THE MASTER BUILDERS MUST HAVE GUIDE TO SAVING THOUSANDS ON NEW HOMES AND HOME PROJECTS

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How important to you is the look of your home? What kind of style do you want—traditional, contemporary, or transitional? Do you want the latest styles in granite, quartz, and floor tile, or is something more modest closer to your taste? How will these features hold up over time? By this time you have put a great deal of thought into your new home: the size, the number and types of rooms, the room arrangement, and how you want to live in your home.

One word: flexibility. Take a minute to reflect on the real reasons you decided you wanted to build a new home. Write them down. Staying focused on the real purpose will help keep you from getting distracted and missing the whole point. Focusing on your real reasons for building a custom home, start with the list you created during the utility part of the research you did above. Now, go through the rest of the lists you gathered and do the same thing for every other item you need and want needs first, wants second.

You now have two lists in priority order. The next big task is to assign one of two categories to every item on those lists: must-have items or like-to-have items. But this process helps you make rational decisions now to protect against emotional decisions later. Start at the bottom of the priority list, which is by definition the least important to you.

You might even scratch some stuff off the list entirely. You have described, in words, your dream house. That will make the process go so much smoother than it would have otherwise. Think about that for a moment. A process. Commit to a process, just like before, when your rational brain is in charge and before the emotional decision-making time comes. The best way to do this whole thing is to find a builder first, before you decide on your home design.

A builder you trust will guide you through this whole difficult process, including finding land, designing a house, getting a construction loan, etc. Some builders even have in-house design teams or work with one designer exclusively, which makes the process even easier and more efficient. Builders know building costs, and the designer who works that closely with a builder will design with a knowledgeable eye toward efficiency in the building process.

Still, you may want to interview more than one designer in the process, even if your home builder has an in-house designer. Go back to your list of home designers you gathered when touring newly built homes. Look at the designs and notes you made. You can call some local builders and ask who they recommend as a home designer. You can also use a Google Maps search in your area to search for home designer, house designer, or architect. A lot of the results will be for interior design companies, which you can ignore.

Home designers join local NAHB chapters to associate with their main clientele—home builders. Set up appointments to visit them face-to-face. This is worthy of a face-to-face, maybe more than one. Interview several designers, as many as you feel you need to get the hang of the process, then go home and talk it over with your significant other. Talk about the answers to the questions, and talk about the feeling you get from those answers.

Time to start designing your dream home. For your first appointment, take your prioritized, categorized lists with you. The designer will love you for it. The most important advice for the design stage is to stay flexible. Do a preliminary design first with just a floor plan drawn to scale and a front elevation view from the front. Take it home and live with it for a week. The builder will help guide you through the rest of the design process so you end up with the right house plan for your needs and your budget. The more you plan and think things through, the better the experience will be.

I truly believe there are many builders out there who can, and will, deliver a truly high-quality custom home, but there are very few builders who can do it without making you crazy in the process or blowing your budget or both. After all, he does this for a living. We live in an age of consumer products. Your house is built outside in the rain, snow, wind, cold, and heat.

It is built by hand, not by computer-guided precision robotic machines. It is a prototype. Of course not. If Boeing needs to build actual prototypes to solve little problems like where to run the wires that control the light in the airplane bathroom, do you think a builder will foresee every little detail in your one-of-a-kind custom home? Go buy an existing one and save your sanity.

If you understand and have made peace with the fact that the world is a wildly imperfect place and you trust your builder to correct inevitable mistakes, read on. Asking, or expecting, the builder to go outside the process he has built over years of building and correcting mistakes, is just like putting those paying passengers on the prototype Boeing jet and just wishing for the best.

Your builder is sending out the dozer tomorrow to begin work. Now the roller coaster tops the hill and starts to gain speed as it drops. The slab gets poured…. The framing begins… and the toilet plumbing is in the middle of the hallway. Oh, the agony, the fear, the pain sets in. The plumber is an idiot! Now I have a toilet in my hallway! The emotional roller coaster ride has begun. The framer misinterprets a detail on the plans and frames a door the wrong width, or leaves out a window, and your emotional high turns into borderline depression.

