With years of building experience, we know that proper planning is key to achieving a great result. But we also know that planning a renovation or new build can be incredibly complex.
North Star Projects provides a holistic service to support and guide you every step of the way. We operate with complete transparency, so you’ll know exactly where you are in the process and how much you’ll need to invest to bring your vision to life.
First comes the big idea. What are the important issues or challenges you want to resolve through your building project? Have your circumstances and lifestyle changed in a way that your home no-longer meets your needs? What are the goals you are wanting to achieve? Do you want to renovate your existing home or start afresh? Have you developed a scrapbook of features, design and style ideas for the areas of your home that you want to change or create anew?
Understand Your Financial Capacities
It is important to understand your financial parameters and have realistic expectations about what can be achieved within your budget. Are you prepared to adjust your expectations? Are there elements of your planned build that are more important than others? If you have a fixed budget some things might not be possible.
You may need to borrow money to make the proposed changes to your home. To finance your building project, investigate what loans are available to you and weigh this cost against the potential investment return of the property improvement in your locality. Knowing the financial parameters of your project is a good starting point for shaping and developing the scope and details of your project with your building practitioners.
Achieving a great result that represents value for money and a good return on investment is always top of mind at North Star Projects.
The Building Process
Before spending any money on professional consultants, this is a good time to engage North Star Projects for a free consultation.
The building process involves a series of preparatory steps that must be taken before any building work can proceed. The processes can be complex and daunting for those new to building. It can help to speak to North Star Projects to outline the critical steps or to direct you to where you can find more information and assistance.
Simply complete and submit our “Are You Ready to Build?” questionnaire below to see where you are located in the planning and building process and North Star Projects will contact you to arrange a free consultation to map the best way forward.
Preparing Key Plans and Reports
One of the major tasks in preparing to build is obtaining plans or drawings for your project. Plans are developed in stages, from schematic plans to detailed construction plans. Each iteration of the plans are issued for specific purposes at different points of the building process. There are many types of plans however and not all may be required to get a building permit for your project.
In addition to the plans, building works may require various specialist reports and assessments to be commissioned from experts in the relevant fields.
Each professional charges a fee for services rendered and it is important to understand the range of costs that may be incurred throughout the planning process from the outset.
It is at this point that you may require the support of a building professional to guide you through the process for your project.
It is important to identify who will be responsible for coordinating the collection of the essential documentation you will require to undertake your build.
Developing a relationship with a competent and trustworthy building practitioner can make a difference to your experience of the process and the outcomes achieved. Whether it is a builder, an architect, a draftsperson or a building consultant, North Star can help guide you to the right people.
The Planning Permit
There are two major checkpoints that must be passed through on the path to building your proposed renovation or new home.
The first is the planning permit and occurs early in the building process. It is the responsibility of the local planning authority to determine if a planning permit is required and the factors that must be met to satisfy local planning regulations.
Getting a professional consultant to manage what can be a complex process will ensure a smooth and efficient relationship with the local council planning team.
This stage requires an application that includes specific plans and other documentation to be submitted to Council for approval and must be completed before moving forward in the building process.
The Building Permit
The second major checkpoint that must be passed through is the building permit. Typically, an application for a building permit occurs in the later stages of the planning process and building works cannot start without one.
The building owners must select and appoint a relevant building surveyor for their project.
An application for a building permit requires submission to the relevant building surveyor of detailed drawings and other documentation prepared for the proposed construction.
The relevant building surveyor may request further information before issuing a building permit and must be satisfied that the proposed building works comply with the relevant building legislation and regulations.
Getting A Price (The Pre-Construction Planning Report)
For those ready to build, the pre-construction planning (PCP) report offers a comprehensive and transparent process that delivers a guaranteed fixed price and a proposed construction schedule ready for inclusion in the building contract. Avoid unexpected downstream price shocks and cost escalation. With the PCP report you will know how much your project will cost and how long it will take to build.
The most reliable price for your project is the one based on a detailed assessment of your final plans and specifications for construction. Through the PCP process, North Star Projects review the finished plans and documentation, identify and seek clarification of any issues, complete site inspections and coordinate quotes from trusted trades, develop construction timelines, present the preliminary findings for discussion and include any amendments in a final report.
Fixed prices do not mean items cannot be added, removed or modified during construction – they can – but with full understanding of the impact on project costs and timelines before decisions and actions are taken.
Sign Your Building Contract
Once the contract price is agreed, you will need a building contract if the value of your project is over $10,000. North Star Projects will draft a Master Builders contract based on the documentation and price for the scope of works agreed through the PCP process. The building contract may also specify works that are excluded from the scope of works and the contract price. The contract defines the obligations of each party in respect of the construction. It is important to carefully read and understand the building contract.
When you’re comfortable with the contract, a final copy will be prepared for signature by both parties. North Star Projects will then obtain, on behalf of the owner, domestic building insurance where the value of the building project is more than $16,000. Providing the certificate of insurance to the relevant building surveyor is one of the final steps before issuance of the building permit for construction to commence.
Are you ready to build?
From financing your build, to getting your documentation in order, to making sure you have all the right people on your project team, there are several steps you must take before you can start building.
Answer our questionnaire to determine where you are in the building process and if you’re ready to start building.