Building Two Double Storey Dwellings

I am building two new double storey dwellings with in Glen Eira council boundaries.

I would certainly need your help and advice as to whats the best approach would be as this is the first time for me....

I have engaged the drafts person who did my town planning application to prepare for the building permit. He will prepare my working drawings, liase with structural engineer to get required slab designs and will liase with energy rating people to get a 5 start rating.

The most important part for me to do while he is preparing the working drawings is to select a builder/s to get some initial quotes.

What all things you think I should consider while preparing to build???

Some of the builders I have spoken to has given me some high prices which when added to the current value of the property doesn't really give me much when sold completed.

Does that mean its good to sell even before building??
Does it make sense to put money into quality construction? I am asking this because every time I spoke to a builder he asked its for you or for selling and my reply was 'doesn't really matter, I want the same quality'???

What all items are selling factor??
hi mate

you should get the drawings from your draftsman and consult a quantity surveyor, they can narrow down the price range you should expect to pay, then when builders tender on the job, you know which is a fair and accurate tender price compared to what detail is put into drawings and specification (if one)

you can get a book called 'rawlinsons construction cost guide 2010' which architects and draftsman use to give a rough idea per m2 to what the project should cost.

i find, that to get exactly what you want from your builder, you need to have lots of detail in your drawings. most draftsmen dont draw internal elevations these days, i do, as i believe that is where you can show the quality and standard you are looking for. you nominate architraves, skirting, door types, fixture brand and type, door hardware, window frames etc.

other than that im probably not much help, maybe some experienced investors can help you further
Thank you Josh

Its really helpful. I will ask my draftsperson to include more details as you mentioned.

Also involving quantity surveyor is a good idea. I will search for a suitable person and put some details here around the cost.

Yesterday I spoke to the realestate agent, he was surprised when I told him how much I will be spending building this house. He simply said "Its not worth it." Does that mean building a quality construction for selling doesn't make sense if the land is not worth that much i.e. (60% land cost + 40% building cost = 100% selling cost). Your thoughts would be good to know.

But I am enjoying it for sure.
Hi CO,

Before you go much further, you really should see if there are properties similar to what you think you may end up building already for sale so you know what possible price you might be able to get.

Once you know potential sale price, then you can work out what quality of fitout / specifications you will build into the new townhouses. It would be pointless building for $300K each but only being able to sell them for $400K.

On the other hand if you do it as cheaply as possible to cater for a lower economic market i.e. build for $175K each and sell for $375K, then it looks better for you.

If you want to hang onto them and rent them out, then also don't get too carried away with putting in the best quality fit out.

Good luck. Although if you do your research and planning (and don't rush), then good luck doesn't need to be mentioned.

Thank you Ian

I will certainly do some background research on the areas you mentioned.

The issue I have with my selling price is location of my block within the area. Its on an intersection with red light. One side (width-short) is a main road and other (length-long) is semi main road. When I spoke to the realestate agent, he said the difference in selling price due to the location could be $50-100k. This is the bit making me think twise before embarking onto the journey of building these dwellings.

Thats where my confusion is weather the good fittings can offset the location or it would be counter productive as the people who are looking for good location are the ones who care about quality on other side the people who are not fussed about location due to budgetery constraints do not care about the quality.

Your experience in similar situation is most valuable to me.

Thank you for your seggestions...
You need to workout if you are going to sell them and if so when. This is the method I use in the Glen Iris area when building a build of units/houses.

If you sell once completed:

Built them as cheap as you can... just put in a few extra's that people will see such as the following:

- Kitchen (Cheap doors etc with the best bench tops)
- Bathroom (Cheap toliet with a good seat)
- Tiles (use large in all rooms)
- Hire Furnture for the whole house (i must for top dollar price)

- Garden (put in one or two large trees with ground covers)
- Outdoor BBQ area for extra living areas
- Good front fence (but do it cheap - wooden fence and then paint it)
- Use three differnet colours (always paint the front door a full gross black)
- Near letterbox (look for style for a cheap price)
- Paint (spray) side fences grey

Always remember that you are taking to make money and not a place for you to live in... always remember that.

Hope this helps
Thank you Rodney for few very vital tips.

I would certainly take those in to account.

The problem I have personally is of moral dilemma but what you said is correct as I need to remember, this is to cover the cost and make some money. If I put a better insulation, it may not be visible and buyer may not value the same whereas if the kitchen is good, the buyer would see that.

As I think about it more, it makes me feel nervous about doing inferior things but I guess thats what is required by the buyer....

I sincerely appreciate your thoughts and its nice to look at things from different view point.
Chandra, if you are a moral person - or someone who thinks about the long-term impacts of your decisions - developing might not be for you. :D

No, in all seriousness, I think the sad thing is that most people don't really value quality, including environmentally sustainable design. They just want a house that looks impressive. Inform's Butterfly house is a good example of this. It's smaller than most display homes, and because it's green it costs more. So not one person has bought one to my knowledge. People won't pay for decent insulation, but they will pay for a media room.