You are emotionally tied to the outcome. That means every mistake, every warped board, every dirty handprint on a newly-painted wall is going to get under your skin. Just know that going in. So, just relax, breathe deeply, and be really, really glad your builder has your back and is going to do what he does, and the end result will be what you expected. The process is ugly. The unpredictability of weather, human error, equipment breakdowns, and subcontractor planning, means that the job schedule is only accurate for about a week in advance.

Take any schedule with a grain of salt. The builder definitely does. There will always be delays. If the builder has promised you a move-in date, and the builder is experienced, competent, and honest, then the move-in date has delays built in. That means the rain that cost a week fits into the schedule.


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The builder knows that it is going to rain during construction, and he factored it in. All builders must follow the building code prescribed by the state, city, or county where your home will be located. Even if there are no inspections, as in many rural areas of Oklahoma, the builder is obligated to build according to the current adopted International Residential Code. Many people like to say that the code is just a bare minimum standard, but that is wildly inaccurate.

There is a large margin of safety built in to accommodate the vagaries of building by hand with natural materials. Over-building relative to the building code is a waste of money. Think about it: how many houses have you seen or heard about that simply fell down? Having said that, every city or county that has a building department has a different way of enforcing the code.

Yep, they want to look at the exact same thing 5 times. As your home is being built, lots of things will get broken, damaged, dirty, or will simply get done wrong. The timing will depend on what the item is and whether it is logistically more feasible for the builder to fix them during construction or wait until the end. There are things that are totally acceptable from a craftsmanship standpoint that simply bother you personally. We have a saying: If you want 10 different punch lists, have 10 different people do a walk through.

Except for items that have a long lead time, such as a crack in a window that nobody saw until the walk through, the builder should be able to complete everything on the list within a week. It will NOT end well. I promise. By reasonably I mean that all the touch-up is done, and anything outstanding is something that came up at the end and the builder is waiting on something to be delivered or manufactured like the cracked window pane.

Building a custom home is a long and sometimes stressful process. Do your homework at each step of the process to educate yourself, because realistic expectations are important.

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Skip to content. Introduction Where do I start when building a custom home on my land? How do I find a builder I can trust? How do I know how much I can afford? How do I get the money? How do I get the best house plan for my needs? How do I avoid the horror stories of building a custom home? While dreaming about that new house, think about the activity going on in and around it.

What does life look like? What do you and your family do there? Are you outdoor people? Do you have lots of guests over? Do you enjoy quiet evenings on the porch? Define your terms What are the must-haves in your custom home? Define your budget comfort zone There, I said it. The builder as your professional guide It might seem counterintuitive to hire the builder first. The builder behind the curtain Before we talk about finding a quality builder, let me give you a little peek behind the curtain of the homebuilding industry.

Get a commitment from the customer in the form of a cost-plus building contract using a cost estimate that is wildly optimistic. Get a house plan the customer likes and start building ASAP. Have the subcontractors estimate material quantities and types and buy whatever they tell him. Send invoices to the customer to pay weekly.

The invoices will look like Greek to the customer, who has never built a house, so the customer will probably just pay them. When the house starts going over budget and it becomes evident the estimate was wildly optimistic, the builder will explain it by saying the cost of materials has gone up inflation, right? When the customer makes selections or changes, the builder never writes anything down.

When he gets in his truck, he throws that legal pad up on the dash along with about 20 rolled up house plans that have been there since The customer grudgingly pays the builder because what else are they going to do? Everything, and I mean everything, gets written down. When you make a change during construction, the builder writes a change order and gets the customer to sign it and pay for it at that time. There will be absolutely no surprises at closing. See number three above. In other words, he has attracted talented and skilled individuals who specialize in their particular areas rather than him trying to be a Jack of all trades and a master of none.

Read the comments people have left, both the legitimate complaints and legitimate praises. Look for yourself in the comments, which means note the positive or negative reviews that touch on your personal hot buttons.

