We come across this question all the time when discussing building a timber frame home with our potential clients. So we took action and took a risk as some would think.... So that we could find out for ourselves and future clients.
If you have read any of our posts and scrolled throughout our website, you can soon work out that we love to build homes and home renovations using timber frame construction. We believe it is the best type of construction to use when building your home or home extension. This due to timber frame construction being great to the environment and a comfortable type of home to live in, there are many more reasons.
Just down load our free guide on the side bar here to find out more.
I have written a lot on this topic, in fact our most visited blog post is where I compare timber frame construction to double brick construction.
Now to the exciting part of the post...
We purchased an old house in Padbury Western Australia and knocked it over to build three brand new villas, two of which were constructed from double brick, as the standard goes here in Perth. We then chose to build the third villa from timber frame construction, excluding the boundary wall and double car garage which was built from brick.
Most feedback we get from existing clients is whether they will be able to sell their home and furthermore if it will fetch the price they need/desire.
As we are predominately timber frame builder’s we thought - why not test the market and see if Perth is ready for the ever-increasing demand of timber frame-built homes.
As it stands today, all three villas have been built and are on the market to sell, January 2018.
The initial valuation from the bank showed no issue regarding the construction method being timber frame, as this is the standard type of construction in Australia, albeit not here in Perth. 70% of Eastern states build starts are made up of using some form of timber frame construction, whether they are brick veneer or cladded homes.
The build time for all three took round 4 months from slab down to practical completion. They were completed in November last year.
The first home open was last weekend and up until this point we have had most buyer interest in the corner lot, unit 2 which was the biggest (double brick) and the timber frame home, unit 1.
As I write this blog, we have just accepted the FIRST offer which was above market price and happened to be the timber frame home!
The timber frame home had a lovely design with high raking ceilings which created a great openness and spacious vibe for what would-be considered a “small” home in the eyes of most home buyers.
We used the flexibility of timber frame construction to our advantage and used feature cladding on the exterior, added a small timber deck out the front and added a little study nook in the living space. These extra features and look and feel of the home are what won the buyer over we believe.
The cost to build all three were marginally different from the other even with the above added features. However, the timber frame one was built much quicker so borrowing costs could have been reduced had we sold that one first.
In case some are wondering the buyer was aware that this home was built using timber frame construction and was ok with the fact. He was a younger Gen Y and is more concerned about energy efficiency and style look of home and not too hung up on the fact that all homes in Perth must be built from the durable double brick construction.
People are slowly stepping away from the above Perth mantra that every home must be built using double brick, they are starting to see the benefits of timber frame as a real advantage to and enabling them to live in a well designed and ventilated home that they can reap the benefits from in years to come.
If you are interested in learning more contact us now and we are happy to answer all your questions for you next renovation or new built.
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Here in Perth Western Australia many people believe that timber frame construction is an inferior way to build homes when comparing it to double brick construction.
I am here to debunk the 4 common myths which we hear every day from our potential clients interested in finding out more about this mystified way of construction which is so foreign the people of Perth, Western Australia.
Let’s get into it……
Termites are a threat to all timber and wooden structures worldwide, however currently thanks to modern technology termite treated timber is a must when we build our homes. H2 treated timber is readily available at Bunnings and other timber suppliers in WA and is what all good builders will use to build any timber structures here in Perth.
Further to this all slabs poured or built have a per-treatment and post treatment for termites. Recent laws have changed which make such barriers impossible for termites to get in. All home owners of both double brick and timber frame homes are encouraged to get an annual pest inspection by pest companies, to ensure there are no critters lurking inside their roofs and walls.
Therefore, a combination of termite treated timber, rigorous initial pest sprays to the slab and barrier of homes, along with regular pest inspections should see that no termites will succeed in nibbling their way through the timber in your home.
There are very strict fire regulations to follow in the National Building Code when building on boundary walls to stop the spread of fire and even more intense code for builders to follow when constructing a home in a designated bush fire risk zone.
So, no your house is not going to burn down at the site of flame, if built using timber frame construction. The technology today allows us to build beautifully designed and energy efficient homes made from carbon friendly products like timber, that give back to the environment and don’t create a fire hazard.
Timber is a very flexibly material to build with and can become quite tough when manufactured to form timber beams.
These large and heavy beams can withhold hundreds of kilograms of weight as load bearing beams in the roofs of many homes.
