possible? If it is fraught with difficulty, is the cost benefit of this option worthwhile given our lack of renovating experience or is it better to bite the bullet and get quotes directly from a builder to start/ finish?
the only other concern is that our bank would like to control the payment of invoices / contracts and again not sure if this is a safe path for us to negotiate.
Any/ all recommendations would be greatly received.
10th Dec 2010, 04:41 PM
Your builder friend's obviously respect your friendship - their suggestion is very good.
You'll need to enquire about Qld's owner builder requirements & legislation. I suggest you google for that or have a squiz at the Archicentre website for a few links.
I suspect that engaging a building consultant to get you through the council planning process would be handy. Perhaps your mates can recommend one?
Consider the costs of what you are doing too.....a new kitchen and bathroom (even a basic one) will soak up thirty grand no problems especially if there are structural issues to solve. Add on top of that demolition & rubbish disposal costs, temporary bathroom hire etc. etc. etc.
If you've never done it before than I suggest getting an 'expert' to plan your project on your behalf....get said person to prepare a project plan that you can deliver, manage and adapt at your own pace (physical & financial). You can use that plan to also put your bank manager at ease - it'll suggest to them that you have their money under tight control.
Basically, spend a bit of money on people this time. It make next time much cheaper!!
10th Dec 2010, 05:28 PM
Couldn't agree more about getting someone experienced to do the project planning for you. If you can also get them to do the quantity calculations it will save you a bomb in excess/wrong/insufficient materials.
11th Dec 2010, 09:58 AM
Thanks SilentbutDeadly and Black Cat really appreciate your replies. SBD, Im guessing these forays often turn south I appreciate that friendships could soon turn sour over a wayward project. :)
Will get reading on the Owner Builder resources ASAP. One question I have in the meantime. OK so we employ a specialist planner to time and task manage the renovation preferably including details on quantities of materials etc - do we then engage separate subcontractors getting quotes for each component i.e structural work (carpenter?), internal walls (plasterer), electrician and plumbers etc?? Is this how it would normally work?
Can a drafter supply quantity information or is this another area of specialty, ie quantity surveyor??
Many thanks again, appreciate your advice.
12th Dec 2010, 08:28 AM
Things can definitely go south if you rely on friendship to get things going. My electrician is a case in point but i won't bore you with the details.
The project planner should set out the steps required to get things done and the order in which they should be done (so you don't plaster your walls before running your wires etc). A quantity surveyor can calculate quantities, or your builder/plasterer/painter etc can do it for their own job. Or you can contract them to supply materials as part of their cost (in which case the responsibility rests with them to have the right stuff there on time, but they sometimes don't). My draftsman made a bit of a go at calculating supplies and costs, but was way out.
If the advice they give you sounds wrong, check here for confirmation.
You need to book trades well in advance, I generally give them a range of time, then phone closer to the time to confirm an actual start date. That can lead to problems as they may have taken on more work in the interim, forgetting previous verbal arrangements, but it also provides flexibility if things are behind schedule due to external problems like rain, lack of materials etc.
You need to ensure that there is access to the site and a designated spot for deliveries - no point standing around wondering where all that timber will be stored once it arrives. And you need to make provision for protecting the materials from the weather (you can buy black plastic in 3 metre widths and use old lumber to hold it down even in galeforce winds, I have discovered).
You need to learn patience and perserverence. It can be a long haul if you are doing a lot of work.
12th Dec 2010, 08:30 AM
And you need to be flexible. If one tradie makes an irreversible mistake (like my first plumber did) then you may have to do redesigns on the run, in consultation with the remaining trades so that you get a good, cost-effective result. As it turns out, mine works better now than it would have on the original design, but that was more good luck than good management...
13th Dec 2010, 09:17 AM
13th Dec 2010, 06:38 PM
Ok, here is where it gets tricky. The owner builder process is very rewarding IF you can make it work. By this I mean effectively been the builder, been there every day, all day to supervise trades. You must know what is acceptable and what is not. A lot of tradies prey on ignorant owner builders knowing full well that there is absolutely no insurance and no support from the BSA.. Sure you may be using licenced trades to get the work done but if they do bad work you have no action other than to sue them for damages. There is a way around it but it runs a very fine line with the BSA's rules. You can hire licenced trades which will do the work that is within their scope, they ( trades) pay the BSA insurance ( so you are covered) but you can have nothing to do with the job at all - no supervision, no instructing - nothing. Its all comes down to how you read the legislation. A lot of people just want to hire the tradies directly, get the BSA insurance and save the 30 % builders' mark up ( which I reckon is totally fine), the BSA however is driven by insurance premiums and easy resolutions to disputes. So, they ( BSA) like bigger jobs to be under the control of a builder, who pays one insurance premium for the whole job. That way if there is a issue, the BSA direct the builder to fix it and the client ( you) has no involvement. As opposed to multiple trades paying separate BSA insurance for their own work and then you having to chase that individual for rectification work. You will get support from the BSA but they will spit the dummy a bit when they find out what you are doing. So the bottom line is,
1 get an owner builder permit - pros- total control over the job, satisfaction if it all works out, pick and choose your tradies.
Cons - No BSA insurance, no BSA support at all, getting ripped by dodgy trades, minefield for the non handy people, banks more reluctant to lend to the OB
2 get a builder to do the whole job - ask your friends for personal recommendations, full BSA insurance and support
Cons - cost, expect to pay at least 30 % mark up over the tradies bill. If a builder hires a chippy for $ 40 / hr, you will be charged at least $ 80 / hour. as opposed to you hiring the chippy direct for $ 55 / hour
Still no guarantee of a quality job
3 - hire your own trades, get them all to pay BSA insurance if applicable and hope that they can all work together. Pros - works out cheaper if you get good tradies, BSA insurance and support, save on builders mark up
Cons - running a fine line with the BSA rules - you would have to prove that you are not supervising or instructing ( if the BSA investigated you ).
If you did the renno in stages it is much easier to deal with. eg , get plans drawn up for the deck, hire a chippy and do it. Get plans drawn for the bathroom, hire a bathroom builder and do it etc..... if you do it all in one hit the certifier is going to ask questions about licences and insurance. Basically the whole deal comes back the BSA not wanting the end user ( you ) to have to deal with chasing trades to rectify work. They see this as a builders job. I have argued this point with BSA on several occasions and they all run for cover because they dont know their own laws and legislation. According to the BSA you are not allowed to call a plumber and sparky if you want to replace a light fitting and a tap in your bathroom - because this is coordinating trades. This is how ridiculous they are.
13th Dec 2010, 07:46 PM
the only other concern is that our bank would like to control the payment of invoices / contracts and again not sure if this is a safe path for us to Heathenaka
Sorry if you're trying to do owner builder you will find it impossible to get finance to do such, unless you're redrawing or refinancing (just don't tell them) otherwise they will require a registered builder on a fixed price contract and will only release payments in stages.
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