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Ask some of their previous customers. Request a list of past customers from the builder. Ask local bankers that provide construction loans. This might require a little extra research to identify the banks, but when you do, ask them which builders have the best reputation for staying on budget. Bankers who do lots of construction loans will know. Permanent loan. Typically called a mortgage, this is the kind of loan you get when you buy a house either new or used and make payments for 15, 20, or 30 years.

You get a permanent loan from a mortgage company, not a bank. Permanent loans include principal and interest payments, and the loan payment may also include home insurance and real estate taxes. Construction loan. This kind of loan is a temporary, sometimes called interim, loan that comes from a bank. It has a very short term, usually nine to twelve months, at which time it must be repaid in full.

When your new house is finished, you close on a permanent loan that pays off the construction loan. How a construction loan works Before the lender agrees to lend you money for anything, he or she needs to make sure you can repay the loan and can do so without depriving yourself of food and clothing. Construction loan closing Three things need to come together so you can close on your construction loan, which means you sign papers and start getting money to build. Clean title on your land; Appraisal report; and Final underwriting. It gives the builder a little money to start committing subcontractors to begin work.

Armed with this information, you can create a budget for your new home that includes the two main categories you must consider: The land and its associated costs, including land purchase, site preparation, access, and utilities; The house and all the things that affect how much it will cost, such as the size, efficiency of the layout, features, amenities, and finishes.

There are five basic steps to finding and buying a piece of land for your forever home. This one seems simple, but finding the right piece of land can be the most difficult and frustrating step. After all, nobody is making any new real estate. In either situation, you have to find the market value and negotiate reasonable terms with the seller. This is when the land and money change hands. Step Two: Finding Land Finding land that meets all your criteria location, school district, size, topography, solitude, price, etc. Real estate agents. Some land is listed on major sites like realtor.

Many people, especially in rural areas, advertise their land for sale themselves. Also look at the general area, the condition of the roads, how easy it will be for you to drive to and from work or school, how thick the trees are, how busy the streets are, etc. You can track down the owner using county records and make an inquiry. Pretty important considering it powers all other utilities like your well or septic system and heat pump. Some electric providers will run power to your home site for free, some will charge a fee if it goes over a certain distance, and some will charge you for the full installation.

Also pretty important. Is city water available?

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If not, can you drill a well? The biggest variable in the cost of a well is depth. The type of system and the cost will largely be determined by soil type. Read more about the specifics of septic systems here. Natural gas. Or you can go with electric heat, hot water, and appliances. Heat pumps are very efficient and effective these days.

Phone, internet, and cable. Phone is available pretty much everywhere now, and cell coverage has become nearly universal. There are still some outliers though, so make sure you talk to the phone company about their coverage before you buy. There are two main steps to negotiating for the land: Figure out fair market value and compare it to your budget; and Make your offer and negotiate the deal. Determining Market Value To determine fair market value, do some research on recent sales of similar properties in the area.

Other items that are negotiable include: Closing date. That could mean a tractor or a small mobile home or a shed with a bunch of fence posts and wire. A pin survey , and whether you or the seller will pay for it. Property size. Think about what will happen in the event the property turns out to be bigger or smaller than originally thought.

This may seem weird, but it happens, and the difference seems to always be that the property is a bit smaller. Gather your thoughts. Think about these questions: Do I need more space? Do I need a different arrangement of rooms? Better access to the back yard or garage? Do I need more closets or an attic? Tour some existing houses Now that you have some idea of the number and size of rooms and the desired layout of the house, go tour some open houses that are in or below your budget.

Identify your real reasons Take a minute to reflect on the real reasons you decided you wanted to build a new home. Find and match: Who is going to craft this house plan, and how do we find the right match? How do you find house designers to interview? Narrowing the list of designers Set up appointments to visit them face-to-face. Here are some questions to ask your designer: How do you start the process?

Will we be starting with one of your existing designs? Are they experienced with truly custom plans, or do they like to stay in their comfort zone? How many design iterations will it take? What if I hate the design? A bust first draft can be a learning process. How do you keep the design efficient to build and within budget? How do I pay?

