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Frequently Asked Questions

New House

I am looking at building a new home. Where do I start?
The first thing we suggest you do once you have made the decision to build a new home is to book in an initial consultation with Scott Lawrence our master builder. Scott has over 20 years of experience in designing and building homes and can run through key considerations and questions with you such as what your budget is, what your block size is, what finishes you are after and what features you would like to include in your new home.
Scott and his team will then generate a design brief which once completed, a second consultation with Scott will be arranged so that you can run through the proposed brief together and confirm all the details.
Once the brief has been confirmed, the team at Lawrence Built will develop a concept design based on specifications that suit your budget. Once this concept design has been completed we can also provide an associatedcost estimate.
How will we know what Council are likely to approve or not approve in a Development Application
The team at Lawrence Built have extensive experience of working on development applications for both residential and commercial builds. We can guide you through the majority of considerations for these applications. You can also visit your local Council’s website to access this information. The information for Port Macquarie can be found at: pmhc.nsw.gov.au/Building-Planning.

What needs to happen before the actual building commences?
There are a number of key activities that will need to take place before anyone picks up a hammer! These include:

  1. Development of concept plans. These plans will include a scaled floor plan which details room location and sizes, construction material, window location & sizes as well as overall dimensions. It will also include a rendered drawing of the façade, elevation and site plan.
  2. Development of construction plans. Once the concept plans are completed they are passed on to a building designer to draft the construction plans. At this stage, certificates such as bushfire, basix, ABSA& environment effect are compiled and submitted to council.
  3. Engineering plans developed and approved. We can arrange for structural engineering plans to be completed by Beukers& Ritter Consulting Engineers. These plans are essential for council to review and for us to have to be able to provide you with a fixed quotation
  4. Council application. There are 2 types of building applications you can apply for of which Lawrence Built can manage both on your behalf:
      1. Complying Construction Application This method is rare, especially with larger homes on sloping sites.If the design is compliant with a large number of council requirements including heights, setbacks, windows etc. this method can be used with all relevant documentation to obtain building approval.
      2. Development Application This is the most common form of application and involves a process where the application is reviewed by council staff and then neighbouring properties are informed. Once this approval has been granted a construction certificate can be issued.
  5. Selection Detail. The team at Lawrence Built can assist in the colour selection for both interior and exterior areas of your home. They can also help you select materials and finished such as bricks, tiles, flooring, fittings and fixtures, lighting and kitchen colour schemes.
  6. Building Contract. Lawrence Built is a member of the Master Builder Association. We use an industry standard MBA contract which details work to be done, item allowances and schedule payments. This contract also addresses builders and client responsibilities.
  7. Construction. Once all of the above has been completed we are able to commence the construction of your new home.
How long will it take for my home to be built once the construction actually commences?
Construction time frames for a new home to be built are generally around 4-5 months.
How do you keep yourself up to date with the latest in building supplies and techniques?
This is something we take very seriously at Lawrence Built as some new techniques and supplies can achieve great efficiencies and cost savings which can then be passed on to the client. We keep ourselves up to date by maintaining strong relationships and open lines of communication with our key suppliers. They will often inform us of materials that have come onto the market and what these materials are most suited for.

We also attend industry trade shows where we can keep on top of industry trends and be inspired what others are doing within the industry.

As a Master Builder we are committed to the Master Builder Professional Development scheme which requires us to undertake at least 10 hours (or 10 points) of professional development activities each year.

Renovations

How do I know what the structural capability of my existing building will allow?
Lawrence Built has been a trusted player in both home and commercial renovations in the Hastings for nearly 40 years. Upon your initial consultation Scott will be able to provide you with a rough indication of what will be possible to achieve with your existing structure. This is a chance to run through your initial ideas with Scott and have him talk you through the various implications and possible costings involved.
What can I do to ensure my renovations add value to the property and that I don’t over-capitilise?
Renovations are generally embarked upon to make your property more attractive, comfortable and valuable. However when the cost of your renovation outweighs how much value it will add to your property you may find you expose yourself financially. One of the best ways to ascertain what the average property value is in your area is to havequick flick through the Property Guide or chat to your local Real Estate Agent or Property Valuer. If you are renovating for lifestyle reasons and don’t plan to sell quickly, it may not be such an issue.
Can you provide us with the estimate on the cost of the renovation before providing a more comprehensive and detailed quote?
As part of your initial consultation with us, we will always ask you what budget you are working towards. Over the years we have found that one of the most important things to our clients has been sticking to their budget and avoiding the renovation blowouts that seem to be all too common. If we can gain an understanding of what budget you are working to, we can then recommended building materials etc. to suit this budget. We have strong relationships with all of our suppliers and are able to pass on good cost savings to our clients by securing materials via these suppliers.

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