Registration changes domestic work under $10,000

Changes to registration requirements for domestic building work under $10,000

The Victorian Building Authority are making a change relating to non-registered builders and draftspersons engaged in domestic building works valued under $10,000 from 31st August 2017.

The previous limit allowed non-registered builder to perform work is the cost of such work including materials and labour was below $5000. The previous limit allowed non-registered builder to enter in to contracts and perform work if the cost of such work including materials and labour was below $5000.

The new changes are significant, in so much, as ceiling has risen but only if a building permit is not required. There remains some standard exemption which still require correct registration including a builder’s engaged in the re-blocking, re-stumping, demolition or removal of a home, plus other non-structural works.

This update therefore means a further reduction builder’s who are able to undertake any work, regardless of cost, if a permit is required. These might include Verandah’s, Carports, decking, structural renovations which all need a building permit.

In regards Drafting I’m not sure if an owner builder, for example, draws a plan without correct registration, would this be acceptable to applying for a building permit. I’m initially of opinion, that these simple but significant change would mean no they couldn’t draw a plan that requires a building permit. This is to be confirmed.

The current standard plan requirements needed and details required for all permit are such that an unregistered draftsperson or builder may not be aware of all the building requirements, codes and standards and certainly would not hold practitioners insurance etc.

The changes reflect governments clear concern and aim to protect the consumer when undertaking building works.

Visit the VBA website to find out more about registration and the latest changes to building regulations.

Planning and Subdivision Fees Review – Oct 2016

Planning and Subdivision Fees Review – October 2016victoria-future

The Victorian Government have released information concerning significant increases to a range of fees in their Planning and Subdivision Fees Review. The stating that council costs to deliver services and fact that successive governments have failed to review fee’s for 12 years have therefor allowed this Victorian Labor Government to increase the many fee’s by approx.150% or more.

The introduction of a new fee structure for dwelling under $10,000 demonstrate lack of any real awareness to costs (I would love a house built for under $10,000) and continues the inefficiency of the department and its administration of regulations to the detriment of the public. Simply can’t believe they think this category square things up. Really?

The following link to proposed fee’s can be found here

Planning and Subdivision Fees Review

A few snap shot review of a few classic segments of planning developments:

Developments – single dwelling development and  also used for extensions and projects like Verandahs, Sheds and garages

  • Up to $100K        Was $239 Proposed $592 Increase $352 or 147% Increase
  • $100K to $500K  Was $490 Proposed $1213 Increase $723 or  147% Increase

Some new levels are introduced. Sneaky new fee’s not discussed.

  • $500K to $1 Million Was $490 Proposed $1310 Increase $820 or 167% Increase
  • $1Million to 2 Million Was $490 Proposed $1408 Increase $918 or 187% Increase

Amendments to Permits had fee such as listed below

  • $0 to $10,000 Nil
  • $10,000 to $100,000 $239
  • $100,000+ $490

Proposed is now a complicated calculation which is sure to cause significant and unnecessary confusion and costs for owners wanting small extensions or additions to a lot which already has a planning permit and therefore requires that permit to be amended. It is unclear what they proposed to charge but it could be classed under schedule attached.

Amend an existing planning permit – 75% of fee applicable to the original permit class plus the difference in fees if the amendment moves the permit into a different class. The lowest fee starts at $1080 but will they charge 75% of this or the original development cost. Even if at lower end the increase is

  • $0 to $10,000             Was $ Nil    Proposed $810 Increase $810
  • $10,000 to $100,000  Was $239  Proposed $810 Increase $571 Increase 239%
  • $100,000+                  Was $490  Proposed $810 Increase $320 Increase 65%

Lack of a community and business opportunity, and therefore critical response, will ensure Labor Government, who have demonstrated no real care for consumer consultation (our company was asked only 2 weeks ago but no indication of proposed fee’s were provided), to smash consumers with this exceptionally unrealistic increase based on their previous and continued incompetence is wrong. Strong words but true.

I do feel sorry for council planning staff, at the coal face, with the negative responses they will need to field over the coming months. Somewhat feel the same for our company who initially have to advise a client’s first then take the negative flak or the cancellation.

