How Long Does It Take To Design And Build A Custom Home In Canberra?

People who are interested in designing and building a custom home in Canberra might be wondering how long it all takes? 

The truth is that this depends on several factors. 

If someone wants to build a custom home in Canberra, then they should bear in mind that the following factors play a major role: 

1. Finding Land & The Design (The Blueprint)

One of the major factors that determine how long it takes to design and build a custom home in Canberra is creating the blueprint/design of the home and finding a plot of land to build the home on. 

Ideally, when you create your home’s design, you need to include as much detail as possible. 

There is software out there that can assist with creating a blueprint, but it’s always good to work with a professional builder who can help you with the design process. 

Finding land is another thing that can take time. If someone already has a plot of land, then this makes things a lot easier. 

Generally speaking, this part of the process can take a few weeks to complete.

READ MORE: What To Look For With Home Designers?

2. Permits

Securing permits can take awhile if a person is doing it on their own. Sometimes permits are issued quickly, and other times they are not. 

If there is one tiny mistake made with the design, then the permit might not be given first time around. 

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to hire a builder with plenty of experience because they’ll know what it takes to secure the relevant permits, if permits are required. 

3. Size Of The Home

The size of the home being built can have a massive influence over how long it will take to have it built. 

The larger the home, the longer it can take because more materials have to be used to make it. 

However, the best builders can still complete the build of a large home in a timely manner. 

Nonetheless, size does matter when it comes to how long it take to build a home. 

4. Customisations

What the home will actually have inside of it will play a role in how long it will take to build it. 

The more complex the customisations are, the longer it will take to build the home. 

Nonetheless, a person can still include all of the customisations they want their home to have in the blueprint.

However, they need to be realistic with how long it will take to build the home if the home is going to have a number of special features. 

5. The Weather

The weather can influence timing too, as builders tend not to work when the weather isn’t the best. 

The good news is there tend to be more good weather days than bad weather days, so the weather shouldn’t cause too many delays. 

Some builders do work during undesirable weather and the builder hired to build the home will let the client know if weather delays are to be expected. 

So, How Long Does It Take To Design & Build A Custom Home In Canberra?

This is a hard question to answer. 

Generally speaking, if everything is organised properly and an experienced builder has been hired, then it can take around 6-8 months to design and then build a custom home. 

Sometimes it can take longer than that, but that is the average time it takes to design and build a custom home in Canberra. 

Also, the company the person hires to design and build a custom home will also influence how long the entire process takes. 

Some companies work faster than others, but always hire the builder that you feel most comfortable with. 

Remember, building a custom home is a major deal, so only hire the best builder for the job.

Interior Design 101 with Anastasia from Achieve

Arguably the most exciting part of building your dream home is envisaging the end product, waking up in your pristine bedroom, cooking dinner in your new kitchen, relaxing in front of the TV.

What you might not have thought about is how design choices will influence the way you feel in your home, and what you can do to make it feel “right” from the moment you step inside.

Anastasia, Achieve Homes’ Selection Coordinator, is our go-to for all things interior design and colour selection and provides expert advice to our proud house-owners. Here’s her top tips for helping you make your home truly yours, reflective of your personality and lifestyle.

Quality over quantity

It’s an ethos that can be applied to almost every element of your life – less is always more. Invest in the best quality furnishings, furniture and art that you can, and purge yourself of meaningless tchotchkes and trinkets that you’ve accumulated over the years. Moving into your new home is a perfect opportunity to declutter and remove those unnecessary and unused items that will just bring chaos to your space.

Form follows function

If ‘quality over quantity’ is the golden rule of design, then ‘form follows function’ is the silver rule. Having a pretty space should come secondary to making sure your home suits your lifestyle and the way you live in your space. Focus on the kitchen and bathrooms – these will be the most used public spaces in your home. While they’re the “workhorse” rooms, they should also have the “wow” factor – after all, you’ll be spending a lot of time in there. Make sure they are built to suit your needs and lifestyle.

Create a blank canvas that will grow with you

A neutral palette used throughout your home is an ideal way to ensure your home can adapt to your changing tastes and preferences over the years. Adding pops of colour is achieved with loose items like decorations, furniture and homewares – think a bright artwork in your living room, or rich coloured bedlinen adorning your bed. These items are cost effective ways to change and mix up the mood in your home when your tastes change.