May I see some of your work? Ask to see the plan first before you look at the elevation or rendering. Look for efficiency and attention to detail. What to expect from the homebuilding process, and what NOT to expect We live in an age of consumer products. Forget all that. Now trust him or her. Building Code and Inspections All builders must follow the building code prescribed by the state, city, or county where your home will be located. We promise. It maintains the National Building Specification. Master Builders Australia was a founding partner in New building products and how they are used have become major concerns in the insurance industry.

There have been several large claims in Australia for losses Master Builders Australia Insurance Services state manager Neil Gray related to waffle slabs, electrical cabling and cladding. In response, insurers are increasing premiums and minimising their exposure to large losses so it is important for builders to make sure they have the right cover. Claims relating to the suitability of new products fall into the area of professional indemnity insurance, which covers any act, error, omission or breach of professional duty resulting in a financial loss to a third party such as a client.

For builders, these claims traditionally relate to building designs or design modifications. Now, however, most large insurance claims are being linked to the building products, rather than the design. There has been significant change within the building industry in recent years.

Many of these changes have meant builders being exposed to greater risk as a result of professional services or advice, even if it is obtained externally. A few of these changes have more directly affected builders, like the increase in design and construct contracts in the commercial sector, with professional indemnity cover now being a common contractual obligation. Other changes have resulted in builders being involved in litigation due to allegations of vicarious liability, where builders are held responsible for claims arising as a result of the actions of their consultants or subcontractors.

However, the emergence of new building products is by far the biggest area of concern and insurers are responding with a wide range of exclusions related to product specification. Understanding which exclusion applies to a policy and how it can affect a business is critical to avoid an uninsured loss. As well as carefully reviewing any exclusions which apply, it is important for builders to have the right limit of cover.

More broadly across the construction industry, premium increases and policy exclusions are also being applied to professional indemnity insurance for professionals including building surveyors, architects and engineers.

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It is important to note that novated designs are an issue which is not often covered unless specifically requested. Uncertainty is generating volatility in the professional indemnity insurance market which is expected to continue for some time. Call for more information. Win for builders over liability for the Lacrosse tower fire The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal recently handed down its decision in the highprofile case arising out of the Lacrosse tower fire in Melbourne.

The case is Tom Jacobs relevant in Western Australia because it provides guidance on how the courts approach causation and apportionment between concurrent wrongdoers. The case Owners Corporation No. The presence of the combustible cladding was found to be the primary cause of the fire in late Interestingly, the tribunal found that the builder was liable to the owners for breaching its statutory warranties under the Victorian Domestic Building Contracts legislation regarding suitability of materials, compliance with law and fitness for purposes — but it was the professional consultants involved in the Lacrosse project who ultimately bore liability.

Judge Ted Woodward found that although the builder had breached the above warranties which were absolute in nature and was therefore liable to the owners, he had not failed to exercise reasonable care i. This was because he had discharged his duty to exercise skill and care by properly engaging professional consultants to address Building Code of Australia compliance. The builder did not and was not expected to have the relevant knowledge and skill to perform this task.

The builder gave evidence that aluminium composite panels had been in use since he attended university in s and he had no reason to be concerned. Notably the owners did not press a breach of duty claim against the builder. This was a tactical decision so as not to engage the proportionate liability regime. The court held that the liability should be apportioned according to the chart on the right: The fire engineering firm breached its consultancy agreement by failing to exercise due skill and care and was primarily liable.

The firm also breached its duty to warn and was guilty of misleading and deceptive conduct arising out of the contents of its fire engineering report. The building surveyor also breached its consultancy agreement by failing to exercise due skill and care and bore a high proportion of the liability. The building surveyor was also guilty of misleading and deceptive conduct arising out of its issue of the building permit.

The architect was similarly liable for breach of contract and negligence, primarily due to inadequate design. The court noted that the contractual arrangements between the builder and consultants were commercial arrangements between sophisticated professionals with considerable industry experience. While this case is not binding precedent on the courts of Western Australia and is based on Victorian legislation , it demonstrates how the courts approach complex issues of causation and apportionment. We note that it is perhaps inevitable that this decision will be appealed by one or more of the parties found liable.

