Building new homes with Vic Turnkey Homes

How long has Vic Turnkey Homes been in business for?

We established in 2009 under the “My Complete Package” brand.

What does your house packages come with?

Landscaping, fencing, blinds, driveway, letterbox, clothesline, paving, air conditioning, floor coverings, toilet roll holders, towel holders, and lots of upgrades that builders call extras like stone benchtops, mixer taps, LED Downlights and many more.

Why are your prices so good?

We save a money by not having to set up typical display homes, spend large amounts on advertising, and we work with low overheads and very reasonable margins.

Does your price include developer guidelines and covenants?

Yes, when you receive a price from us, it includes all the extra costs required to comply with Developer’s Requirements. Each land development has a set of rules and guidelines that need to be complied with, and most of these requirements have an extra cost involved. So, these items are considered when we quote. Examples include Recycled Water Provisions, NBN Provisions, Colorbond Fencing, a minimum percentage of the façade to be rendered and more.

Does your prices include all site costs, rock removal etc?

Yes, no surprises on our land, or land that we find for you. With land that you find, or your own land, we will need the Plan of Subdivision, Engineering Plan, and preferably Compaction/Fill report showing Level 1 Compaction if there is fill on the land, in order to give you an upfront fixed price. Otherwise, we can do a soil test and survey, if the land is registered, and give you a fixed price (usually approximately 10 days).

Are there any hidden costs?

No, you will be given a fixed price up front before you pay a deposit. You will not wait for weeks or months to get a final price. We don’t just give you a base or “from” price with nothing included like most builders, where you need to add thousands of dollars for site costs, council requirements, Bushfire Levy, floor coverings, etc.

What areas do you build in?

Melbourne Metro, and primary areas like Greater Geelong, Lara, Ballarat, Bacchus Marsh, Ballan, Romsey, Lancefield, Wallan, Beveridge, Kilmore. Small towns outside Melbourne Metro will be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

Do you have homes we can walk through?

We have homes in Melbourne you can inspect. (North, West). These homes have our standard finishes and inclusions, so you can see a “real” home. Not a typical display home full of extras/upgrades. This way it is easier for you to see what you are getting.

Will you build on my land?

Yes, we will assess all land on a case-by-case basis.

Do you do knockdown rebuilds?

Yes, we have built numerous knockdown rebuilds in established areas and will assess on a case-by-case basis.

Do you design for narrow blocks?

With land prices on the increase in Melbourne, many estates now offer smart blocks as an economical alternative. Smart blocks are usually very narrow and have a zero allotment on one side. We have a great deal of experience in this type of home build and can easily adapt the many designs we have to suit an inner suburban site or a smart block site in a new estate. We have designs that range from 8m to 16m wide frontage.

Do you have house designs for land with small lot housing code under 300m2 (SLHC) that are becoming very popular?

Yes, we specialise in designs for the Small Lot Housing Code. 8.5m x 25 – 32m, 10.5m x 21 – 28m, 12.5m x 21m, 14m x 21m, 16m x 16m.

Can I modify the floorplan?

Yes, we can modify our floor plans, or customise something from scratch.

Will it cost extra to customise?

As a general rule, yes, there is a small one-off fee, and any added cost to add size or extra material size (kitchens, cupboards, etc.)

Will you build my plan?

We will look at anything that works within our normal system and methods. However, due to copyright issues, we can’t build another builder’s floor plan.

Can we choose our own colours?

Yes, depending on the package, you may get a Customised Colour Selection appointment where you will choose all your colours for inside and out, or you can simply choose from pre-determined colour boards that have been put together by professionals.

Do you build unit/townhouse developments?

Yes, we will look at this on a case-by-case basis.

Can you help us source suitable land?

Yes, we have long lasting relationships with land developers, and have access to various land options.

How long does the process take to start on site?

With registered land, it generally takes 10 -14 weeks to start on site. With titled land and land about to title with 2 months, it generally takes 6-9 weeks for a site start, subject different factors. It can vary due to outside factors. If a Developer Approval is required, this time frame can vary.