Summary,

I was expecting change and my first thoughts were

  1. It was wrong that fee’s were not raised yearly similar to the building & other government department. But why had they not? But rise then by 147% Really?
  2. It is true current fee’s do not cover costs fee’s needed to be raised. But is this the right and responsible way?
  3. It is true significant numbers of time wasting applications are triggered for no real public advantage. Why no real significant change particularly to NIL impact projects cluttering the system.
  4. It is true some fee’s are realistic for some more complicated projects but many are not particularly class 10 projects and small dwelling extensions.
  5. it is also true that the government has such lack of transparency, just look at the infrastructure issues, CFA and rail development for other examples that no reasonable consultation with industry was undertaken to those who deal with the consumer. Either that or our association BDAV have failed us building designers and our clients.

The new fee’s will ensure consumers will continue pay for lack of real planning improvement or desire for improvement which successive governments, Labor or Liberal, have simply failed in their elected duties and the Planning Department who seem to have no grasp on their duty.

If your not happy consult your local member I’m sure they will provide the applicable lip service do not blame the council staff or my staff we don’t make the fees.

We, at The Project Centre hope this information will assist those consumers with understanding some of the associated unseen costs of building within Victoria.

Building Amendment (Construction of Swimming Pools and Spas) Regulations 2016

Building Amendment (Construction of Swimming Pools & Spas) Regulations 2016

The continued raft of building regulation changes continues with latest directed to pool-regsdomestic pools and spas. One concern we have also seen is the lack of attention to just when a pool project is finished and therefore we have seen pools and spas in full operation but without proper fencing completed. Generally  we have not be had anything to do with pool project but find ourselves now dealing with the non-completion. Essentially the pool companies and home owners have been employing the extended period of completion related to normal building to give a window of not completing the pool enclosure.

“The new rules appears fair and reasonable to us.”

The Building Amendment (Construction of Swimming Pools and Spas) Regulations 2016 (S.R. No. 104/2016) will come into effect on 3rd October 2016. These reduce red-tape by aligning the completion periods for building work relating to a swimming pool or spa and any associated barrier or safety equipment with the completion period for other building work that is being carried out concurrently on an allotment.

From 3 October 2016, building permits issued for the construction of a swimming pool or spa may reflect the completion date of other building work being carried out concurrently on the same allotment. When calculating the completion date, the RBS should only consider building permits that are in force at the time that the building permit for the construction of the swimming pool or spa is issued.

For a copy of proposed change: Link to government regulation here

So keep your property safe this summer and ensure you know what your obligations are as pools and spas. Small kids simply don’t mix well unattended and unfenced pool areas so get your fences done sooner to enjoy your pool and spas.

New Building Act 1993 changes July 4, 2016

2016 Changes to the Building Act 1993

Victorian Building AuthorityEvery year we find adjustment changes to varies matters now under the control via Victorian Building Authority for Building Act and associated entities such as Plumbing, Architectural, Owners Builders and more.

As the VBA web site states “Changes have been made to the VBA’s powers and functions under the Building Act 1993. Some of these changes may affect your rights and duties under the law.”

This section of the VBA website holds information about:

  • how these changes relate to you as a building practitioner, building surveyor or owner-builder
  • when the changes come into effect
  • what will be different when the changes come into effect, and
  • any specific things that apply during the transition to the new laws.

The link will take you to main site whereby you may web surf to area of most interest to you. Follow the Changes to Building Act 1993.

owner builderWe see certain strengthening of powers and a further layering of checking and cross checking ensuring the industries inefficiency remains without much progress towards any real reform or a balancing between planning and building or review of the changing size of lots and consumer requirements.
Some new powers will hopefully maintain a striding towards removing from industry of cowboys but I see significant many good guys hurt and frightened away in the meantime.

Owner Builders –

Owner Builders will now need to better realise the issues of “being the owner builder” as the rules are the same for all and the playing field will be inspected regularly.

This will make being an owner builder more of a chore, cost will rise significantly and especially for those real small projects such as a verandah and deck. The current status is one rule for all so all building and small project documentation and requirements now the same totally as a new dwelling.

One good change is the need to get VBA consent has risen to $16,000. This amount to me remains to low for both owner builder consent requirement plus also for need to get Home Owners Warranty Insurance. Both should be more around $25,000 so the small “addon” building ie:class 10b, is not over burdened by cost and regulation.