Make your home your own

The devil is in the detail and these details are what will make your home feel like your sanctuary. Bring the outdoors in and add life to your home with indoors plants – they’ll add tranquillity, colour, and life into a space. Introduce items that allow you to inject your personality into your home.

Creating a flexible home will enable you to adjust your lifestyle over the coming years. By following these tips, your home will be truly “yours” for years to come. Get in contact with the team at Achieve Homes or visit our colour selections studio in Fyshwick to see how Achieve can bring your vision to life.

Who Chooses A Knock Down Rebuild?

Who chooses a Knock Down Rebuild?

We’ve already established that knock down rebuilds are becoming increasingly popular in Australia, but you may be wondering who chooses to go through the exciting process of demolition and building a dream home when you’ve outgrown your current space?

If any of these sound like you, a knock down rebuild might be perfect option.

The “tricky site” home owners

Perhaps you’ve got a large tree that’s been planted years ago whose roots are now causing havoc on your plumbing, or maybe you’re set up on a sloping block that has to meet specific building guidelines? Knock down rebuilds are a great opportunity to have a home built to your blocks specifications, without having to compromise on constructing a contemporary home with all the features you’re looking for.

The “changing needs” household

No matter if your family is growing, or if your children are “flying the nest”, it might be time to consider what you want your home to look like moving into the future. A new home in a spot that you love can be the perfect change to support your lifestyle and the memories you plan on making there. You may want a contemporary designed home that’s energy efficient, alfresco dining areas for those warm summer eves or bigger living areas for celebrating your families achievements – it really is up to you!

The “renovations seem too risky” decision maker

Renovations are notorious for running over time, over budget and bringing a whole lot of extra stress to your life. Many renovations are priced relying on the “bones” of the house being in great working order – unfortunately, too often, this is just not the case. Remove the risk of hidden costs by starting from scratch and avoid having your budgets blowout. Save money, save time and save yourself a whole lot stress by investing in a knock down rebuild.

The “I know what I like, but I haven’t been able to find it” house

Want loads of storage, after specific features and finishings, or have you gotten as far as having plans drawn up? Instead of spending days, months – even years! – searching high and low for your dream home in Canberra and surrounds, Achieve Homes would love to discuss with you how to bring your vision to life. We’re experienced in building quality homes, designed to your specifications, within an agreed upon time frame and budget.

The “we love our neighbourhood, but not our house” family

Minimising family disruption can be a key factor in choosing to knock down rebuild. Canberra residents are known to be fiercely loyal to their suburbs, and by staying in your neighbourhood, there’s no need to change schools, alter schedules around getting to work or re-establish the family in an unfamiliar neighbourhood. Stay close to family and friends in a location you love and build the house you love to match!

Knockdown and Rebuild Costs in Canberra

Achieve Homes are a group of leading specialists in knock down rebuilds across VIC, NSW and ACT. We take pride in helping our customers build the home they have always wanted, where they want it. We offer a wide range of home and land packages but growingly we are seeing new families take a further step and commit to building their very own homes.

For many, the prospect of knocking down an old structure and freeing the space to create their own dream home is something that offers a remarkable level of freedom. The implicit costs and time investment of building your own home is something that pales in comparison to the 

Knockdown and Rebuild Costs in Melbourne

Melbourne is a ready site for knockdown rebuilds. With slews of properties in up-and-coming areas primed for growth, there are plenty of opportunities open for individuals, investors and families looking to build their very own brand-new home.

Achieve Homes are the award-winning organisation helping families and investors build their very own homes in and around Melbourne and we are excited to see what we can do for our customers in the coming months and years ahead. We have opened a number of display home locations throughout Melbourne that are perfect for those looking to get a better picture for what we can make possible for them.

Make a knock down rebuild easy with the help of Achieve Homes

Achieve Homes are the new home building specialists perfectly equipped to help individuals, investors and families alike plan and build their very own new home. For those who have fallen in love with the area and community that they are already living in, knocking down the home you have lived in gives you the perfect opportunity to build the home you’ve always wanted, exactly where you want it.

Get in contact with us today to find out what we can make possible for you! 

What would you ask the person building your dream home?