What happens after the building contract is signed? When will construction commence?

After your construction contract is signed, there will be a period of time allocated for your mortgage lender to approve and finalise your finance application, which your build contract will be used for.

Once finance is approved, a lot of background work is completed to have full construction plans drafted and approved by necessary officials.

We can only start building on your block of land if finance has settled and the land is registered (if in a new estate), and proof of land ownership has been issued.

How long does it take to build?

Average build times are approximately 26 weeks for a single storey home on a standard allotment, without excessive site fall or site access issues. Difficult sites can add extra time.

Can you organise finance for us?

Yes, we can help you organise finance with one of our Finance Broker partners, at no cost or obligation to you. Low deposit options are available, subject to terms and conditions.

How much deposit do I need?

As little as $3,000 to start with. This depends on your situation, and several different factors. So, it is a case-by-case basis. Generally, you will need a 5% deposit. Low deposit options are available to qualified buyers. Terms and conditions apply.

How can I provide confirmation of my finance commitment?

If a mortgage is required, you will need to give us a copy of the Loan Approval Letter authorised by your financial institution confirming that you have arranged your finance. As soon as you have signed your mortgage documents, we will need the Mortgage Confirmation letter signed and stamped by the bank. Along with any supporting documents providing proof of any difference if the Finance Approval doesn’t cover the full cost of building and land contract. If a mortgage is not required, we require a Verification of Funds letter, authorised and returned by your financial institution, or a copy of your current bank statement.

When do I start making repayments?

Once you settle on the land, you will have interest to pay. Then as construction starts, the interest payments gradually increase as your loan gets drawn on to pay the builder after each stage of construction.

What type of building contract do you use?

We use a standard industry building contract that is purchased from the Housing Industry Association. This contract has clear and concise notes and clauses and is also fair and reasonable for both client and builder.

Do you have a sample contract and specification we can view?

Yes, we can send you a blank sample copy.

What does ‘Subject To Finance’ mean?

It means your contract is only valid if you obtain unconditional finance for the contract amount. It gives our customers the right to cancel their contract if their loan is declined.

Do I have to pay stamp duty?

First Home Buyers currently don’t pay stamp duty on land purchasers up to $600,000. Non-First Home Buyers pay stamp duty on land only, not the build component (saving thousands). Non fits home buyers pay stamp duty only on the land component.

At what stages do we have to pay you to build our new home?

We use the Housing Industry Association (HIA) Plain Language building contract which sets out the 7 stages for payment.

The 7 stages are:

• Preliminary deposit of $3,000 which forms part of your 5% contract deposit
• Deposit (generally paid at contract signing – 5%)
• Base (paid once the concrete slab is laid – 10%)
• Frame (paid once the frame and trusses are erected – 15%)
• Lock-Up (paid once the house has been locked up 35%)
• Fixing (paid once the plaster is up, kitchen and bathroom cupboards installed – 25%)
• Practical Completion (paid when the house is complete 10%)

Each of these stages are clearly identified within the building contract.

Will my house be energy efficient?

Yes, all homes in Victoria must be at least 6-star energy rated.

Will I be kept up to date during construction?

Yes, you will get regular updates throughout the process, including photos at key stages. Site meetings can be arranged during the build.

As a first home buyer, will I be supported throughout the process?

Yes, along with regular updates, we are always available to discuss anything required. We are there from the start to the finish. We also attend the Practical Completion Inspection and Handover with you to ensure everything has gone to plan.

Can we visit the building site?

Yes, you can. Access is by appointment with the builder during normal working hours.

What is meant by the fall of the land?

The fall of the land is basically the steepness of the block. Your block maybe classified as either flat, moderately steep or steep. Moderate and steep blocks are often classified as difficult sites. Flat blocks tend to be cheaper to build on due to little or no site costs, over and above our standard allowances.

How will the fall of the land affect costs?

