"It’s very exciting to see the slabs go down."
The 13 steps in the construction phase of building a new home
Property development can be daunting so I’ve put together some FAQs to help address some of the important questions that will arise as you start your development.
This has been broken down to a three-part series:
2. Construction Time
“Each of us is carving a stone, erecting a column, or cutting a piece of stained glass in the construction of something much bigger than ourselves.” Adrienne Clarkson
Construction time is the best part of developing property. Seeing that first sod turned and standing back as the excavator starts to form up your site is truly satisfying. The groundbreaking, also known as cutting the site, marks a massive milestone in your development project.
There is so much work that needs to be completed before getting to this stage. You’ve found a site, negotiated to purchase it, researched with the council and other authorities, run your feasibility, got your designs done, had your building quotes completed, prepared documentation and lodged your development application, perhaps battled with the council. Then you’ve obtained your consent and engineering and construction certificate (CC) plans and the CC consent. Once fully approved there are still more hoops to jump through and it’s off to your lender to get your finance organised and finally unconditional approval.
The development process is like an iceberg. Most of the work required in project managing your property development is done before you cut the site. It’s all hidden below the surface.
So by the time your project comes out of the ground, you have done most of the work. Inexperienced developers won’t understand this, but I know the sheer volume of hours required to get a project to the construction phase is phenomenal.
When can I start construction?
As soon as you have your DA – development application and CC – construction certificate – consents and you have obtained an unconditional finance approval, your builder can start construction.
What is the first process?
Site clearing is required before you can start preparing your slab or footings. So ensure your builder has included vegetation and tree removal. If you are demolishing an old house or building then ensure this is done before your builder is ready to start, as you do not want to hold up the process.
How should I manage my builder?
It’s important to have open communication with your builder from the start. Explain to him that you want to be involved and depending on your experience and time available let him know if you will be project managing the development or engaging a project manager.
As project managers, we are in constant communication with our builder’s site or construction mangers.
What does a project manager do and do I need one?
A project manager can help you to fast track your development. A good project manager will:
You could use a project manager if you are inexperienced or time poor or both. It’s a good idea to use a project manager if you want to learn the process of developing, you can have your hand held through the development and will be amazed by what you will learn by being guided through the process.
Main steps in the construction phase include (for typical slab & brick construction):
When can I lease out or sell my development?
Once handover is completed and you have received the occupation certificates from the council or your private certifier, you can lease the dwellings out. If you are building more than one dwelling then you may also be subdividing, so you cannot sell the individual dwellings before you have subdivision approval. They may be sold subject to approval or registration of the subdivision.
Seeing your development emerge from the dust and dirt and slowly take shape until it resembles exactly what you have planned is one of the most exciting and satisfying moments you could experience as a property developer.
As I see Property Bloom projects come to completion, it really makes me feel like we’ve achieved an amazing thing for our clients; manufactured equity, provided education, created strong yields and most of all helped them fast-track their portfolios and plan for their future. It is such a wonderful feeling to step back and look at what’s been created and understand the needs that have been met for our clients and for the local communities we develop in. Seeing the dwellings tenanted or sold and lived in by families that will get to enjoy the fruits of your labour is what it’s all about.
Jo Chivers is director of Property Bloom, which manages property development.