Your dream home is easy to imagine but getting those ideas in your head to translate into reality can be difficult.

That’s where architectural services comes in handy.

Krystal is Achieves in-house Project Designer and with more than 10 years of industry experience she knows a thing or two about making your dream home become a reality. She answered some questions we had for her about custom builds.

What are three things every person should consider when engaging an architect to custom build their home?

  1. Their needs and wants
  2. Their lifestyle
  3. The adaptability of the home as the family grows and changes over time

Why do you think custom builders are so popular?

Achieve Homes offer the complete package in a timely and efficient manner. We have the knowledge and resources to exceed the expectations of clients and we can delivery on budget with no hidden cost.

Who chooses to do a custom build?

Anyone can, I think there is a lot of people that believe it is unaffordable which is not the case. If you know what you want then why not try and achieve that.

What are the steps involved in a custom build?

Come to us with a brief of what you need and want in a house, ideas of how you would like it to look, block details if you have one – we can also do custom builds on a knockdown rebuild in existing suburbs!

What experience have you had in the industry prior to joining Achieve?

I have had the pleasure to establish a design department within Achieve Homes building company this year. Prior to this new venture I have been in the industry for 10 years working with engineers and well-known local and international architectural firms where I have obtained a great deal of knowledge and experience in the field working on many design winning projects which have taken out HIA (ACT/Southern NSW) custom built home of the year 2016 & MBA 2016 House of the year.

What’s the best part about being an architect?

The satisfaction of helping our clients to achieve their dream home that suits their needs and life style.

What standard features do your homes include? What options and upgrades can I select?

All our project homes come included with two living areas, walk in pantries, walk in robe for the master and for large 4 bedrooms homes an alfresco area for dining outside and an instantaneous gas hot water unit is included into the price. The optional upgrades include façade and material upgrades and optional alfresco areas on the 3 and 4 bedroom homes.

If you’re interested in a custom home or knock down rebuild get in contact with Achieve Homes today.

How To Build an Accessible Home

An accessible home is one that not only makes life easier for the mobility impaired, but is also one that’s sustainable.

Owners of homes that are built in an accessible way can live comfortably for decades to come, without the need for expensive modifications in the future. Plus, building a house that is accessible means there’s no restrictions for people that visit your home, and no restrictions if you find yourself with an injury!

If you’re interested in incorporating some accessibility features into your new home, it’s important to consider a few things first:

Driveway:

Adding even just a meter to the driveway and garage will remove the stress of getting in and out of a car, plus it’s so much easier to park! To help give you an idea of size, public disabled carparks are 2400mm wide x 5400mm long with a shared area along one side of the space.

There should be a clear, wide and sealed flat path between the garage and the front door, making sure there is no steep inclines, curbs, or stairs. If you’re planting trees or bushes along front paths make sure there are no hazardous branches that could be problematic in terms of overhead clearance or vision impairment.

Googong

Doors: 

Next, you should ensure that your doors are user friendly. This means building a door that is wide enough for wheelchair access, is not too heavy or difficult to open, and has a handle that’s easy to use. Round door handles may prove difficult to manipulate, so it’s best to choose a D-Shaped handle.

The door width for adequate wheelchair access is a minimum of 813mm and should open away from the body (in towards the house). This is slightly wider than the standard front door, but there are many available on the market. Large entry doors are very on trend and add a feeling of grandeur and opulence, which also provides a great first impression for visitors and bypasses!

Lawson

Bathrooms and Toilets:

People with impairments use amenities differently to most and may take a little longer to use them. Adding an extra bathroom to your home will ensure there’s ample facilities for everyone to use. Also, having the toilet separate to the rest of the bathroom means the toilet can still be used while someone is in the shower.

Flooring and drainage is crucial to safety, ensuring that everyone who uses the bathroom will have a reduced risk of slipping over. A non-slip floor will also assist this, as will providing a uniform flat surface between the shower and the rest of the bathroom.

Taps and fittings in an accessible bathroom need to be within an arm’s reach and easy to manipulate. You should also leave underneath the sink empty so that wheelchairs can get up close the vanity.

Grab rail supports are necessary for providing stability around the bathroom. They help the mobility impaired get on and off the toilet, as well as into showers and bathtubs. Other options include walk-in baths, electric toilets and even remote controlled showers (who wouldn’t want one of those?).