The infamous knock on the wall to check what construction in a timber frame home will release a hollow noise which gives off the affect of weakness, this is not the case with timber, this type of structure is built to last 60 plus years.
Further to this, hanging pictures on a wall is NOT an issue and you may hang as many pictures as you like. Actually it is much easier to install a picture on a timber framed/plaster board wall. Then later when no longer needed, patching up the hole is much easier than patching in picture holes on a brick wall.
Technology is a powerful thing and has enabled the increasing use of timber frame construction when building homes, apartments and now some medium rise developments and hotels in Perth and worldwide.
At Distinct Renovations our choice is to build using timber frame construction as it is better for the environment and has many more benefits that make it a pleasure to build with and live within.
If you want to know more about how you could use this preferred method of building to build your next home extension or new built home contact us now to find out more.
We are always happy to answer all your timber frame questions.
Building for anyone is a daunting task, no one in their right mind can say they have full control over the build process.
So, choosing the right builder to build with should be the number one priority on a potential renovators or new home builders list. Once you chose your design,or, before you choose your design make sure you in list the right builder.
Builders can and have many a times turned peoples build process into a nightmare. In fact, talk to most people who have renovated or built before and they will more than likely say it was stressful, hard work and they will not do it again for a long while, or ever again!
Taking the hard work, stress and the sleepless nights out of construction work is what your builder should be doing.
That is why we believe at Distinct Renovations you should follow the below tips to selecting your builder:
Choose a small renovation and/or home builder WHY? - They have less staff and you only deal with three or fewer staff members through the whole process. This causes a lot less stress as miscommunications are reduced. In larger companies they employ a number of staff to do a number of tasks all related to your one build. More staff equals more room for error and more people to place the blame on for mistakes.
Choose a builder you trust and get on with WHY? - As mentioned above it can be a stressful time therefore you want to make sure that you are building with someone you get along with, someone that you can build a great relationship with and most importantly someone that understands you.
If you do not get along with a builder to begin with then walk away. Price should not be everything on a build, especially when prices in any build contract can blow out due to variations.
Choose a builder that doesn’t have too much on their plate- WHY? If you don’t you will not be the number one priority and your job will drag out due to hold ups on other jobs. Tradies get held up on different jobs for many different reasons, weather, delays in orders, other trades slowing them down an many more reasons. If your builder has 10 jobs to manage at once you know that you will not be their number one client, also further to this cash flow can become an issue, which can cause severe delay and issues.
So ask your builder what his work load is like and ask how many builds he currently has on.
Choose a builder that has good references- WHY? Because if they have bad reference it’s a sign that you are walking into muddy waters and you need to turn the other way… NO one wants to deal with a builder that has complaints from past clients.
Ask your builder to provide phone numbers of their last 5 jobs, don’t give them an option to choose their references ask for their last five clients and call each one to ask questions about how they performed.
The above four tips should help you weed through the good the bad and the ugly of builders and hopefully select the right one for your build.
Distinct Renovations are a true small builder and we believe that by going with a small builder you will get the attention you deserve, and the job will be completed in a timely manner allowing you to move into your newly built home or renovation as soon as possible.
Contact us now if you are interested in building or renovating.
Renovating your house is an exciting time especially if you are building a brand-new kitchen or a brand-new bathroom. These two areas are the most sought-after renovation types in Australia and the most expensive rooms of the house to renovate or add on via a home extension.
The number one questions we get asked by our potential clients are- "How much will it cost to renovate my bathroom?" Or "How much will it cost to add on an extension to the rear of my home to include a kitchen, living and dining room?" The problem with their questions are, they have little to no reference as to what materials they wish to build with or what fixtures and fittings they would like to put into their home renovation.
Some builders will quote you a square meter price to build or to renovate your home. However, you need to be super mindful of what they are quoting. Many builders will quote low and catch you later with variations and add ons. This can change an original square meter price from $1,500 up to $4,000 a square meter!
So buyer beware!
The best way to approach us, or any builder for that matter, with your question of - “how much will it cost to build a bedroom and ensuite on to the rear of my house?” Is to think about exactly what you want and then approach it like this.
Could you provide a rough price for a bedroom bathroom extension on to the rear of my property and I would like the below specifications:
If you are not sure of any of the above or any idea on specifications, then please come to us with questions such as- "What materials fixtures and fittings will help us reduce our budget?" Or "What materials fixtures and fittings for our desired renovation or home extension will be the best to the environment and most sustainable?"
