Great Testimonial

I just got this sent to me from one of my happy clients. This was totally unsolicited too.

Hi Ben,

We received handover for our home early last month but have been busy moving etc. We just wanted to email to thank you for all the help planning and designing the house. Especially with the amount of changes we put you through.
The house is everything we imagined, flows beautifully and best of all maximises the space on our narrow lot. Everyone is amazed at how small it looks from the front but how spacious the home actually is. There is honestly nothing we would change after living in the home for nearly 2 months now- I think this is a rare occurrence for first time builders! We will definitely recommend yourself and Plunkett to anyone looking to build.

Kind Regards,
Alka and Stephanie

The R Codes changes August 2013

The state government released the new Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) on Monday the third of June. The new R-Codes will be formally gazetted and will come into effect on Friday 2nd August 2013, allowing for a two month transition period.

Various amendments to the R-Codes have been undertaken, however, the majority of these are clarifications to ensure efficient operation and effective interpretation, especially as they relate to single houses.

The key amendments can be summarised as follows:

• Ancillary accommodation (‘granny flats’):
o removal of the requirement for occupancy by a relative of the main householder; and
o increase of the permitted floorspace.
• Development control:
o the use of ‘local development plans’ (currently referred to as ‘Detailed Area Plans’) are clarified to remove the need for separate development approval of single houses, regardless of lot sizes, where a local development plan has been prepared and adopted by the Local Government; and
o lowering the small lot size threshold from 350m2 to 260m2 for which development approval is required to be obtained for a single house.
• Lot sizes:
o modifications to the minimum areas set out by Table 1 of the R-Codes for various codes to enhance flexibility;
o lowering the R20 lot size average area (from 500m2 to 450m2) to revert to the previous area set out in the pre-2002 version of the R-Codes, to simplify their administration; (THIS IS THE BIG CHANGE – SO YOU NEED TO TALK TO ME IF YOU NEED TO KNOW MORE)
o the inclusion of minimum and average lot size for the R80 code for single house and grouped dwelling development to provide for increased flexibility and emerging small lot housing trends.

A full set of documents including:
• State Planning Policy 3.1 – Residential Design Codes
• Residential Design Codes – Explanatory Guidelines
• Planning Bulletin 109/2013 – Residential Design Codes
• R-Codes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
• Summary Schedule of Amendments
• Development Control Policy 2.2 – Residential Subdivision (2013)
can be downloaded from the following website

An important issue to remember is that after the codes come into effect on the 2nd of august 2013, any planning approval provided will be based on the new R-Codes (2013 version) regardless of whether your submission was made prior to the 2nd August and was designed on the basis of the 2010 version of the codes.

Information sessions will also be delivered by the Department of Planning, details of which are also available at the above website.

So this can mean that small R-20 Blocks can now be subdivided too.
So give me a call to discuss if you block may now be suitable and to capitalise on the growth.

House pricing

Interesting news and a good read.

Sub-dividing the right way.

So you have a development block or are thinking of doing building on the block.
Unit Development
What do I do, where do I go, and who do I talk to.

People automatically think, go to a surveyor and tell them to sub-divide the block. The only problem with that is that they are good a dividing up the blocks, but have no much idea of what type of design is the most economical for building.

The trouble is these days, when you put in an application to the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC), straight away it gets sent out to the relevant authorities. When it gets to the Shire planning office of the relevant area, the shire quickly defer the application pending a Development Approval (DA)

So you now have to find out what you can build on the block to get the DA. You need to talk to someone who develops blocks, like myself :). I see lots of plans that area not practical to build on for various reason. Things like turning circles, services and even rubbish collection points.

I am not saying that I am the only one that can do this, but the simple thing is you should talk to a builder in the beginner. When people come to me that have already wasted about 3 to 4 months and still have not idea of what they want.

Ultimately, the money IS in the land, but you need to make it work for you, quickly and with no fuss.

The Bedford

The Leederville Narrow Lot Homes Video

Narrow Lot Homes Video

This is my first video

Narrow Lot Homes Promo Video 1

Advise and price for the cost of a coffee.