Building Plans

The new minimum plan requirements are being enforced. These are more of an enforcement of the rules that actual new rules but, by placing significant pressure on all building surveyors to ensure documentation for big or small are the same, then time and cost will kick in for small projects as never before.
As Building Drafting company we get it and understand fully the issues but our customers might not be so understanding. We worry many more will roll the dice on avoiding the undertaking of getting a building permit due to cost and red tape increasing.
Simply many old plans do not have the level of detail required today even for a verandah. So getting that detail, even getting the old plans (as often council records poor although now improving due to digital age) then producing plans for small class 10b projects to the standard now required will be more time consuming and will bring with that extra costs.
Politically it will be a time bomb but for now its reality. It needs proper reform for this sector.
Link to what’s required here VBA Practise Note Building Plans Documentation
We at The Project Centre – Narre Warren and a member of the BDAV, are specialists in Class 10b building with over 20 years ImagesBDAV-LOGO.jpgexperience in projects such as garages, carport’s, verandahs, deck’s and other external “add-on” extensions or out buildings. We know whats required and can help you your project.

Contact Us

Head Office – Beaconsfield
Floor 1, Office 1,  70 Old Princes Highway
Beaconsfield Vic. 3807  Phone: (BH) (03) 9769 3517

Casey Cardinia – Peoples Choice Award

Casey Cardinia – Peoples Choice Awardcasey cardinia business awards

This year The Project Centre – Narre Warren has been nominated for the Peoples Choice award for the Casey Cardinia Business Awards. We’re not sure who nominated us but thanks for who did consider us a worthy participant.

peoples choice awardOne nomination is all it takes to shine a light on an outstanding business!

Well so they say. The Project Centre has been providing both Retail services via our timber and hardware yard in Vesper Drive Narre Warren for 20 years up to 6 years ago, and since the closing of that retail yard, we have maintained and concentrated on Architectural Drafting and Building Service which specialises in Dwellings, Renovations and particularly Verandah, Decks, Carports and Garages for both builders and Do it yourself owners.

Our recent opening in Beaconsfield seeing a second office now establishing itself.

“The People’s Choice award provides you the opportunity to vote from nominated businesses. This Award is a separate voting system and it does not require an application form. Unlike all other category awards, The People’s Choice Award is not judged but decided by popular vote by you the public!”

So I guess those of you who have used The Project Centre over the last 25 years might consider voting for us in these up and coming awards.

To vote for us follow this is the link Peoples Choice Award

Bayside Council Planning Amendment

Bayside Council Planning Amendment.Bayside CC logo

Developers, Home Owners and those considering major or minor developments on there home in Bayside should be aware that Bayside City Council has announced a proposal to amend the Bayside Planning Scheme.

Some of the main points include

  1. Amends Schedule 3 to clause 32.09 – Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ3) to:
  • Introduce a minimum lot size for subdivision of 400 square metres (this means that if your lot is less than 800sqm, you will not be able to subdivide it)
  • Vary Standard A6 and B9 to increase the permeability requirement to 35%
  • Vary Standard A10 and B17 to introduce a 4 metre rear setback requirement
  • Vary Standard B28 to increase the private open space requirements to 75 square metres, with one part secluded private open space with a minimum area of 60 square metres and a minimum dimension of 5 metres
  • Introduce decision guidelines to support amenity considerations in accordance with the Housing Strategy
  1. Update the Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS – Clauses 21.02 – 21.12) to reflect recommendations and policy within the Bayside Housing Strategy 2012
  2. Amend clause 22.06 Neighbourhood Character Policy to update terminology to accord with the Housing Strategy
  3. Amend clause 22.07 Discretionary Uses in Residential Areas Policy to provide further guidance on the preferred built form for these types of applications in accordance with the Housing Strategy

Interested owners and other practitioners are urged to make a submission, as the proposal has the potential to significantly impact development in Bayside. For more information, CLICK HERE.

I can see many disappointments coming, even on simple renovations and extensions as simple as Verandah’s and Patio’s, where rear boundary restrictions and increases in minimum private open space to 75 square metres and permeability requirement to 35% may impact single home developments if this proposal allowed to be pushed through. No refection on restrictions due to land affordability due to planning requirements is considered. Certainly any multi-town house or simple land splitting will now increase in difficulty significantly no matter what brightly painted outcome council paints to support this proposal. Already considered over governed and unresponsive in terms of planning and under performing in terms of real services this continues the Bayside story.

Be warned If you live here be interested or be sorry. Problem is however no matter what objection will be noted they will propel this proposal forward then say “well you had your chance to object” even if we didn’t listen. I see another sad outcome on the way.

Submissions to these proposals close on 17 September 2015.

New Home – Classic Weatherboard

New Home – Classic WeatherboardNew Home - Olive Road

The recently finished new home in Hampton Park, a suburb in Melbourne’s south east, is a dwelling who’s brief was to provide “a classic weatherboard in the Anne of green gables approach (without the green)” After now a few short months of occupying the home we find the outdoors is now starting to take shape with much credit to the owners.

