Posts Tagged ‘melbourne builders’

Why use a Tendering Process?

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Drafting Happiness.

Developing the project with one Architectural services team then bringing on another to oversee the Melbourne builders works is a little like raising a child to six years of age and then handing him/her over to someone else to raise them thru school and beyond. Continued support throughout the lifecycle of the project will always yield better results and that is where contract administration by the design team with suitable construction experience is fundamental to the outcome of your project.

Contract administration is often seen as an aspect of the melbourne builders cycle that can be fudged by someone with some or little general building management skills. In actual fact nothing can be further from the truth. It’s folly to underestimate the importance and complexity of the contract administration process when trying to ensure the building is constructed the way the draftsperon and client intended it.

All this whilst also managing all the myriad of situations which arise during construction that needs significant design-intent and construction detailing experience to resolve.

your draftsperson is  familiarity with all the construction details, the intricate features and finished expectations of your building that allows us to provide valuable assistance which in-turn streamlines the contractor’s workflow and mitigates construction risk.

Fast Track provides various levels of contract administration services. These can include some or all of the following:
  • tendering the project to Melbourne builders
  • liaising with contractors to ensure accurate tender responses
  • delivery strategy selection and project programming
  • cash flow planning and elemental programming
  • regular or programmed team meetings
  • monitoring and reporting
We welcome you to come and discuss these processes with us and how they will benefit you on your next project.

Building In A Bushfire Prone Area

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Are you building in a bushfire prone area?

Building in a bushfire area requires careful town planning, siting and design. Buildings
must be designed and constructed to minimise the risk of ignition from a bushfire.
Following the recent bushfires in Victoria there are new regulations which involves
the site to have an assessment done which is called a BAL which is a Building Attack
Level which will assess the buildings in terms of construction requirements. The
BAL is used as part of the Building Permit application.
The BAL must be assessed by a Qualified Building Practioner which Fast Track Plans
& Permits Pty Ltd is and is another part of our service. The BAL includes a site plan
and other information such as a report to identify vegetation, slope direction of the
site, access and access to water supplies.
It is our responsibility as the designer to incorporate the appropriate construction
requirements in the house design and work with our Melbourne Building Surveyor to ensure you
obtain your Building Permit.
We charge a flat fee of $300 for a BAL and can have it completed in one day to
ensure you can obtain your building permit.
Call our building design department today to get assistance with your.

Asbestos Removal

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Asbestos was used in firmly-bound and loosely-bound building materials throughout homes built before the late
1980s. The most common asbestos is in firmly-bound, which was used in:
• Asbestos-cement sheeting;
• Fibro water or flue pipes;
• Roof shingles;
• Flexible building boards;

• Imitation cladding;
• Plaster patching compounds;
• Textured paint;
• Vinyl floor tiles; and
• The backing of linoleum floor coverings. The loosely-bound form was generally used in older types of insulation for:
• Hot water pipes;
• Domestic heaters and stoves; and
• Ceiling insulation (more often used in commercial building permit) Loosely-bound asbestos poses a higher health risk than firmly-bound material. In most instances fibre glass has replaced asbestos in modern day insulation products

What should i do if i find asbestos?

Generally, if your home was built by a Melbourne builder before the 1980s then it is likely that asbestos will be in some of the materials used. This doesn’t mean you are necessarily at risk because if asbestos building materials are in good condition they are unlikely to release fibres.

Can i remove asbestos?

You or your Melbourne builder may legally remove asbestos from your property, but it should be done with extreme care and precautions. The removal, packaging, transport and disposal of asbestos are all times when you are at the highest health risk from fibres and dust, if the material isn’t handled correctly. Only a licensed professional or Melbourne Builder should remove loosely-bound asbestos, as the health risks are significant and much greater than firmly-bound asbestos.

Building A Home- Tips For Attaining A Cooler Home Enviroment

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

The design of your house is a very important matter when building in Melbourne. By using the right building plans, you can save a considerable amount of money. It is possible to build an effective home by using the right design and construction process. If you are thinking of applying for building permits to execute a specific Melbourne building plan, then you should take time to evaluate the suitability of options available.

The choice of plans has direct influence on whether or not your home will become cool and hospitable especially in summer. You might think of installing air-conditioners, but the most effective way to regulate house temperatures is to design the interior to enhance coolness.

The secret to a comfortable living home 

Each year, thousands of homes are built in Australia, sadly, most of them can be labelled “hot boxes”, because drafts person and home builders used ineffective building plans. Most builders ignore the solar aspect and the orientation of the home. To help you maximize on the design of the homes and businesses and avoid hot homes, we suggest that you do the following.

1. Select a South Facing Land Orientation - This allows the outdoor living area to face North East, thus making it ideal for outdoor living and outdoor activities.

2. Choose Home Design for land Block - Majority of home plans typically vouch for North orientation, However, you can choose the East, West or even South orientation.

3. Minimize Heat Transfer - you can achieve this by eliminating ordinary windows and using high under eave windows, double glazing, or cool glazing in permanent windows.

4. Construct High Pitched Roofs - These are effective in reflecting heat away and holding more volume of air which has an insulating effect. Besides that, it will also maximize the harvesting of rain water.

5. Reduce Size of Roofing Facing West -  A West facing block can lower temperatures and make the home cooler. With a narrow roof side facing the West, more heat will be deflected away.

6. Insulate the Garage Area-  Do this if you have a West facing block, you should also use eaves and insulate the est facing garage door.

7. Insulate West Facing Walls and Ceiling Space - Other than the summer heat, you should also take note of the cold Westerlies in spring. Use thermal wrap foil and invest in Batts too. Also, given that the roof is the largest area facing the sun, heat radiates on this space. Insulating it will prevent the transfer of heat to living areas.

