There are five main stages of renovating or building a new home. A brief description and time allocation of each stage is as follows:
- Design, planning and documentation
A full description of the seven stages of designing a new house or renovation can be found in FAQ Stages of Design. Time allocation for the total design and documentation (excluding town planning) should be approximately 22 to 24 weeks, (i.e. 5 to 6 months).
- Building permit, quoting and contract negotiation
Once you have the final architectural plans, specifications and engineering plans, you are ready to apply for a building permit (see FAQ No. 14(a) for a full explanation), which should take about 4 weeks to obtain. However, if you are building on or close to a boundary line, you may need to organize a “Protection Works Agreement” with the adjoining property owner. (Pro-tip = get your builder to do this as it can get very technical).
If required, the protection agreement process usually takes an extra 3 to 4 weeks but if the neighbor is difficult to deal with, it can take considerably longer and may involve some additional costs (see FAQ No. 33).
At the same time as the building permit process, the builder will prepare the detailed building quote. (See FAQ No. 37), and if acceptable to the client, they can then prepare the building contract documents ready for signing (see FAQ No. 32). You should allow a total of approximately 5 to 6 weeks for the building permit, building quote and contract negotiations.
- Demolition, site establishment and pool shell
The demolition of the existing house should be organized well in advance of the date to start building (see FAQ No. 13 for a full explanation). The “site establishment” is when the builder comes in after the demolition to build the “hoarding” or temporary fencing, installs the power pole and site toilet and does the site set out for the new house or renovation. If you are building a swimming pool, the excavation and concrete shell is often done before the house building starts and like the demolition this should be organized well in advance (see FAQ No. 24). Total time allocation for these three activities should be approximate 5 to 6 weeks.
The time it takes to build a new house or renovate an existing one will depend upon the following factors:
- The size of the house
- The complexity of its design
- Does it have a basement?
- The number of levels
- Other factors such as ease of access and sloping land.
A medium size new house or renovation (i.e. total building area of 350M² to 400M²) would normally take approximately 10 to 12 months to build.
A large new house with a basement (i.e. total building area including basement of 550M² to 700M²) could take up to 18 months to build.
Landscaping and pool completion (see FAQ Landscaping)
The landscaping and pool completion works can happen at the same time as the second half of the house building works. However, this will require the full co-operation of the builder and will require proper project management and integration with all the onsite works. If the builders’ full co-operation and proper project management is not available, the landscaping and pool completion will need to occur after the house building is completed and this will add approximately 10 to 12 weeks to the project timeline.