Grab rail supports

Living Areas:

While carpet is a popular choice, it’s hard to roll wheels over. Opt for tiled or timber flooring instead! Not only is it easier for those in a wheelchair, it’s also modern and clean. Just remember that a high-gloss tile can sometimes mean a high-slip tile, which is bad news for people with crutches or canes.

Floor space in living areas is paramount for manoeuvrability. If any of your furniture is going to be built in, make sure there is still room for people with varying degrees of mobility. Move loose furniture to the outside walls and remove coffee tables in favour of side tables to provide plenty of space to get around without added obstacles.

In terms of window furnishing, long curtains that puddle on the floor can be tripping hazards and can get caught up in wheels. Blinds with cords may also be difficult to reach, so a great option is custom fitted shutters. They’re easy to use and you certainly won’t need to compromise on style.

Lawson

The Kitchen:

Just like the main doors in your house, the handles you choose for your drawers and cupboards in your kitchen should be easy to use, with round handles to be avoided. Just like with the bathroom, keep underneath the sink empty to provide space for wheelchairs to get up close. Replacing under bench storage with drawers also makes access to stored items much easier, and likewise takes the struggle out of getting to the items at the back. Having lowered sections of benchtops are perfect for wheelchair users to use as prep areas. The standard bench height is 900mm but reducing it as little as 50mm makes all the difference.

Safety and accessibility features are becoming the norm with kitchen appliances. Ovens that open sideways rather than down wards are now available, which enables people to get close without having to lean over a hot door. We’re also seeing staggered stove tops with controls along the front, which eliminate the danger of reaching across hot burners.

Hopefully we’ve covered just about everything you should incorporate into your beautiful new accessible home. Following these tips will ensure your home is one that people from all walks of life can enjoy.

Googong

References:

Able 2 UK, Wheelchair Accessible Living Room Designs, http://www.able2uk.com/disability-news/wheelchair-accessible-living-room-designs, Accessed 24/02/17

Disability Horizons, Disability and independence: creating an accessible bathroom, http://disabilityhorizons.com/2016/03/disability-and-independence-creating-an-accessible-bathroom/, Accessed 24/02/17

Easterseals Crossroads, Top 5 things to consider when designing an accessible kitchen for wheelchair users, http://www.eastersealstech.com/2014/06/04/accessiblekitchendesign/, Accessed 24/02/17

Equal Access Australia, Accessible (Disabled) Car Parking Requirements, https://www.disabilityaccessconsultants.com.au/accessible-disabled-car-parking-requirements/, Accessed 24/02/17

Handle House, https://handlehouse.com.au/product/l11-mackay-door-handles/, Accessed 24/02/17

The KingBorough Council, Building an accessible home, http://www.kingborough.tas.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Building%20in%20Kingborough%2015.02.16.pdf, Accessed 24/02/17

Get The Best Sales Price For Your Home

SOLD

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking to build a new home. For some of you, that might even mean having to prepare your current home for sale – a huge task to say the least. So, we spoke to Own It Finance to find out how you can get the best possible price for your property. Here’s what they had to say:

Presenting your home in the best possible manner can have a big influence on the valuation process when selling your home. The same goes for presenting your house to a prospective buyer. If your home looks like it hasn’t been cared for properly, then chances are, you’re not going to get a very good sales price. However, if your home looks like it’s ready for a photoshoot, then you’re likely to get a great price at sale! In fact, there are 3 main price points for any property, which are outlined below:

Heart Price:

  • Your home is picture perfect and ready for the cover of a magazine
  • Your home has everything that the buyers and valuers are looking for
  • Similar competing properties lack the presentation that yours has

Average Price:

  • Your house looks average from the street, and does not stand out from the rest
  • Your gardens are mostly tidy but clearly unloved
  • The interior is untidy and appears ‘lived in’

Fire Sale Price:

  • The gardens are overgrown and show no signs of maintenance
  • There is mess throughout the house and the bathrooms and kitchens have not been cleaned thoroughly
  • The house is dark, dusty and does not smell inviting

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a simple checklist to help you prepare your house for open homes and valuations, to hopefully help you get the highest possible valuation and sales price:

  • Ensure all gardens, exteriors, and outdoor entertaining areas are maintained and presentable. It’s amazing what a freshly mown lawn, some weeding and a few trimmed bushes can do to the look of your home.
  • The front door is a visitors’ first point of contact with your home, so ensure it looks as presentable as possible. Remove any lingering shoes, sweep the floor and don’t forget to refresh your welcome mat.
  • Maximise all natural light. Natural light is known to make people feel happier and will also open up your home. If you have time, clean windows and light fittings, and leave lights on in dark areas of your home.
  • If it’s a very hot day, be sure to turn your air conditioner on, or open doors and windows so that the house feels cool and airy. Alternatively, if it’s a cold day, be sure to turn the heater on or get the fireplace raring so that the house feels warm and cosy.
  • Tidy up! There’s nothing more repelling than a home that’s messy and cluttered. Store all your clutter in cupboard and boxes, ensuring it is out of site. Clear all clutter from the bathroom, put bottles and creams in drawers and only have matching towels and fresh hand soap on display. Keep your kitchen benches as clean as possible with only fresh fruit and maybe a kettle out. It is also crucial that you remove any dirty tea towels or floor mats.
  • Ensure each room is as presentable as possible. Some new bed-linen in the bedrooms and cushions or a throw rug on the couch can help to modernise and freshen up any room.
  • When a valuer enters your home, you want them to feel as welcome as possible. It’s always good to offer them something to drink and eat. You don’t want any “hangry” valuers determining the value of your home.
  • Do your research! Find out the sales prices of similar properties to yours in your area and present the results to valuers and prospective buyers.

Whilst this list doesn’t guarantee a high price for your property, it will certainly help to improve how valuers or prospective buyers perceive the value of your home. As you can see, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to increase your house’s price. The most basic improvements usually have the highest return.

Good luck!

Tips For Buying Off-The-Plan

WM_70_AH-Feb_17

When buying a new home there are a tonne of options to consider. One option that should be at the forefront of your decision making is buying off-the-plan.

Off-the-plan refers to purchasing a property before it is constructed. Most of the time this means you will be buying a property while it is just a hole in the ground, and while it may seem crazy to buy something that has not been built yet, there are many benefits to purchasing an off-the-plan property:

The Benefits

  • One of the biggest benefits of buying off-the-plan is having the ability to customise the finishes and fittings in the home to suit your personal needs.
  • Since stamp duty is calculated based on the value of the land and the building, you will essentially only have to pay based on the value of the land, because there is no building yet!
  • In terms of an investment property, the depreciation tax savings are greater for an off-the-plan property, as the newer the building is, the greater the savings are.
  • You have the ability to lock in the price that you will pay, which is financially beneficial as there is a good chance the property will increase significantly in value by the time of completion.
  • The extra time you have while you wait for your new house to be built will allow you ample time to sell your existing home.
  • If you are a first home buyer, you will be able to benefit from the First Home Owners Grant, as well as stamp duty exemptions.
  • Newly built properties in Australia come with a 7 year builder’s guarantee, which means any faults must be repaired by the builder.

The Risks

  • There is always a risk that you will not get what you have already paid for. That is why it is important to have a comprehensive contract detailing all features, fixtures, fittings and time frames to ensure you have a leg to stand on when expectations are not met.
  • Since there is no way to see your apartment before purchasing it, there is a chance that you simply might not like it. Once completed it may look different to your expectations and it will be too late to change anything.
  • If your circumstances change during the build and you are no longer able to buy, it is important to act quickly and ensure you find another buyer to purchase from you at settlement.
  • A risk of having a locked in price is the uncertainty of the property market. Your property may suddenly lose value but you will still be paying the agreed price for it.

Things To Do

  • Make sure that it is definitely the property you want. This includes the size, suburb, orientation, and whether it is on a level you want to be on.
  • Visit the property site regularly and check if there are any other constructions occurring that may obstruct your view.
  • Carefully inspect the display home, including fixtures, fittings and finishes.
  • Research the market conditions and get advice from professionals on the right time to buy.
  • Research the developer. Do not be afraid to ask detailed questions and inspect other projects completed by them in the past. You may even want to talk with a past client to gauge satisfaction.
  • Have a legal professional look over all contracts and translate key points to you in laymen’s terms.
  • Make sure you have a lender that has agreed to financing. A lot of lenders are reluctant to finance off-the-plan properties given their high risk and the chance that the lendee will sell the property for a high price straight away, meaning the lender will lose interest.
  • Check that your deposit is going into a trust account, and do not let that money be released to a personal name to help build the project. This is a sure fire way to lose a lot of money very quickly.