Watch this space. Brokering a good finance deal proportion of their business with lenders other than the major banks and their affiliates. The lending market has experienced a lot of changes in recent months, leading to tighter restrictions on borrowing money. This has made the expertise of a finance broker more important than ever. A broker will navigate the market and find a suitable, competitive product for the lending needs of every client.

Considerations

There are often special offers available in relation to lender policy, rates, fees, features and incentives that may make a specific loan more attractive. A professional finance broker is informed of these opportunities on a daily basis and acts on the behalf of clients to find the right finance solution for each one. A broker will know, before lodging the application, which lender is likely to approve your application and which lender may not.

Have you checked to see if there is a better loan product out there for you? Your broker will do that for you. There are many second-tier non-bank lenders in the market that can offer competitive solutions compared to the big four banks. These non-bank lenders access the market through finance brokers and, as a result, drive competition to help consumers find a fairer deal.

The most suitable product may be with one of the major lenders but having options is an empowering position to be in. How can a finance broker save me time? The importance of lodging a successful application the first time can often be crucial to ensuring finance, settlement and building deadlines are met. There have been many regulatory changes in the market that affect loan credit assessment, particularly those placed on lenders by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

Your broker will assess your circumstances and give you the best chance possible of getting your loan approved the first time. This saves time and stress and ensures you meet your finance deadlines, helping you progress with your purchase or project. One workmate in seven will get prostate cancer but how many will survive? Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men but there may be no symptoms in the early stages.

Leading Australian urologists recommend a PSA blood test as the best way to monitor prostate changes and the best chance of surviving prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer Foundation state manager Allison Stephens sees the male-dominated building industry as an important ally in helping to beat the disease. Donations to the foundation are used to fund research, encourage men to be tested, deliver evidence-based information, provide specialist nurses to patients and connect them to peer support. Another way to help men to think of their prostate health is the Blue for Blokes initiative developed by Safeman Australia to raise both funds and workplace awareness for the foundation.

Safeman Australia is the largest independent supplier of personal protective equipment and workwear in the country. They have created a range of Blue for Blokes gear and aim to get Australian men and women out of their normal work wear and into PCFA-branded wear, with a fixed sum from every sale going to the foundation. Safeman WA sales manager Dean Smith says the support from businesses, employees and the wider community has turned Blue for Blokes into an immense success.

This also gives a sense of purpose and community spirit in the place of work, while strengthening the work culture. Toes company on the catwalk Steel toes and stilettos belong at opposite ends of the shoe spectrum but they came together for an enjoyable event and a serious purpose recently. More than 30 tradies in brand new Steel Blue boots were paired with professional models in flimsier footwear and sent out onto the runway to face a lively crowd from the WA building industry.

They were supporting Reflections, a non-profit group focused on reducing the impact of asbestos on the community. Tom joined the event in memory of his grandad, who lost his life to the asbestosrelated disease mesothelioma. With the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world and significant amounts of in-situ asbestos in our built environment, asbestos has left a devastating legacy in WA. Ongoing awareness raising, both in the industry and to the wider community, is essential. Master Builders supported the event and Executive Director John Gelavis said everyone in the building and construction industry should understand the risk of dealing with asbestos.

This is alarming but suggests very strongly the viewpoints our association maintained all along are true. It is time for a renovation to the laws on planning and building in bushfireprone areas. Housing Director Jason Robertson. We see the need to improve resilience within communities and concentrate on life safety measures. At the time, Master Builders asked the government to defer the legislation, expressing our concerns on how it was to be implemented. Now is the perfect opportunity for the State Government to review the policy and make the right changes for all parties, especially the general community.

Our discussions with members show the laws have thrown up significant costs for builders and the wider community. Builders have given us countless examples of existing, highly developed urban subdivisions where complying with the rules, including Bushfire Attack Level BAL assessments, has added thousands of dollars in costs. This has included development builds in areas along coastal strips.

