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Building standards, regulations and inspections

You are preparing to build your new home, or more likely have someone build it for you. You need to know many things one of which concerns standards, rules and regulations. Within this topic there are at least three areas of expertise you should know about – state, local and consumer.  To be aware, to have the knowledge at even a layperson’s level, gives you peace of mind, saves time and saves money. Do some reading, ask questions and make your building project a winner.

State governments have statutory authorities and what they say goes. Their documentation is freely available and online. You don’t have to leave home or pay for documents. Each state and territory will create and operate their own building codes. These are statewide regulations and these can be found on your state’s building commission’s [or whatever statutory authority name they use] web page. A typical link would be headed something like Regulations and Legislation. Current issues such as removal of asbestos are the responsibility of state authorities.

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Avoid building construction rip-offs

So you’ve decided to go ahead and build your new home. Congratulations and good luck because for some new homebuilders the experience can be difficult. You want to increase the chances that the whole experience will be successful or, reduce the chances of things going wrong. You can influence the end result. Here are some ideas to help make your project a winner.

Broadly speaking, you have two major tasks. The first is to find a builder and the second is to make sure that the work done by the builder is up to scratch.

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10 Things some builders won’t tell you

Now at the risk of causing you disquiet or stress, I need to say that there are some builders who not only cut timber they also cut corners. This is where we come up against the situation where the rules are followed but the end result is not necessarily good.

Let’s take a typical situation. You want a new home to be built so you employ a builder to erect it. The local authority has approved your plans, the builder is registered and during the course of construction, the approved inspector checks the work and when finished gives it a certificate of occupancy. Your new home is ready for you to move in.

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Tips on choosing the right builder

When you think about it, if you’re having a new home built, it could be the biggest financial investment you’ll ever make. That fact alone should send out messages loud and clear to get it right, to do your homework and to hasten slowly.

Everyone should plan well but especially so if you are a novice when it comes to building a house. You have the greatest reason to plan well. Remember if you fail to prepare you prepare to fail. So here are some practical steps even a newbie would-be home owner can take to ensure they get what they pay for, on time and to a really high standard. These steps don’t guarantee perfection but they do lower the risk of problems.

Millions of homeowners have had a great working relationship with their builder and been very satisfied with their new home. Sadly some have fallen out big time with their builder and their tales of woe make for heart-rending reading. Here are some helpful tips.

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How Whimsical Can A White Picket Fence Get?

For the plain, white, wooden picket fence, you wouldn’t think there was much you could do in the way of decoration. But one garden artist figured that once you think about how the top of the fence is cut, the sky is the limit. So check out this city skyline rendered on a fencetop, and marvel at how many corners you have to think around just to come up with that. The only downside is that, from a distance, it looks like the fence was chewed down by a teething raptor.

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Money – Don’t Let It Manage You!

Today there is little you can achieve without adequate funding. We can all talk about bartering and off the grid economies where we swap something we own or can do for something someone else has that we want. Realistically this rarely stretches past a few dozen backyard chook eggs or a quick service of the second car. Adequate funding means having the right amount of money to get the job done in the way we want it done, in the time we want it to take and to a standard we are happy to pay for.

The secret to getting any project done within budget and on time, which is what we are talking about here, is to have a proper budget in place. Whether you are renovating the bathroom, building a holiday home or looking at an investment property, you need to have a budget.

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Plumbing – We All Need It

When Australia became a nation in 1901, most homes didn’t have indoor plumbing. Having a toilet inside the home was considered unsanitary to say the least. Today, 21st Century Australia enjoys hot and cold running water, indoor plumbing and a standard of hygiene that adds considerably to our quality of life. As vital as modern plumbing is, we still seem to resent having to call the plumber and pay the fees they charge. Often $80 for a call out and the first 15 minutes is about what most are charging, on average. In upscale suburbs it can be over the $100 mark just to have him park his white van in your driveway.

Yes, we are somewhat at their mercy because we need our plumbing to work and we take it so much for granted until it stops working. The other day we discovered out hot water tank’s relief valve drain pipe was no longer dripping water as it had for, admittedly, some months. Now it was flowing out. Time to take action! The replacement part cost $189.50 including GST and delivery and it was a fit it yourself affair. Or, we could have a plumber come and replace it for $225. We rang around and got a better quote of $190, fitted. Proof again were any needed of the value of not taking the first quote offered.

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4 Ways to Save Money for a Home Deposit

Buying a home is a major milestone towards adulthood for most people. However gone are the days when you could just turn up to the bank and score a 100% loan. Today banks want to see evidence of some genuine savings before they hand over the cash to fund your first home.

If you want to have your own little place to call home you will need to save up at least a 10% deposit.  Now with the soaring prices of property and rapid increase of general living expenses, many people have a tough time saving up enough money for a home deposit – actually it feels near impossible. However with strategic planning and budgeting you can turn your dream into a reality. Here are four ways you can save more money and build your balance faster.

1. Get Other Debt Out of the Way First

It is hard to focus on saving the money you need for a home deposit when you are overwhelmed with trying to pay off all your other debts. If you have debts with high interest rates, such as credit cards or personal loans, you are better off putting all your money towards paying these debts off first. By paying these debts off first you are saving yourself a lot of money on interest, money which can be better put towards a home deposit. Once all your debts are paid off, open up a new savings account and put any money that you would have put on your old debts into your new savings account – watch how fast your deposit grows.

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Explore Modernist Australian Landscapes

A jaw-dropping photo essay we have to share is over at Grass-Trees and Butterfly Chairs, showing off a delightful outdoor decorating bonanza. Even any one of these photos would make great inspiration for a full-scale design, but the rich combination of all of them makes it all too much. If we lived here, we would never go inside.

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