FAQs

FAQs2018-08-07T11:50:23+10:00
What is your square meter rate for building?2020-10-21T13:33:37+10:00

This is the question most often asked and the one most difficult to answer – at least initially.  As a custom builder, we have had clients with a hugely varying wish list, and we have built on blocks with a range of site challenges.  There is no ‘one size fits all’ with custom builds, and whilst not wanting to avoid answering this question, a great deal more information is required to provide a meaningful response.

We would love to catch up for a discussion relating to your goals.  Once we have a better understanding of your architectural preferences, your must have wish list, and learn a little more about your site, we’ll be in a better position to provide genuine feedback & help set realistic goals that are achievable.

When would you like to organise a time to have a chat?

How long will it take to build my new home?2020-10-21T16:21:00+10:00

Although not as open-ended as the square meter pricing question, it is still subject to the specifics involved with each project, and of course weather.  As an example we recently completed a single-level home with easy site access in ten weeks, whereas it required nearly 12 months to achieve the quality finish we were after at another three-level home with suspended slabs on a steeply sloping site that had limited access.

Depending where you are up to in the planning stage, there are the preliminary works to take into account prior to making a start on site.  More about this in the ‘design and build process’ section.

Why use a custom builder?2018-05-23T11:25:18+10:00

For some, the savings in terms of time and dollars with selecting a ‘volume builder’ will be so attractive, that exploring the more personalised service and quality of product delivered by a custom builder, such as Suncity Homes, won’t ever be considered.

We believe an investment of this size, both financially and in creating a space for your lifestyle, should be one of indulgence.  This process should be all about YOU:

  • How to maximize the use of your specific block of land;
  • What architectural style you find most appealing;
  • What design elements need to be factored in to allow you to live how you want;
  • What kitchen appliances or plumbing items you want – your choice of inclusions is endless;
  • Are you happy to be one of many, or would you prefer a custom design where you can explore your own individuality;
  • You are not a number. You will receive individual attention and be involved in the entire process. This will allow you the time to make informed decisions and have the chance to collaborate with an experienced team of professionals;
  • In building a select number of homes each year, Suncity Homes is just as focused on delivering the quality outcome as you are.
  • Your block of land and its unique properties – slope, aspect, outlook, shape, size, access, easements, bushfire requirements, soil properties etc;
Will I be allowed on site during construction?2018-05-23T11:25:29+10:00

Absolutely.  We fully understand how exciting it is to watch the home of your future memories being built.  We also consider the issue of site safety as extremely important, and therefore just require any site visit to be booked in with us in advance so we know our onsite safety policies are being met.

I already have plans drawn – can you provide a quote?2018-05-23T11:38:35+10:00

Absolutely, but there are a number of items to consider with this question:

Are you after a quote or an estimate?

Firstly, an estimate may have a price indicated, but will be limited on detail and can really only be considered as a guide.  Estimates can vary significantly according to assumptions made and therefore they can be used by less ethical builders to indicate lower figures in order to continue discussions.

A quote on the other hand would usually take two to three weeks to put together and involves sending out detailed plans to suppliers for accurate pricing of each component.  A quote will be detailed (often 20-30 pages) and should include everything from cabinetry drawings through to brochures of plumbing items so you are crystal clear as to what is included.  Any item that isn’t known at the time or open to change may be nominated as a Provisional Sum (PS) or allowance. You need to know any Provisional Sums are sufficient to cover the value of that specific inclusion, as these allowances can often be used to show cheap prices, which can potentially blow out on you later.

Are the plans only at concept stage, or are they full working drawings?

A concept may have limited detail at best, and therefore an estimate or guide can only be given at this stage.

Fully detailed working drawings are what is required in order to provide a detailed quote.  These drawings will indicate everything from window and door schedules, dimensioning, cladding materials, sections that show construction detailing such as ceiling bulkhead locations, electrical layouts etc.

The more detail provided, the more accurate a quote will be.  If the plans have been developed as far as engineering being completed, energy efficiency assessments carried out and project specifics such as bushfire assessments completed, then quoting a fixed price will be achievable.

How do I compare building quotes?2018-05-23T11:39:42+10:00

Suncity Homes takes the costing of plans extremely seriously.  We aren’t here to sugarcoat any estimates to get you back for continued discussions, hoping that by establishing a relationship you won’t walk out the door when presented with the real price.