Flat blocks are usually built on a slab foundation. This is considered the simplest, quickest and most economical form of building. As the block becomes steeper additional work is required to get it prepared for construction. Preparation often involves excavation and depending on the degree of difficulty, retaining walls. Generally, the steeper the block, the higher the cost will be for the build. The larger the cut needed on your land, the more likelihood there is of hitting rock.
Other things to consider with steep blocks are site access for deliveries and issues with the height of your home.

What is the difference between a site scrape, excavation and a cut and fill?

A ‘site scrape’ is to simply remove the very top layer of the block to make it clean.

An ‘excavation’ is needed when the site is required to be at a certain level and usually consists of a cut and fill method.

A ‘cut and fill’ refers to the process of cutting into the hillside or slope of the block. The material removed from area is then used to ‘fill’ the site to achieve the desired level.

What is a site classification?

It is a classification determined by an engineer based on soil test results. Soils vary from lot to lot; a slab designed for a stable soil lot will be inadequate for reactive soil types with high movement.

The classes include:

A – Mostly sand and rock sites, very little ground movement- Slightly reactive
M- Moderately reactive ground
h3- Highly reactive ground
H2- Highly reactive ground
E- Extremely reactive ground
P- Problem sites – For sites which include deep controlled fill, uncontrolled fill, soft/loose soil, land slip, mine subsidence, collapsing soil, or soil subject to erosion, large trees close by
Classes S, M, H and E generally refer to sites with clay soils and how reactive the soil is to changes in moisture content which can impact on the footings/slab.

What is a soil report?

A report based on a series of soil samples taken from the block of land. By testing the soil in various locations, it enables engineers to classify the soil type and provide the appropriate footing system for the home.

What is a feature survey?

A report that is normally performed with the soil report and details boundaries, services, levels, structures and more.

What things do we need to know about the land before construction can start?

1. Will the levels on the site change?
2. What are the land levels and contours?
3. Are there any retaining walls on the block or neighbouring properties?
4. Is sewerage connected?
5. Are boundary pegs on the land?
6. Is power connected?
7. What are the stages of development of the neighbouring properties?
8. Are water and water mains connected?
9. Is there a storm water pit?
10. Is there a discharge point?
11. Is there a gas connection point at the land?
12. Surety we are assessing the correct site.
13. Is the subdivision complete?
14. Is there existing fencing?
15. Are there any site barriers?
16. Are there trees on the site or adjoining sites?
17. Are there footpaths on your site?
18. Is there a roll over kerb, a kerb opening or a vehicle crossing point on the site?
19. Is there good access, is it steep or will we have access difficulty with excessive water?

What is a bored pier?

This is a method of reinforcement underneath the slab as part of engineering. The piers are concrete and usually placed under the slab until they reach the clay (hard soil). The slab is then placed on top.

What is an easement?

A section of land registered on the Certificate of Title providing Council or utility providers right of access to the property. Often pipes such as sewer or storm water are in the easement. You may not build a house or other permanent structure over an easement without consent.

What is a siting?

The proposed new home is placed onto the block of land. The home to scale complies with the regulatory requirements, including building envelopes and developer guidelines.

What is a building envelope?

A designated area on your land within which all building work must be contained. A building envelope is registered on your title by the council and will be shown in the plan of Subdivision attached to the Vendor Statement.

What is a setback?

The minimum allowable distance from the boundaries on your land to your home. Front, rear, sides.

What is a crossover?

The kerb opening to the lot to allow vehicle access to the property. It is important to check the location of the crossover when siting the new home.

What is a facade?

The front or face of a house. Land Developers will generally have to approve the look of the façade, along with colours. It’s important to deal with someone that is experienced with this.

What does ‘Roof Pitch’ mean?

The angle of a sloping roof, usually expressed in degrees, eg.22 degree pitch.

What is a re-establishment survey?

A re-establishment survey may be required prior to construction starting if 2 or more boundary/title pegs are missing. A qualified Land Surveyor is required to re-establish the site boundaries at an extra cost.

How do I maintain my land?

In order for a builder to build on the block of land, rubbish and vegetation will need to be cleared. It is a good idea to keep the block maintained to ensure there isn’t a lot of work required before the site start. A temporary fence is a way to keep people from dumping rubbish. Ensure no title pegs are removed.

