Building a modern home is no longer an exercise of using bricks and mortar to raise four walls with a roof above. A residential home needs seamless integration of design, construction and understanding of civic approval norms, and more.
Based on our experience of designing and building residential homes, here is our advice to these two and countless others like them on how to go about choosing the right home builder. Here’s a list of critical aspects that help choose developers to design and build your dream home to fit your family needs.
Integrated design and construction
Building a modern home is no longer an exercise of using bricks and mortar to raise four walls with a roof above. A residential home needs seamless integration of design, construction and understanding of civic approval norms, sticking to those and yet building a spacious home.
Look for a builder with a team that demonstrates a good understanding of how to use space, light and ventilation effectively. Equally important is to look for someone who is familiar with new construction materials and practices. Look for someone who spells out the cost and delivery schedules and has a process to meet these two critical parameters. Read more..
The safety of a home is a function of the structural design, quality and quantity of critical materials like cement and steel. Check with the builder as to how much steel and cement will be consumed per square foot of built up space.
Structure and facilities
Basic architectural design is the most critical element in a modern home. However, the local contractors will typically lay more emphasis on the interiors, sometimes to cover up defects caused by poor quality and lower grade raw materials.
Developer track record
Before you enter into an agreement with a builder do a due diligence of the builder’s capability. Look for his track record and references because you are going to him to relieve your worries, and not to add to them.
Surveyor’s top tips on how to be a smarter buyer
One of Yorkshire’s top surveyors shares his tips, trade secrets and opinions in a book for buyers. Sharon Dale reports.
So it’s no surprise that the former joiner and building site manager who is now a chartered surveyor and chartered building engineer has added “author” to his CV with his newly-published book “How to be a Smarter House Buyer”.
Although it is packed full of tips, it is not your usual buyers manual thanks to a rigorous examination of the housing market, which Jon believes is broken. “This is mainly due to the activities of the corporate world. Big business and national government have both contributed to a market that is overly complex, insufficiently regulated and that fails to work on a local level,” he says.
One of the biggest issues for buyers, he believes, is the quality of building surveys: “Some surveyors are working for other interested parties, such as the bank or building society, and others are not adequately qualified or sufficiently knowledgeable about the area in which they are buying. The one piece of advice I return to again and again is to hire a local, independent surveyor.” Read more…
He is also wary of builders and devotes a whole chapter to “Defects and defective builders”, which leads neatly to the reasons why he is in favour of more “flat-pack” factory-built homes built from modern materials.
“In this country we don’t regulate builders and, as a result, it is rife with unqualified and inexperienced builders,” says Jon, who is campaigning to persuade the government to licence the trade.
Defects that could lead to roof frame failures
A variety of unseen defects in wood framing can lead to durability issues years after construction is completed. Various defects are present depending on the grade and method of cutting: plain sawn, quarter sawn and rift sawn. Plain sawn (also known as flat sawn) is the type of cut most commonly found in lumber and the least expensive way to turn logs into lumber.
A thorough building inspection must involve accessing the roof void of a house, whether it be for a 100 year old property or a newly constructed dwelling. Too often Melbourne House Check encounter issues which greatly affect whether a purchaser may decide to withdraw from a contract of sale, or enforce the builder of a new home to complete rectification works prior to handover of new property.
Some of the more common issues that we find in houses regularly when accessing the roof void include:
In addition to these common issues, we sometimes come across major structural defects which require urgent rectification by a builder and/or carpenter where a roof may have sagged or deflected due to any number of reasons including: inadequate propping; size of hanging beams are inadequate; span of collar ties are too great; or the support struts have been incorrectly fitted – just to name a few. Termite attack is also another major cause of structural failure in roof spaces which is why we recommend that a pest inspection is also completed whenever a building inspection is carried out by Melbourne house Check.
Recently Melbourne House Check carried out a New Home Handover Inspection at a property in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. The client had just had their dream home completed by one of Melbourne’s largest volume builders, however what we found in the roof space was alarming. When the heating unit had been installed in the roof space, five trusses in a row had been altered by removing the web (diagonal member of a truss) in order to fit the heating unit in the roof cavity. No additional bracing had been installed to strengthen the affected trusses, nor advice provided by an engineer or the truss manufacturer prior to Melbourne House Check identifying this issue. Over time, this defect would be very likely to cause deflection in the roof and indirectly cause a range of other structural problems with the property. It was fortunate that we were able to identify this issue for the client ensuring that the builder completed all necessary rectification works prior to handover of the house.
It should never be taken for granted that just because a large well respected volume builder is completing the construction works, that everything will be ok. A final handover inspection for new houses or pre-purchase building inspection for existing dwellings should always be undertaken.
Melbourne House Check conduct new home handover inspections and building and pest inspections Melbourne wide. If you wish to speak with us about a house that you are considering, we can be contacted 7 days a week on 1300 729 352. Or alternatively, complete our on-line survey request form and we will contact you to arrange an inspection. Visit here: http://melbournehousecheck.com.au/roof-void-defects-houses/