Pre-design Meetings Offer

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Since the introduction of our pre-design meetings, we have had an amazing response from people and the feedback has been very positive. We are offering new customers from melbourne $100 off our normal design meeting price until the end on this month. That means you get a complete design briefing for $250 instead of the standard $350.

When you order a design meeting, the most senior of the design team, the Director, comes to site and discusses your design with you, your design needs and outcomes, the general costs of construction, ways of budget reduction, the issues and timelines of your project, realistic budgeting and innovative design ideas.

The design meeting usually takes on average 1-2 hours, and goes over all the issues and making the process clear and concise on what documentation you need for your project, and a step by step process for you to follow if you decide to move ahead with the design once you have assessed all the information.

We can also discuss the differences between using a architect in Melbourne and a Melbourne Draftsperson, we can also highlight the some of the pitfalls in the building trade and inform you of how to avoid these.

If you have been thinking of getting a quote for a design, wanting to know if your design will actually work, or can afford the design you want, call us and take us up on the special offer now.

Call the design team on (03) 9770 5858 or call me on 0404 906 803.

Record high building permits in July 2010

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Knockdown and rebuild

Monday, June 28th, 2010

So you’ve decided that your current home no longer suits your needs but you love the area you live in and don’t want to move away.

This leaves you with two options: you can knockdown-rebuild or you can extend. Your choice will naturally be determined by your particular circumstances. In this guide we examine initial considerations, the financial traps and benefits of each method, council approval and the specific issues involved in a demolishing a house.

When you’re deciding whether to knockdown/rebuild or extend, a set of essential issues must be addressed. Ask yourself the following crucial questions:

Is your existing home in a condition that is suitable for renovating?
Do you like the design of your existing home?
If you renovate, can you find materials to match your existing home?
If you renovate, will you need to upgrade your home?

Depending on the ratio of renovation to new building, local building administrations may require that your home is upgraded to comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) – which can cost your a fortune.

Compare the size of your existing home to the size of any planned extension. If you’re planning a 300sqm addition to a 50sqm home it’ll probably be cheaper to knock the existing structure down and build new. On the other hand, a 25sqm extension to a 250sqm home is most likely financially feasible. But other factors may add to your costs.

Do you have somewhere to live while the building work is being carried out?
Are you planning on engaging the services of a builder? No matter whether you are renovating or building, this will usually speed up the work.
Do you intend to carry out the entire project in one building operation or are there advantages in completing the work in stages?

It’s usually more expensive per square meter to extend or renovate than to build a new home. This is due to a number of issues:

Joining the addition to the existing structure takes a lot of time and is quite expensive. You may need purpose-made materials to match the appearance of your current home. These can be expensive.

Access to the building area is usually restricted by established gardens or existing buildings. This means that equipment and materials may need to be brought around sound entrances manually. Equipment may even need to be winched into your backyard – an extremely expensive operation.

If you are required to upgrade your existing home to comply with building regulations, you will face considerable expense (that is, if you are able to complete the project at all).

Additions and renovations usually take longer to build, so temporary accommodation and the holding costs of finance may be an issue
Many building components in existing homes (such as water pipes, electrical cables, insulation and structure) are hidden in areas which are not accessible. This means that it’s not always possible to clearly determine the amount of work necessary to achieve compliance or a satisfactory end product.

If you can’t clearly determine the scope of works, it’s often not possible to clearly identify the associated cost of the work. This can lead to issues with lending authorities, valuations for progress payments and budget overruns. So when you’re budgeting to extend your home include a contingency sum for unforeseen work.

This doesn’t mean that a knockdown/rebuild is always more financially feasible than an extension. It’s all in the ratios – the more work that needs to be done, the more likely it will be that you’ll save money on a knockdown/rebuild.

There are also costs associated with knockdown-rebuild that you won’t face with a renovation. These include:

Demolition of existing house (typically $10,000-$15,000);
Connection and reconnection of services;
Temporary accommodation costs.

Approval by council

Obtaining building approval from local councils can be complex and time-consuming, even for an experienced melbourne builder .So if you have no experience at all, the process can be a nightmare.

A properly licensed builder melbourne will have the expertise and necessary recourses to obtain council approval as painlessly as possible

Don’t be convinced by unscrupulous operators who suggest that you go ahead with any work, including demolition, before obtaining formal development approval by your local council. You also need compliance approval by a certifying authority before commencing work.

Carrying out unapproved building work is illegal. It will also make your home more difficult to sell and significantly reduce its market value.


In most states demolition can only be carried out by a licensed demolisher. It is likely that your licensed builder can also carry out this work.

The method by which the demolition will be carried out depends upon many issues, including:

Whether the demolition is total or partial.
Whether your home is close to other buildings.
Whether the demolition is internal or external.
You will be required to engage a specialist if you are demolishing a home that contains asbestos.

And don’t forget that homes are a bit like icebergs – a lot of the structure is in the ground. If your concrete footings are large it may be cost-effective to leave them in place. This decision will need to be made on site. It is recommended that you engage a practicing engineer to inspect and report on possible issues. Drainage can usually be removed.

The removal of the in-ground services and the footings of an existing home will significantly disturb existing ground. This action can severely decrease the load-bearing capacity of the ground and should be inspected by a certified practicing engineer.

Removing services and footings also leaves big holes in the ground. These have to be filled with compacted soils, rock or concrete, which is time consuming, expensive and should not be overlooked in the budget process.

Most state building administrations are sensitive toward environmental issues and regulate the disposal of waste. Disposing of waste is expensive, so consider recycling of some of the demolished materials and saving a few dollars.

You may be able to sell some of the materials while they are still in place, on the basis that the purchaser removes them. If you choose this option talk to your insurance company regarding associated occupational health and safety and other insurance issues