The impacts have been higher in regional areas, with properties near wetlands and water courses having BAL assessment ratings of flame zone, along with potential costs of tens of thousands of dollars. Master Builders warned the government of industry concerns over uncertainty with interpretation of the legislation, the difficulties of many local governments in. Regrettably, evidence suggests the legislative changes implemented in do not address these core issues.

If we accept safeguarding the occupants is the primary principle, with asset protection through firefighting measures secondary, there is still a problem within countless subdivisions where the risk is high from having a single exit and entry point, the risk of massive fuel loading and other compounding issues. There are plenty of examples where resident evacuations have been affected by understandable panic when the single access point has been blocked by the fire itself or people attempting to flee.

The application of building construction standards for bushfire prone areas does not address these important issues. The legislation leaves room for unintended consequences. In building to a construction standard, some may see it as a guarantee they will be safe in the event of a fire and choose to stay if there is a blaze in the area. It could be argued this is unlikely but the possibility exists and it is important to consider.

If homeowners believe their houses have special construction measures for bushfire, they may see it as a safeguard. The simple fact is, no building is completely fireproof. The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety earlier this year completed their audit program of inspections into bushfire compliance in Western Australia. The report found less than 57 per cent. When it is considered some homeowners will spend tens of thousands of dollars to have such provisions but without any guarantees of effectiveness, something needs to change for the better.

And what of the ethical conversation or the debate over individual choice? The legislation has likely meant some people have been unable to build their dream home in the location of choice, even though it previously could have become a reality. In both metropolitan and certainly regional areas, markets may further suffer with insurance premiums skyrocketing, forcing even more financial strain on homeowners.

Fire safety is a dovetail between building design and holistic safety management. Simply put, the best way to manage building activity and construction regarding fire safety, is to prevent fires from starting in the first place. Solutions which are being recommended by Master Builders include a wholesale review of the mapping. We would like to see different requirements for metro and regional areas so appropriate BAL adjustments could take metro conditions into account such as quicker access to fire services and easier ways to get out of a fire area.

We also promote discretionary or transitional clauses so changes can be made, for instance, if further clearing is done in a subdivision so a property with a high BAL rating becomes a lower risk. And we want to add the possibility for non-mandatory application of building standards for certain BAL ratings, including where a Class 10c building private bushfire shelter can be demonstrated as a viable alternative.

We will continue to lobby the State Government to ensure the right changes are enabled. What happens if a builder draws up plans but someone else wins the job based on them? Anecdotally, Master Builders has heard of cases where an owner has sourced a design from the internet and then shopped among builders for refinements to the plan. Frighteningly, there have also Master Builders Legal Director Marianne Rose been reports of owners being coerced into using a specific builder on the basis that they would be sued for copyright infringement if they went with another company.

This issue goes to the heart of integrity of our industry. To understand it, we must first put to rest a common misconnection that a builder can avoid a claim of copyright infringement by merely changing the design by 10 per cent. This is incorrect. For example, Mr and Mrs Patel see a plan they like on the internet.

They show it to their builder and ask for a change in the design by adding an extra bedroom. However, the overall house design is still the same as the original plan. This should sound alarm bells for the builder with regard to copyright infringement since the overall design is too like the original plan. Even though the plan is from the internet, the builder should realise it is could be subject to copyright. We recommend that an owner does not provide original drawings to a builder. Where the design comes from another source, seek permission to use the design through a licence or assignment.

There may be a cost involved but if in doubt speak with the original design owner. It is important to protect yourself and your design because even though there could be an implied licence in design, builders are not WWW. Rather, the best practice where a client has commissioned a design is to have a written agreement. We recommend builders include a disclaimer at the bottom of the plan that states that any plans, drawings or designs do not grant or imply a licence.

To protect their work, a builder should demonstrate what belongs to them. Consider providing designs on your letterhead, with your name and logo on the page. With the Master Builders WA restructure, a legal department has been established under Legal Director Marianne Rose, where the team will be discussing a range of issues and guidance services to assist our members overcome and understand common challenges facing the industry.

