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    Apartments - feasibility, where do I begin

    Hi MTR, Depending on the location (zoning, amenity, facilities,etc), marketability and budgets/feasibility, and the site dimensions, you might consider basement carparking. Placing carparking facilities below ground will add additional apartments on the ground. Also having carparking away...
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    Pros & Cons of a corner block

    A corner site, depending on the site orientation and setbacks/heights of neighbouring properties, will get less or no over-shadowing. Greater (northern) solar access = improved spatial quality
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    backwards sloping block

    The degree of the fall of the land would also dictate the design possibilities. I've done a townhouse project on a rear-sloping site with height controls, high water-table, etc. The site fell a bit more than a full storey from front to rear. This provided an opportunity to design two rows...
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    Guide to Preparing a Building Budget

    Hi everyone, To complement the other checklists here on SS, just thought I'd start a thread on "preparing a building design budget" for your development project - be it an extension or multi-unit development. ----- Introduction By no means exhaustive, this write-up will hopefully assist...
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    Developing 101

    Correct. Engaging an architect or designer who knows the ins and outs of the locality is one way to go about it, particularly if you are new to developing and planning. There are also development planners and project managers who can also assist you here. I've worked with a couple of planners...
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    Texture Finish Render

    Regarding splashbacks and render, here's my two-cents worth:- 1. Splashback Probably best illustrated by a recent project example. Investor-type units were offered with two colour/finish options for the kitchens, and one of the options included the more expensive glass splashbacks, and the...
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    My duplex develpment begins. (assuming no issues in cooling off!)

    Some buyers appreciate the "solid" look of facebrick and will affect their decision-making process. But if you're intending to render to get that "sharp" look, your project would be reaching out to a different market. We've specified concrete blockwork before on projects like yours, to...
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    First Development - 8 Units in St Kilda East

    I think you've got a great site and definitely heading in the right direction. If I were to be really critical ;) ,the multitude of internal corners and bends within some of the apartments does nothing to improve the sense of openness and attractiveness of the units. Also, there seems to be...
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    Easement - Developers advice needed

    You really must contact council to find out what is in the easement and who it belongs to. The Title deed could be a source of information. Refer to attached document which details what could be built over an easement in different scenarios in Melbourne. We have had experiences in projects...
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    Sell with permits or subdivide and sell or build and sell ?

    A recent project we worked on in nearby Truganina on a 600sqm site yielded two compact 2-storey townhouses behind an existing single-storey dwelling. Because the building had to "work harder" to achieve the two additional dwellings, the build costs averaged out at $1400/sqm. The land price...
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    house/units conversion

    An architect or building designer familiar with the planning and building approval issues involved would be my suggestion. They would be able to assist you with getting both the planning and building permits from the council and/or private building surveyor.
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    house/units conversion

    sounds like a minefield there. Change of building class from one to two requires a bldg permit, either from council or a private Bldg surveyor. This triggers a whole host of potential issues (planning and building approval issues) as you have pointed out - fire-ratings (walls, doors)...
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    two townhouse development

    As others have mentioned, why Porter Davis for a project like this? Without sounding too biased, an architect(custom)-design would aim to optimise your site (orientation, features, size, views, etc.) I would assume your architect would have done this on their plans. Feasos are a must.. I...
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    French provincial townhouses

    Does it cost more? Depends on what you are comparing it to. If you are comparing this style to your stock-standard townhouse, then generally yes due to having more decorative, ornamental elements (specific-styled windows, extensive mouldings, masonry-like cladding etc) and if true to its...
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    Melbourne Market - 10-15 km

    Enquiry levels for new apartment/unit developments in the middle ring has increased since March this year, and permits that clients have been sitting on for 1 year or so are calling to 'get a move on' building approval docs. Areas I speak of include Maribyrnong, Maidstone, Preston, Coburg Nth...
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    DA, Zoning, Council Question for architects? VIC

    It usually goes a long way to help the process if you were to go to council armed with quick feasibility sketch with planning parameters in mind. To do this, get an architect/planner who's tuned-in to that area - shouldn't cost too much. Council might have local planning guides for the area...
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    Developing 101

    spot on, MTR. Two similar developments I worked on a couple of years back (3-storey apartment bldg) in two demographically and economically different suburbs yielded two very different outcomes. One is well on its way through construction after a permit was granted after 4mths, whilst the...
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    Caroline Springs VIC

    Another suburb to consider if you'd like new/newish homes would be Point Cook and Williams Landing - just a bit further from Altona. Plenty of open space with lots of shops and amenities. Having said that, Maidstone and Maribyrnong wouldn't be too bad either with some nice "community"...
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    Maroondah subdivision diary

    Depending on the area, you could run into issues with streetscape neighbourhood character aka dominance of garages. If so, you'd probably require a planning permit. Maroondah council are notorious, amongst others. If it's Res 1 zone, you'd need minimum 25sqm secluded private open space per...
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    Next steps to build a unit at the rear/sub-divide

    Regarding Step 2, it's always useful to speak to the original designer of the development to gain an understanding of their fees, services and you might obtain some useful information from them as they should have a fairly intimate knowledge of the site. They should have obtained a site feature...