We answer a few commonly asked questions about the building process.

How to choose the right Builder?

There’s no “right” answer when choosing a builder, but there is a right and wrong way to make the choice.

Do your research; start with the builder’s governing body, VBA (Victorian Building Authority) to verify builder license, as credentials for cross checking is important as you want a fully licensed and qualified builder to construct your home build or large renovation.

Experience of the builder; Builder’s experience counts, the longevity of time the builder has been in the industry, along with the location of business, forwarding recommendations, quality of workmanship in the builds completed and in construction phases.

Fixed Pricing; Price is obviously a big factor & should be a consideration, but not because it’s the highest or lowest, look for the most detailed explanation on price & consistency when comparing multiple quotes. Beware of contracts with a long list of "estimates and TBAs" to avoid a blow-out in costs!

How to check if a Builder is insured?

Hiring someone who is not properly insured could put you at considerable legal and financial risk.

Professional contractors will provide you with proof of liability insurances and workers compensation coverage.

We have construction and public liability insurance, we are licensed builders within the VBA.

How long does council approval take?

You’ve got your finance in order, chosen a builder & had plans drawn up. You’re ready to start building or constructing extensive renovations, but you get stopped in your tracks. You need council approval first.

There are two stages in the approval process that you need to consider, planning and building permits.

Planning permits can take up to 6 months for a standard renovation or new house build. In regards to a building permit, if all documents are in order, standard council approval is 14 days from lodgement date. We can help with non-standard approvals if required.

Good builder's reviews in Melbourne?

It’s always healthy to ask builders for their previous client reviews & testimonials.

We have a list of comprehensive reviews on our website & our clients are more than happy for a prospective client to view our construction completions.

How long does it take to build a house?

  1. Site testing & Earthworks, site soil testing, site levelling and clearing ready for construction. Slab stage, measuring out the design on site, digging, setup and pouring of footings. Under slab drainage, moisture barrier and termite spray put in place followed by completion of foundation slab.

  2. Frame Stage, construction of external & internal walls with reinforcing steel and conduit for electrical wiring and pipes for plumbing. Installation of roof frame, fascia and gutters, insulation, roof sheeting & trims.

  3. Lock-Up Stage, includes installation of pipes, wiring, plasterboard to internal walls is erected, the sheeting of gables, eaves, porch and patio ceilings completed, external walls rendered and the external doors, sliding glass doors and windows are installed.

  4. Pre-Paint Stage, includes plastering plasterboard joints, installing cornice, waterproofing, laying tiles, installation of cabinetry, skirting, architraves, doors, jambs, reveals, shelving, box air-conditioners & pouring of driveways/paths.

  5. Practical Completion, Includes all painting, fencing, landscaping, turf and irrigation. Installation of floor coverings, glass, doors, screens, clothes line, letter box and all fittings. Site then cleared of waste and a final inspection, house clean and detail are completed before handover.

Knockdown rebuild and how to start the process

Step 1  
Have an idea of a layout that you would like and we will design one with your needs in mind.

Step 2  
Call or email Howse Constructions and arrange a meeting to discuss your options.

Step 3  
Once a suitable plan is designed an estimate can be provided so you will know the cost.

Step 4  
Entering into a contract to enable Howse Constructions to draft a complete set of working plans, soil testing, engineering computations, feature survey, all in readiness for the building permit.

Step 5  
Confirm bank finance or other through your own broker.

Step 6  
Signing of building contract and payment of the builders deposit 5% of the build cost.

Step 7  
Once all of the above steps are completed there are several permits to be obtained by Howse Constructions, prior to the knockdown and rebuild can commence.

Step 8  
Most knock down rebuilds from the granting of the building permit take 6mths to complete a single level home with double story homes taking a little longer.

"We undertook a major renovation to our home of 11 years and Nick was able to coordinate all trades and construction in a professional and timely manner that ensured everything was completed to our specific requirements and on budget. We are extremely happy with the finished result and we are very happy to recommend Nick and the team from Howse Constructions."

- John & Joe