Some of the terms used can be misleading. Earthworks and site works; Earthworks is merely a portion of your site works. Watch out for reps who say “your earth works will only be $2000 to $3000” and they don’t mention all the other hidden costs involved in connecting your home to the land and all the services.

What about Water, power, sewer, gas and the shire requirements including the likes of stormwater to soak wells. Clearing of excess sand, tight handling fees if applicable?

Typical siteworks on a flat sandy site [A class] with soakwells will be in the $11,000 to $15,000 range.

Engineering Detail A class, B class, C1 class  C Class upwards can cost big money. Sometimes those cheap blocks are not so cheap when site works is added.

S Slightly reactive soil  and hence the Classification goes up depending on how reactive it is.

Concrete pumps: This is now a best practice for the poring of footings and slabs. A quicker pour minimises future cracking of the slab. It is often mandatory, for example,  in difficult sites where boggy sand doesn’t allow the cement mixer to get close to the construction site.

Prestart: This is where you sign your contracts to date with working drawings and costing’s with the site works provisionally summed. [P.S.] Here you will invariably do variations to your plans, select your colours, fine tune your electrical layout and so on. A quote is then sent out to you to sign off on. So no, you don’t have to proceed with the items you requested costs on. Once you have chosen what you wish to add or subtract, you sign off on them and the Builder will then do a final set of drawings. Once signed off on, we can schedule orders and proceed to construction. This of course is subject to shire approvals been granted in the meantime.

Provisional sums or P.S. These are items which can only be estimated upon, to the best of the builder’s ability or expertise. Items like earthworks would be P.S. until it is actually done and then firmed up on invoice from the Earth worker. For example we may have a flat sandy block in Jandakot and the P.S. for earthworks is $2000. When invoiced to you it may come in at $1500. You will therefore receive a credit on your final statement.

Prime Cost or P.C. this is a sum allowed for at retail as an allowance. For example you may be allowed a P.C. of $44 per m2 for tiling to your wet areas. You would then pay for any extra over costs if you exceed that allowance.

Often with Builders a standard range of appliance are included with a home. You may wish to upgrade or down grade; in this case an adjustment will be made. [Credit or charge]

Allowances: We for example have an allowance of 30 to 35m2 of paving to the front of your home for driveway and paths. Porches, porticos and alfresco would generally have paving included and would be noted as such. There would be a builder’s range from which you can choose. Again you pay more or less depending on the cost to the builder of any off range items chosen.

Specification level or list of inclusions in the quoted price: There are Deluxe or comprehensive inclusions and then there are real basic or budget lists. At Plunkett we have our Plunkett Range of homes with Sovereign Specifications {=Deluxe} We also have a budget level called Freedom Specification, in comparison with our Domain Range of homes from Plunkett. The differences do add up to thousands of dollars. I feel it is important to make my clients aware of these differences, so in other words; you wont get to the other end of construction and find you assumed a lot and didn’t get the lot! It’s called ethics. At Plunkett we have an ethos that we are proud of. In the main we have senior consultants who have been there for 10 years plus. Unheard of in most builders.

There are many more terms that may need clarification. An ethical Consultant will clarify these for you. H.I.A. Accredited Sales Consultants have taken the time and spent money to get training so they can give informed advice. Yes I have my Certificate.

Just a few more:

Lump Sum building Contract – Plunkett & Domain use H.I.A. standard contracts.

Form 21  This is clarification in Layman terms, what your contract is about. Guidence on your rights and obligations, as well as the builders. Sad fact is, a lot of sales reps don’t know what this is!

AFL Nah, not footy…Above Floor level. for example it may say 10.00 AFL; this reads 10 metres above sea level.

Brick Course

1/3rd Bond

1/2nd bond

FHO Full height opening

DHO Door height opening

Coffered Recess

SGPO  single general power outlet

DGPO double general power outlet

Orientation northerly aspect is so important to maximise sun in winter and minimise in summer. How? just ask me.

Solar Passive ditto northerly aspect is so important to maximise sun in winter and minimise in summer. How? just ask me.

I have only mention a few of the jargon that can give you a bit of heartache. Make sure you deal with a Consultant who is ethical and upfront; has the experience and knowledge. Then building can be a joy.

Watch out for ex-car salesmen/shark out to make a quick buck out of your expense.