We will always include as much detail as shown on the plans and provide options to address budgetary concerns if required.  Any such option will be discussed with you, so as to involve you in the educated decision making, rather than taking any liberty to take short cuts in order to show a lower price.  We would rather create a foundation of honesty and trust that translates to an enjoyable experience on site.

Key things to consider when comparing quotes:

  • Will your architect or designer help you to go through the detail presented in any quote or do you have the necessary experience to evaluate differences yourself? Don’t consider that having built once or twice before gives you enough experience to accurately compare quotes.
  • What are you looking for in a quote? Check for confirmation that all the detail on the drawings is accounted for so you have confidence that the architectural vision is being delivered. Unless you are looking for the cheapest price. But bear in mind that the cheapest price can often be the most expensive, once you find out what hasn’t been included and additional costs that can arise from that. For example, cost of rectifications due to poor workmanship or, even worse, cost of longer rental periods as a result of the builder going broke and the resultant drawn out process of finding a builder to continue works. Unfortunately, this often happens when a builder in a poor financial position ‘buys’ a job with low margins trying to trade their way out of difficulty.
  • Do you want quality or price? No matter how low a quote you receive, you will always be able to find a cheaper quote. Cheap doesn’t equal value, and any short-term saving is long forgotten when chasing a builder for rectifications.
I don’t have any plans or concept in mind – where should I start?2018-05-23T11:25:49+10:00

Call us Suncity Homes – as soon as possible. An initial site meeting, even before you purchase the land, is a great time for a preliminary discussion.  It’s a great opportunity to discuss your goals and how they may fit in with the limitations of your chosen block.  We can even provide advice on what to do before you commit yourself fully to the land purchase.

You may not have plans or a concept in mind yet, but you will no doubt have requirements that need to be met, a budget in mind, perhaps a wish list of items.  Together with some scrapbooking of ideas, either literally or through the use of an online site like Houzz, a design brief is established that can be added to with further discussions.

We have also developed solid working relationships with a number of local architects and home designers that allow for a collaborative effort from the beginning.  Having client, builder and architect in discussion from the outset, provides the necessary checks and balances to make sure all aspects of the brief are considered through the preliminary stages.  For instance, a client may come across a feature they want to add part way through the development of the plans.  The feature will look fantastic and so the architect is happy to incorporate it, knowing the final product will reflect better on them.  Having the builder involved in the discussion will perhaps allow the budget to be addressed and amended, some prioritizing of other elements may be done, or it may be moved to the ‘would have been nice if budgets allowed’ folder.

All too often the builder is involved late in the process and is left to be the bearer of bad news, meaning clients find out they can’t afford to build the beautiful plans, having already invested time and dollars in developing said plans.

We want to see your dream home built and enjoyed.

Why are project or volume builders cheaper than custom home builders?2020-10-21T15:39:56+10:00

First up it must be said, if we were to quote on the same design, using the same construction methods & had the same inclusions, there would be very little difference in price.  However, with a focus on quality outcomes for our clients, as opposed to operating on more minimal standards, we would almost never be quoting on the same thing.

Some differences to keep in mind:

1. House designs

Suncity Homes will have designs created to maximise the use of your land, and that best serve your lifestyle.  The typical Project home builders generally design house plans for a price point, often coming at the cost of creative flair, and without any of your individual wishes & block specifics in mind.

2. Quality of trades

Quality tradespeople are protective of their reputation, and by virtue of their higher skill set are often in demand.  It is also these trades that we rely on to further enhance our reputation as a builder of quality homes.  Often tradespeople that are perhaps less experienced or skilled are attracted by the larger volume of work offered by project builders, and may be more negotiable on rates to secure their business.  As a result the focus will be on completing jobs as quickly as possible to get to the next job, as opposed to taking the care in doing the job as well as it should.

3. Building supplies

By seeking quotes on the same building materials from multiple suppliers, we are often well placed to see who is the most competitive at the time.  This often achieves a similar result to those who lock in relationships for better pricing, but at the same time doesn’t limit us to any one supplier.  This allows our clients to choose whatever they want.

4. More time-focused than quality-focused

Short building time frames sound good for everyone.  However if it comes at the expense of good quality control processes, it can just mean additional disruptions to home owners with trades going back after handover to address defects.  Suncity Homes respects our trades & expects a superior finish, so not scheduling the painter whilst the cabinetmaker is doing an install, or having the tiler on site whilst the plasterer is finishing up, avoids compromises & achieves a far better result.

There are so many stories of budget blowouts throughout a build – do you use fixed-price contracts?2018-05-23T11:41:59+10:00

Absolutely.