To suggest a topic or understand this matter further, please get in touch with Marianne and her team. The information contained in this article is informative only, does not constitute legal advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal advice. Master Builders WA only provides general guidance to its members and does not take into account specific circumstances.

Gassing with George about good energy choices A huge amount of time and effort goes into building a new home but Master Builders and Alinta Energy can help. Here George answers the key questions and gives his top tips to make life a little easier for WA builders and their customers. What is your role at Alinta Energy? The focus of my role is to ensure our key partners in the residential construction market are informed and up to date on the WA natural gas market and the processes and products available from Alinta Energy.

What is the most common question you get asked over the phone or while you are out on site? It can be difficult coordinating all the stakeholders involved in the build process to ensure the gas meter is installed and ready for use in a timely manner. With years of experience in dealing with new connections, our local Perth-based service team are happy to help. What is your view on the current WA gas market? Unlike other fuels, it is a convenient, affordable and a reliable source of energy for both cooking and heating conveniently supplied directly into our homes.

We believe strongly in using a local energy resource because it helps to support jobs in our local community. What are the biggest benefits of connecting gas to a new home? Consider features that will add value to a home that are easier and more affordable to include at the time of building rather than trying to fit in retrospectively. An example is installing a gas bayonet in the alfresco area.

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This will add value and convenience to the home at minimal cost. Building a new home and seeing it take shape should be an exciting time of life. Alinta Energy has been connecting new WA homes to natural gas for more than 23 years. With that track record why trust anyone else with a new gas connection? If you employ workers in the construction industry you may be required by law to register in the Construction Industry Long Service Leave Scheme. Find out by visiting www.

As a result, we conducted extensive customer research and over the weeks and months ahead we will be making a few changes. The first change is an update to our brand. It has served us well but customers told us it was a bit outdated, so we have refreshed it to better represent what we stand for. We are also launching a new website. The old one just did not perform well enough, especially with mobile devices. Given around 60 per cent of all interactions with the website are via mobile devices, this was a problem.

The new site has much clearer content, better tools and will allow us to provide new features over time more easily. Many economies around the world with strong mining and oil and gas industries have similar cycles and this tends to exacerbate the cyclical nature of the property industry, too. One of the things that has helped to insulate us in Western Australia has been our ability to keep younger, often first-time, buyers in the home market.

Government incentives play a part but so does availability of credit. Keystart has been playing a critical role in providing finance options to middle-and-lower-income earners, even when traditional lenders adjust their criteria to reduce their exposure. This year sees Keystart turn 30 years old. The other big change is that we are relocating to new offices in Subiaco that give us better transport links, improved amenity for our people and bring us closer to many of our building industry partners. What we do remains as relevant today as has been since and we will continue to invest to make sure we meet the needs of the community.

We look forward to continuing to work with the building industry over the next 30 years to make the dream of affordable home ownership a reality for more people. After 30 years, it was time for Keystart to take stock and think about what we need to do to continue to deliver this value to our stakeholders for the next 30 years. Mixed results from industrial relations review Industrial relations reform is moving forward in WA and some of the suggestions offered by Master Builders to a recent review have been agreed but others were less successful.

Master Builders provided a comprehensive submission to the review. Construction Director Kim Richardson. A major aim was to avoid an extension of the definition of employee to cover small sub-contractors who work in the local residential construction sector. We are pleased to say the final report makes no recommendation to do so. Master Builders also submitted the view that state union officials must meet a fit and proper person test to be issued with a state union right of entry permit but this was rejected by the reviewer.

A controversial recommendation has been made to allow state union officials entry into private homes dealing with domestic employment. This recommendation has attracted strong criticism. A third key submission was the introduction of safeguards like the Federal work health and safety laws to stop union officials using photos taken during investigations about alleged safety issues for purposes other than the investigation.

The final report makes this recommendation, which we welcome. Master Builders cautioned against this course of action in its submission, proposing an alternate pathway of authorising state industrial inspectors to enter private homes since they must be fit and proper persons to be authorised as inspectors and must follow strict protocols which do not apply to union officials.

