Author: Carnelian Projects

10 things to ask your builder before you sign anything

Want to have all your new home questions answered in one place? Join Greater Bank and Carnelian at our joint information session on Wed, May 24!
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We recently explored what it takes to build a new home, but our partners at Carnelian Projects have given us the inside word on making sure your new build lives up to your daydreams.

Here are the 10 things you should ask your builder before you sign anything, thanks to Carnelian Projects.


The Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) aims to deliver equitable, effective water and greenhouse gas reductions across NSW.

Ask your builder, "Are all the council requirements included in your tender price?"

For example, it's the law in NSW that every home has a rain water tank and the government's energy efficiency guidelines require insulation to be placed in all the walls and ceilings.

2. Bushfire Requirements

All land has a Bushfire BAL Rating, which refers to the level of protection the house needs in a bushfire. Check with your builder to ensure your home is being built in line with the correct rating. 

For example, if the BAL is 12.5, all external hinged doors are to have weather strips and the gutters need gutter guards.

3. Slab

Different soil requires different slab classification. Check to see if your builder has quoted for a slab that matches your block's soil classification.

4. Rock

We've all heard a story of a builder striking rock and the new homeowner getting a hefty bill. Ask your builder if rock is covered in their tender. 

Keep in mind it's not only when the builder is excavating the block that rock is a possibility, but also when the plumber is digging down for the pipes for the house.

5. Water/Electricty/Sewer Connection

Does your builder's quote cover the services to be connected to the house? If the house needs to be pushed back further from the front boundary for Council requirements, will there be an extra fee?

6. Soil removal

If your builder is cutting into the block significantly, what happens to the excess soil? And, is the soil removal included in their price?

7. Tree removal

Often, a block needs a good tidy-up before building can commence. Check with your builder to see if tree removal and site clearing of any overgrown scrubs is included in the price.

8. Easements

Check if there are any sewer or water easements or general estate easements that the builder has to be aware of. This can affect how your home is positioned on the block.

9. Alfresco

Alfresco areas are a must in all new homes these days, but check with your builder if the roof or flooring are included in the price.

10. Lighting/Carpet/Tiles/Blinds/Landscaping/Fencing/Driveway

These are all big ticket items and can cost you time and money to purchase and arrange for installation. So, check that these are all included in your builder's quote. 

Also, keep in mind that some new housing estates require landscaping and fencing to be completed within three months of you moving in.


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