What do you get for a cup of coffee these days? Not much. Well you get time to have a chat with me about your new home or project. Then if you decide you would like me to do work on you plans and quote, that won’t cost your either (unless I need a survey of the block). I can meet you at our office in Cannington or I can come to you. What the cost you say – well just a cup of coffee.
If that sounds good, just call or email me today.

From the idea to your new home.

From the idea to your new home.

So you have been thinking or building a new family home or investing in your future. But what do you do to find out more?
Do you talk to your friends and family, talk you your accountant or talk to your work colleagues. I would do all the above but the best thing to do is to do you research FIRST. Too many people rush out, talk to a real estate agent who will spruik the advantages of the block or house in question. You need to know a little more information before you commit.
Does the block have a slope, is there cap rock in the area or is the clay. I can help you and advise you on the best options available. I will give you the straight answer . At the end of the day you need to be happy with your decision. But you need the whole picture first.

New Year, great outlook.

It’s the start of a great new year and the signs are out there that things are on the improve. With building at one of the lowest levels in decades, now is the time to get cracking with that project you have been thinking about.
Things are going to get busier as the year continue.

Rents are on the rise and with more that 6 trillion dollars committed by various mining companies and interests.
Unbelievable rents are being paid for by people at the moment that just shock me. $850PW in Canning Vale, $1250PW in Stirling.

This will spur on the real estate market as investors (many of them cashed up) return to the market.
So let’s get cracking……

6 Star Energy Rating

Get in now before 6-STAR Energy rating
Most people would be unaware that as of next year there are changes in the BCA(Building Code of Australia) in relation to the Star ratings required to new homes. New homes will require a 6 Star energy rating.
What does this mean for you?
Basically, 6 –star rating is the thermal performance of a home and everything from the house orientation to adding down lights can affect the rating. What is will mean is you may not be able to have those great big windows to your view without having to spend $$$ to compensate for the heat loss/gain because of the windows.
The Plan needs to be assessed by an accredited energy rater and is it does not comply, things like greater roof insulation, wall insulation, comfort glass or double glazing WILL need to be added to make it comply.
So designing a house right in the first place is extremely important.

Just for a laugh.

Saw another article in the Newspaper about yet another building broker starting up.

I have to laugh when reading the points about the advantages of a building broker.
It mentioned that the successful builder does not have to pay commission to the salesman because the broker bypasses them. HOW do you thing the broker gets paid? Ultimately by the builders.

The Broker will charge you for a design and pricing, anywhere from $2000 to $10000(which the broker gets paid upfront first). They will design the client what they want without know the costs and a particular building. The Client will fall in love with the plan and then be guttered when the price comes back. Not forgetting how long this process will take you…
I see this all the time with people that do the rounds and then end up building with me.

Yes I am Sales Professional and yes I get a fee for my service only once you get your house started. I will assess, design and price your home free of charge (WOW) and I want happy clients from start to finish and beyond.

Finally – Interest rates cut

The RBA announce the cut in interest rates after remaining on hold for the last 10 months.
Now the investors will come out to play and start buying!

Do your homework first. PLEASE.

I get a lot of clients that buy the blocks first with all of the best intension. The problem is that expectations are usually higher than what the budget will extend to. PLEASE just give me a call to get a realistic idea of what can be done a block. To the untrained eye, a block can seem easy to build on.
I always need to look outside the block and take into account;
Block slope, services, easements, retaining and access issues.

Just a little extra time can save you ALOT of heart ache, but remember if the block is cheap or has been on the market a long time – there is a reason.

Outlook for Australian Housing

Looks like a very bright outlook for the Perth housing market. Click here.

Welcome to my BLOG

Welcome the my blog about Narrow Lot Homes and other building related subjects. If you have any questions, simply send them thru to me. I will begin shortly on commenting on a few subject that may be be relevant.
Subjects include Narrow Lot Homes, Small lot homes, Unit development tips and many more.

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