Even with a fixed price contract, there are potential changes that clients should be aware of:

  • Rock clause – Even though a soil test is conducted for the engineering design, there is the potential for isolated rock deposits to be missed.
  • Provisional sums and allowances – These are sums that are open to change once confirmation of selections are made. Therefore, it is essential to know that the sums indicated are in line with what you are after, and not just a nominal amount to make final pricing look more attractive – a common ploy of less scrupulous builders.
  • Lack of detail in contract documentation – There may be a pivot entry door included, but without reference to a specific manufacturer, model, species of timber, stain, door handle, lock set, etc. Once you are aware of what the builder has included, there may be additional dollars required to get what you had in mind.
Can you explain the design and build process?2018-05-23T11:26:13+10:00

Whilst it appears that there is a lot involved, and there is, an experienced builder can help streamline the process and keep it simple and enjoyable for their client.

Some stages can occur simultaneously and some can be managed well, from a time perspective, through a considered approach.  Below is an outline of the various stages:

  • Initial Meeting – Often on site to look at specific features and attributes. It’s a good chance for both client and builder to openly discuss goals and ensure they are a good fit for each other moving forward.
  • Design Brief – This is the establishment of goal posts for the builder and designer to work towards. It may be in the form of articulating thought on paper, or a collection of images compiled in a scrapbook or online.  Ideally, the more detailed the design brief is, the more likely an initial concept will be well received.  As many parameters as possible should be disclosed – architectural design styles, building material preferences, lifestyle requirements and budget are all a good starting point.
  • On-Site Investigations – Together with the design brief, accurate site information is required by your architect or home designer. This may include a soil test, contour survey, confirmation of easements, supply of any building covenants and other job-specific items like slope stability reports and bushfire assessment.
  • Concept Design – This is the first opportunity to confirm that the design brief has been interpreted correctly and for feedback to be given to further the design work in the correct direction.
  • Preliminary Drawings – At this stage, the design is now more advanced, with sufficient detailing added for the builder to estimate building costs. This is an important stage as it allows for design elements or budgetary requirements to be taken into consideration with the refinement of the next stage of drawings.
  • Advanced Preliminary Drawings – The plans are almost complete. They are ready for sending through to suppliers for quoting and for the engineering design to be carried out.
  • Final Working Drawings – All feedback from various consultants is incorporated into these final plans, together with any last-minute client changes. Based on these drawings, our earlier pricing estimates are firmed up by way of final quote.  They are then used for Building Certification and for construction purposes on site.
  • Building Contracts Signed – We’ll help go through every last detail to ensure that everything discussed to this point has been included and that you fully understand the contents.
  • Building Approvals Received
  • Construction – Where all the magic happens. Our construction manager Ben takes each client through the entire project, providing communication and overseeing every last detail.  Contract payments are made on completion of various stages and keep work on schedule.
  • Handover – After we have completed our quality assurance procedures and are happy the finished product is a reflection of what the Suncity Homes name stands for, we schedule a time where a thorough handing over of the home can be conducted. An explanation of the workings of the home is provided, together with any product warranty information and of course, the keys to your brand new custom built home.
  • Maintenance – We are here to help. With the many hundreds of suppliers, trades and materials involved in the building of a home, some maintenance items may appear as you live in the home or over time.  We know how frustrating this can sometimes be and are keen to use these opportunities to create further goodwill by addressing any item in as timely a fashion as possible.

Locations

We’ve been building custom homes in Queensland for over 40 years. We understand the lifestyle and love living here as much as our clients do.

We’re based on the Sunshine Coast but build homes and commercial premises all along the coast, from Brisbane in the south right up to Rainbow Beach in the north. We also build in the lush green hinterland, from Maleny and Montville through to Gympie.

If you’re dreaming of building a new home we invite you to meet us for a free consultation. It’s never too soon to get in touch because we’ll advise you how to get the most out of your budget at any stage, even if you haven’t bought a lot yet.

You’re welcome to visit us in our showrooms in Noosa. Alternatively, we can come to visit you at home, work or on site if you’ve already bought a lot and want to discuss development plans.

This location list gives an indication of the areas we build in. If you can’t see your location, please get in touch to ask if we can help.

  • Sunshine Coast Coastal Suburbs
  • Sunshine Coast Hinterland
  • Brisbane River Suburbs & Surrounds
  • Redcliffe Peninsula Districts
  • Bribie Island & Surrounds
  • Gympie Region
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