This brief was to provide a compact home for owners that provide good access to dwelling (due to restrictions of one owner), provide a classic but modern style that appealed to them, ensure internals accounted for mobility restrictions whilst “not in your face”, had fittings that reflected their persona’s, age and interest’s and that the outdoors was efficient but classic in design and outcome.New Home - Olive Road - front

A large prominent tree was retained onsite with a view to provide a kick start to outdoors plus provide balance between a highly new dwelling and what can be a bland featureless outside.

Often we see that what can be a wonderful new dwelling can appear very tactile and lonely on a newly cleared bare landscape. We all wanted that the new dwelling that might appear to have had just a new coat of paint. Whilst realising that this might be a tall order to ensure that the paths, gardens, shed and other external features were planned to ensure come 12 months we might be somewhere along our goal path.

These pictures of the new home – classic weatherboard show a dwelling only 3 months after completion.

Olive Road - rear yard

Olive Road - west ear yard

 

 

 

 

 

We believe that owners have done a fantastic job of creating an outdoors that reflects them plus kick starts the goal of have the new dwelling become a home.

We’ll let you be the judge if we achieved some of the aims and brief we were administrating.

Olive Road - View to east rear

Olive road - entry to garage

Non Compliant Cladding Materials

Non Compliant Cladding MaterialsDockland fire building

The Builders Designers Association Victoria (BDAV) have advised further in regards revelation that some high rise buildings were found that the external cladding used was not non-combustible. The  Lacrosse building at docklands fire started from a smouldering cigarette on a second floor balcony of the Lacrosse tower in the Docklands in November 2014. It quickly spread to the 20th storey, causing $2 million in damage and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate. No one was killed however it raised the possibility of Non-compliant Cladding materials being used.

I Quote

“The Victorian Building Authority issued an announcement yesterday afternoon advising of its actions in relation to the audit of cladding on high rise buildings. This follows on from the fire at the Lacrosse Apartments in the Docklands precinct in November of 2014 in which it was found that the external aluminium cladding on the building contributed to the fire spread and did not meet compliance with the National Construction Code. The VBA noted it has contacted more than 20,000 building practitioners requesting information about possible non-compliant use of cladding, and is also requiring the builders and building surveyors of some 170 high rise buildings in inner Melbourne and surrounding suburbs built in the last 10 years to provide evidence that the external cladding complies with the NCC. To read the VBA announcement, CLICK HERE.

James Hardie have provided a technical bulletin relating to this issue CLICK

Domestically we are often challenged with the facts that choosing products is a daunting issue. To ensure the quality is not just a visual factor but a tested and proven factor is important. No more or less than the workmanship demanded from your builder. When selecting material it’s best to ensure the products tested and certified for the usage proposed.

We will find due to the above issue the requirement from Building Surveyors for designers and builders to produce documentation to confirm that the specified product meets Australian Standards and is fully installed, not switched out to a non-suitable product will become common place.

 

 

Building Design Awards 2014

Building Design Awards 2014

Building Design Awards 2014 is conducted each year by Building Designers Associate Victoria.This year’s BDAV Building Design Awards were just announced at the BDAV’s Annual Dinner.

Top honours went to Melbourne Design Studios Pty Ltd for their exemplary design project Birkenstock Australia HQ which won a total of four awards, including the coveted Building Design of the Year. The new Birkenstock headquarters – who specialise in healthy footwear – is a testament to the brand’s core values of craftsmanship and quality, honesty and integrity, sustainability and healthiness.

To view all of this year’s stunning winners, CLICK HERE. to to see a range of the winners for this year’s awards.

Your Home – Guide to Building

Your Home – Guide to BuildingYourHome

Your Home is your guide to building, buying or renovating a home. It shows how to create a comfortable home with low impact on the environment – economical to run, healthier to live in and adaptable to your changing needs.

This Australian Government Web site is an excellent starting point for your home project. The web site deals with 4 main segments of sustainable housing.

Your Home – guide to building is a web site very worthwhile to research before you begin. Reviewing items of location, orientation, heating and cooling to enable home owners to understand more about the real cost’s of owning and maintaining your home.

It allows couples to try and decide some important principals for when they are briefing their designer or in fact when considering a building block to ensure the location and options for siting a dwelling are provided to a specific block of land.

We trust you will find this web site worthwhile.