Essentially, when buying off-the-plan, make sure you do the appropriate research to make sure it is the right option for you!

References

Emily Blatchford, Huffington Post, Buying A House Off The Plan: The Things You Need To Know, http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/02/18/buying-off-the-plan-australia_n_9269506.html, Accessed April 7th, 2017.

Oz Property Law, Buying Property Off-the-plan, http://ozpropertylaw.com/buying-property-off-the-plan/?gclid=CKqb2qX4kNMCFUcKKgodLqkF-g , Accessed April 7th, 2017.

Real Estate View, Things to Consider when Buying Off-the-plan, https://advice.realestateview.com.au/buying/things-to-consider-when-buying-off-the-plan/, Accessed April 7th, 2017.

Tim McIntyre, Your Investment Property, The Trick to Buying off the Plan, http://www.yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au/buying-property/the-trick-to-buying-off-the-plan-148257.aspx, Accessed April 7th, 2017.

9 Ways to Make Your Home More Environmentally Friendly

Everyone wants to save the environment. But sadly, not everyone wants to deal with the inconvenience of doing so. There is a perception that, while eco-designed homes can save you money on your bills, they are expensive in the short term due to modern, hi-tech features. However, there are numerous ways that we can all live more sustainably, without ruining the quality of our lives or breaking the bank.

We know how to make properties more sustainable, recognising that saving energy needs to benefit you in the long term, without imposing heavy additional costs in the short term. Here are our practical tips for making your home more environmentally friendly. 

Install a Skylight

Skylights cut down on the earth’s emissions and the need for electric lighting. Using daylight not only reduces energy costs and consumption, but also reduces the demand for unsustainable power.

Use Energy Saving Light Bulbs

Energy-smart light bulbs use 70-75% less energy than the conventional incandescent bulb and can last up to ten times longer! By using a 26-watt, compact fluorescent light bulb, you can save up to $59 dollars on energy costs over the life of the bulb, which can be anywhere from five to seven years.

Utilise Indoor Plants

Growing plants indoors is a great way to clean the air by acting as a filter for any common pollutants in the home. The environmental and health benefits of houseplants make them a household necessity rather than an object of décor, because honestly, good health and environmental sustainability should never be out of style.

Install Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans alone can make a room feel four to five degrees cooler. Today’s ceiling fans are more efficient, with improvements in motors, controls, blade design and reduced weight making them a stylish and environmentally sustainable feature of a room.

Use Energy Efficient Appliances

It’s a no-brainer, when we use less energy we save natural resources, cut down on pollution and reduce our bills! This is easily done when we opt to use Energy Star rated appliances; for example, a new refrigerator with an energy star rating can cut down on your energy consumption, saving you up to $160 across its lifetime.

Switch off and unplug

Perhaps the simplest energy saving technique of all is to switch off your power points. Leaving unused appliances plugged into power sources not only wastes precious energy, but also contributes to growing electricity costs. Getting into the habit of switching unused appliances off at the power point is an easy way to save money and energy.

Insulation

A well-insulated home stays cool in summer and warm in winter – which means less time blasting the air conditioning or heater, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions. In many ways, insulation is the most practical and cost effective way to make a house more energy efficient and can assist in saving up to 40 per cent on your heating and cooling bills.

Double-glazed Windows

Switching your single-glazed windows to double-glazed is a simple improvement that can make a big difference. When installed around your home, double-glazing can cut your heat loss by half. This means that you’ll need far less energy to heat your home, as the heat generated will be staying where it should be…inside your home!

Install a Water Saving Shower Head

Low-flow showerheads have been near the forefront of home water conservation efforts for some time now, and it’s no surprise as 20-25% of all household water usage comes from showering. Switching your conventional shower head to a low-flow not only helps in water conservation, but has been found to drop overall household water usage by as much as 40% — if not more!