Any questions you have we are happy to answer, in order to help you get what you want for your home renovation.
We will happily assist!
Once we have a rough ball price that we are all happy with and have a basic understanding how you want to renovate your home the next step is to get an architect to draw up the plans.
Getting plans drawn up by an architect will ensure you get exactly what you want and from this you can ask for a fixed price quote from a builder.
No builder should be giving you a fixed price quote until they have been provided with accurate plans showing correct measurements. There are too many surprises with renovations that could result in costs blow outs, so providing a builder with correct building documents such as plans and engineering will provide you with the closest thing to the final price for the renovations on your home.
So, you can try and estimate a renovation and or a home extension on a square meter rate with no plans or idea of what you want- BUT I do encourage you to really understand what you are wanting to do and get plans drawn up before you commit to a budget. There is a very good chance that your budget may only allow for a bathroom and not the extra bedroom you want as well.
My advice- Talk to your chosen builder first and go from there, we are here to help you work on your renovation budget and get more bang for your buck.
Distinct Renovations are predominately timber frame builders as we believe this method of construction is more sustainable for the future environment but further to this- when talking about a home renovation in most cases timber will be cheaper than building in double brick- which is the preferred method here in Perth. Timber frame construction will for certain be significantly quicker and much easier to build. Lastly to this, building home renovations and extensions using timber frame construction allows for a flexible design.
If you are thinking about renovating your home and want to ask questions based on cost of certain materials and design features, please contact us we are here to guide you through the maze of home renovations and extensions and we love doing it! Talk now
Over the past few years the number of houses, renovations and home extensions being built in Perth has been on the decline due to the economy slipping after the mining boom and many people leaving for the Eastern states.
However, the number of homes built using timber frame construction have been on the increase.
Timber frame construction is fast becoming a popular “alternative” method to build here in Perth Metro due to the many benefits of such a type of construction. Many of the larger builders are also jumping on board the wave of timber frame homes and adding this to their offering, namely when building second story homes. The bigger builders are realising building a concrete sub floor and double bricks upstairs can be very costly, which turns off a lot of potential customers.
Some have predicted that timber frame construction will make up 10% of the Perth building approvals market this year. This is well up on the 3% back in 2015/16. Further to this some researchers have suggested this will jump to 20% in five years to come.
Distinct Renovations predominantly focus on timber frame building for most of their work. They have been a strong advocate of this type of building method since starting in Perth back in 2012.
Since the 1970’s double brick masonry construction has been the go to type of building method for homes built in sandy Perth. The advantages for this type of construction have been the durability, safer in the event of fires and keeps termites at bay. However, with changes in technology and products becoming termite resistant, cladding's to homes becoming fire resistant and a new wave of durable hard wearing and strong cladding's to homes these benefits are no longer over riding decisions to build with brick.
Adding to the above points future proofing of houses calls for light weight construction methods which are more environmentally friendly. The future of housing is pointing toward more sustainable and energy efficient homes. Building using bricks is a far cry from energy efficiency!
Why you ask- Think of the manufacturing it takes to make bricks and the effects of this on the environment surrounding. Compare this with timber which is a material sourced from nature. Also worth noting is that when you build with timber the carbon is stored in the timber and better for the environment. See what Peter Madison of Grand designs has to say about building with timber here.
Timber is the better choice by far when you look to the future and the environment.
However, forget the environment for just one second and all the other benefits noted above. How would you like to build your next renovation, home extension or brand new custom-built home for cheaper and far quicker? Sounds Good? Well these too are other benefits of building using timber frame construction.
Timber frame construction is much quicker to build than double brick due to its flexibility and light weight type of construction. Further to this timber fame homes can be built off site in factories which are not weather dependent and assembled in days on site.
You can see now why builders are leaning more towards building using timber frame construction methods. At Distinct Renovations we question the WA double brick obsession all the time???
So, if you think like us and want to build your next home using timber frame construction you need to be mindful of who you build with. It is imperative you select your builder right and chose one who understands timber, preferably a qualified carpenter/builder to supervise and build your home. Timber frame construction is different to double brick and you need to ensure it is built to standard and with the attention to detail that is required.
If this has got you thinking and you have further questions about building a home using timber frame construction email us now or give us a call and we can help you with your questions.
If you want to read more about timber frame construction vs double brick read our most popular blog here.