Why is maintaining my block of land important?

Maintaining the block means, after the administration stage is completed, we will be able to get to the construction phase earlier. If the block is not maintained, it could take few weeks to remove rubbish, cut grass/shrubs and get boundaries identified, all of which could delay the start of the build.

What is a building permit?

A building permit must be granted before the construction of the new home commences. This ensures the construction plans and engineering comply with all relevant building regulations and have been approved by a registered building surveyor.

Do you organise designs and permits?

Yes. We do organise designs and permits. We provide a full in-house design, permit and build service.

Can we choose our own building surveyor?

Yes, If you wish to engage your own Building Surveyor to issue Permits and perform mandatory inspections, the following conditions apply:

– The owner must provide the name, registration number, and contact details of the nominated Building Surveyor, within 30 days of signing the contract.
– You must pay for your own Building Surveyor (Note: no credit against the building contract will be provided)
– You are not permitted to employ a private building inspector

What is an occupancy permit?

Also called a Certificate of occupancy, this document is issued by a Building Surveyor after final inspection of the new home. The Building Surveyor may have to visit the property several times. It certifies the home is ready to move into.

Why are downpipes placed to the front facade?

As per building regulations, downpipes are placed every 12 lineal metres around the home.

What is recycled water?

Recycled water is mostly used for watering the garden and flushing toilets. It may be available if building within an estate, so you may need to arrange for it to be connected to the home at a cost. This would be determined up front.

What are fibre optic cables?

Fibre optic cables provide the new communication infrastructure within the home for high-speed internet etc. New estates generally require new homes to be ‘cable ready’, so access to high-speed internet is immediately available. The connection/account opening fee is the responsibility of the new homeowner.

What is a community infrastructure levy?

Homeowners may be required to pay a community infrastructure levy (CIL) to support community facilities required for the residents of a defined area. This applies most commonly to new estates and is governed by the developer of the land and the council in which the block is situated. These community facilities include local preschools, maternal and child health centres, community halls/multipurpose buildings, and other recreation facilities. Check with the local council to see what CIL will need to be paid.

Are warranties provided?

Warranties under building law

Builders and tradespeople must honour the implied warranties in the Domestic Building Contracts Act, which require that they:

• Carry out the work in a proper and workmanlike manner, in accordance with the plans and specifications set out in the contract
• Ensure all materials supplied are good and suitable for the purpose and are new, unless otherwise stated in the contract
• Carry out the work in accordance with all laws and legal requirements
• Carry out the work with reasonable care and skill and complete works by the date (or within the period) specified by the contract
• Ensure new homes, extensions, renovations, repairs and kit homes (or similar) are suitable for occupation when completed
• Ensure other types of work and the material used are reasonably fit for the intended purpose.

Implied warranties are automatically applied to all domestic building work, regardless of the cost or whether or not there is a written contract.

These warranties transfer to a new owner for up to 10 years from completion of the work.
This right transfers to a new owner if the property is sold within this time.

Seek legal advice for more information, including if the building work is older than 10 years.

Domestic building insurance

By law, builders or tradespeople must take out domestic building insurance for their clients when the cost of the works exceeds $16,000. This insurance only gives you limited cover.

Domestic building insurance, previously known as ‘builders warranty insurance’, protects consumers in the event their builder or tradesperson cannot finish the building project or fix defects because they have:

• Died
• Become insolvent, or
• Disappeared

If the policy was issued on or after 1 July 2015, it also provides cover if the builder fails to comply with a final order made by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) or a court.

The builder or tradesperson must provide a copy of the policy and a certificate of insurance covering the property before a deposit or any other money is paid.

Domestic building insurance covers costs up to $300,000 to fix structural defects for six years, and non-structural defects for two years. Claims on the policy for work that was not completed may be limited to only 20 per cent of the contract price.

In all other cases, the builder or tradesperson is required to fix or complete works in accordance with the contract.

Defects Period

Defect/Liability/Maintenance Period is 6 months, compared to the 3-month industry standard.