However, this approach was not taken up. To access our range of savings visit www. When James Moss made his Master Builders tennis debut he caused an upset among die-hard players by triumphing in the tournament. Being a grandparent may however, challenge his training regime for the next encounter. With more serving practice Joe will be a threat to the more seasoned players whereas Antonio may well have peaked as he struggles to perform at his previous best.

He won the event with 18 games over four sets to his credit. This is the first time a debutant has won at this level. Kendal and James were unbeaten playing together. Ben Keane CHDWA played very consistent tennis and has lifted his game following his return to competitive pennant tennis. Winning 16 games through some impressive aces saw him take third prize. Both showed enormous potential and will be hard to stop with more coaching and training. Former Director Michael McLean drew some tough opponents and finished with a disappointing score of 12 games.

Bob and James showed glimpses of style and tenacity but drew some tough competition during the afternoon. The idyllic weather conditions brought out the best in all players and the tennis was of a remarkably high order which augurs well for their season. Master Builders auditors Butler Settineri have agreed to continue sponsorship of the next corporate tennis afternoon on November Members are encouraged to play. He also adds to the international flavour of the office and brings a trace of the British midlands to the accent mix.

Most of us would flinch at the idea of cycling about km a day for five days but Master Builders Business Director Graeme Dix met the challenge recently when he completed the Hawaiian Ride for Youth. Riders visit towns in WA's SouthWest, Great Southern and Wheatbelt, stopping at high schools to talk about issues of youth suicide, depression and self-harm as well as services offered by Youth Focus.

Doug, who has been Master Builders GoldfieldsEsperance regional liaison officer for the past six years, will retire at the end of June. Having already won the holy grail of golfing, Doug says he and wife Gilly look forward to spending more time relaxing and travelling, including trips interstate to visit grandchildren.

We had visits to multiple schools in the country towns and spoke to the students about youth suicide and how to engage in getting help if they were having difficulty. Master Builders Business Director Graeme Dix thanked Doug for his professionalism and dedicated service in the region and said he would be missed by all. I would like to thank everyone who donated to our team. Many insurance brokers handle a wide range of industries and occupations. Entrusting your business to a specialist construction insurance broker ensures you have the best value for money coverage, expertise to handle claims and access to tailored risk management advice.

Read Story. Pages 1, The rural Waroona home consists of three areas - a main residence, pool wing and private villa. Z Double brick: the king of construction methods. Plus, with a variety of finishes, colours and explore our range of products at dimensions to choose from, a brick is no longer just a brick Insurance Partner WWW.

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AU We can look ahead with confidence now the ABCC is no longer under threat, negative gearing is safe and we can expect support for small businesses and attractive career opportunities in the construction industry. Baugruppe WGV has worked with award-winning architect Michael Patroni, of Spaceagency, on the 14 design for stacked module homes on a square metre lot.

The dolphin experience remains central to the newly redeveloped discovery centre Home improvement ideas on show in Geraldton The new turtle rescue facility More than people were welcomed to the Home Renovation Expo held in Geraldton in March. More than people attended the event, many looking for decorating or home improvement ideas.

Exhibits included a variety of products and services WWW. COM The latest building materials on display Prizes given away included a stone-top bar, barbecues and solar products. The golfers relive their game highs and lows at the post-match gathering Bunkers, birdies and bogeys in Albany Master Builders members from the Great Southern gathered at Grove Park Golf Links in Albany for a day out recently. The top home features a resort-style indoor pool WWW.

The new Integrated Marine Operations Centre dominates the Port Hedland skyline The high-tech facility controls shipping movements throughout the Pilbara The search for the finest new buildings in the North West this year took judges on an epic journey of more than 10,km while dodging a cyclone. Impressive outdoor entertaining area to suit the tropical location The Kimberley Pilbara best home It is also the centre for the harbour master, dredging management, port security, marine pilot briefing facilities and incident control.

COM Mr Gubitta was found potentially liable but was not required to pay any damages. Builders are supporting the NCPR for this very reason. COM A few of these changes have more directly affected builders, like the increase in design and construct contracts in the commercial sector, with professional indemnity cover now being a common contractual obligation.