The key to a smooth removal process is having all your ducks in a row. Such an easy thing to say as sometimes the process can be daunting.
There are several things you can do to make things run smoothly.
1. Research – I’ve covered this in another blog post about homework but I cannot reiterate enough the importance of research. By researching the process, you will be prepared for what comes next and when. There are several things that are very important to research at the beginning that will pay dividends down the track.
a. Research your land – does it have easements? What is the building envelope? What are the required setbacks from the boundary (ie will the big house fit??) Where do the breezes come from? (important after a long day at work and you just want to sit and relax in the cool with a drink) Which direction does the land face? (do you want western facing bedrooms??) Is it in a high bushfire area? Do you have access to town water and sewerage?
b. Research your local council requirements – does your council have a Bond to deliver a house? Some councils charge a refundable bond (amenities and aesthetics) so that you complete the build by a certain time. How much does your council charge for the Building Approval process?
c. Research house styles and layouts – This boils down to personal choices and everyone is different. I like a certain type of house, I love VJ internal walls and pressed metal ceilings, I also have 3 offspring so need plenty of space so in choosing a house I would look for size rather than ‘pretty’ stuff. A lot of the ‘pretty’ dress-up things (like pressed metal ceilings) are available new and aftermarket – and while this won’t suit the die-hard traditionalist, it can save you some time and money.. New pressed metal ceilings can be powder-coated, no need to ever paint the ceiling again!! and new fretwork can be cut to size and you don’t have to try sand old flaky paint out of the fiddly bits. Make yourself a Pinterest board and save all the things you like there, it will help keep you focused when you are mid-renovation!
2. Communicate and keep good records – I love a good paper trail, and it makes it so easy to flick back and confirm my research along the way. (I frequently have a ‘squirrel’ moment [check out the movie UP if you don’t know what I mean] and get distracted). Good communication can also save you time and keep everyone on the same page.
3. Follow Up – you don’t want your house project to stall or take longer than it should. It is very important that you follow up with requests from your Engineer or Draftsman and reply to them in a timely manner. This can save long delays in the simple process of getting the plans drawn up.
4. Know what you want – This can also save valuable time in the lead-up process. If you have done your research you will know that you need a soil test done for the site of the house, you will also need a contour survey and site plan for the block. If you know you want to take your removal home high-set you will need to think about what kind of layout you want in the downstairs area. This helps the Engineer/draftsman to work out the stump plan and footing design once you choose a house. Most Engineers/draftsman will only include the initial draw up and ONE change in their base price for your set of plans. The more you go back and forth with them the longer it takes and the more expensive it will be. Knowing what you want can save you time and money!